Tivoli Park is the capital's largest park. It lies in a flat area west of the dense city core, below the wooded slopes of Rožnik and Šišenski hill. The beginnings of the future city park originate in the late middle ages, when Turjak gardens were growing on the west side outside the town walls. They reached to the former Roman moat, which was arranged as a pond.
From the Baroque period on, the park around the Podturn Manor, later remade several times and known as Tivoli Castle, was intensively arranged. When the marshal Radetzky was its owner, a double terraced staircase with sculptures of dogs was built in front of the manor. The circular pool with its decorative statue and fountain was redone and cast-iron vases were placed on the fence. The monument erected in 1881 to the marshal Radetzky for his merits in arranging the park is kept today at the City Museum.
In the 18th century, Leopoldsruhe Manor, today known as Cekin Castle, was built at the edge of Šišenski hill, and by it a Baroque parterre with a promenade in the central axis of the structure along with rectangular flower beds. The promenade reached to Celovška Street and the others connected the manor with the nucleus of the city. At the times of the Illyrian provinces, the Frenchmen Jean Blanchard planned the arrangement of three connecting promenades between the two manors. The Austrian governor Latterman, who set the basic framework of the park and gave it its public character, continued the started work.
In the middle of the 19th century the railway line brutally cut the park off from the city. The system of promenades was at that time supplemented by a new promenade which runs as the third leg from Tivoli Castle towards the southeast. In 1880 a rectangular pond was dug, designed for boatmen in the summer and skaters in the winter. At the end of the century the grass fields between the avenues were redesigned with geometrically shaped paths and arranged parks according to the plans of Czech Vaclav Hejnic, the city gardener. At the edge of the park the city garden was set up, with an interesting greenhouse. In designing the new arrangements Hejnic probably cooperated with the architect Maks Fabiani, who set Jakopič pavilion on the edge of the park.
In the thirties the shady Latterman's chestnut promenade was cut down and a wide gravel promenade with a series of concrete lamps in the middle with benches by the sides replaced it according to plans by Jože Plečnik and his collaborators. In the narrow and wider area of Tivoli park, other changes followed as well: the Ilirija Swimming Pool, the summer cinema behind Tivoli Castle, the joining of the woody slopes of Rožnik to the park, and the building of the Modern Gallery (Moderna galerija) at the entrance to Tivoli according to the plans of E. Ravnikar.
Through paths over Šišenski hill, the park was connected with the Zoo, the recreation ground and the restaurant Mostec. A children's playground with a fountain was added according to the plans of Boris Kobe and numerous sculptures were set up. The last positive change was the rearrangement of the garden, pond, and children's playground according to plans by Aleš Vodopivec and Dušan Ogrin on the basis of a public tender. A large part of the park is occupied by sports grounds. Separating the city centre from the park itself by different roads has been aggressive. Despite its faults Tivoli remains a place for walks, meetings, children playing, and feeding squirrels. The park areas, with the exception of the children's playground, are open night and day.