One of Utrecht’s Oldest Parks Includes an Exciting Animal Sanctuary!

From Family Farm to Public Park

The history of Juliana Park starts with the wealthy Kol family’s estate in Utrecht in the late 1800s. By the turn of the century they had commissioned the Louis Copijn Architects to turn the area around their farm into an English walking garden. Soon everyone knew the area as ‘Kol’s Garden’, a sanctuary where the town’s elite could stroll in peace. Two decades later in 1928, the family sold the land to the municipality on the condition that it would stay a park for at least 100 years. The city made the 25 acres a public space in 1935, and named it after a visit by Queen Juliana.

Since then the Antje Drijver Pavillion has been constructed and the property has become a registered animal sanctuary – with deer, alpacas, goats, pigs, and waterfowl in attendance. Moreover, the park is locally famous for the many arrogant free-range chickens wandering about, with fresh eggs you can buy in season when available.

Long Nights without Lights

The park’s operating times change throughout the year, but generally the facility is open from ‘dawn to dusk’ on most days. This is because there is no public lighting available inside and therefore the park cannot be open safely for too long after dark. Luckily, officials do a sweep after dark to make sure visitors are not locked in for the night. Moreover, the many farm animals in residence also appreciate these flexible hours, so their biological clock may adjust accordingly.

In October 2014, Juliana Park joined three other Utrecht parks as a national monument with a protected status – ensuring its survival for another 100 years! Julianapark stands as a testament to ecological stewardship, historical continuity, and communal well-being—a living laboratory where nature and urban life intersect.

Kol Family uttecht
KOL FAMILY CREST - QUEEN JULIANA 1935 - JAN KOL III
Free range chickens in Juliana park
ENTITLED NATIVE CHICKENS INVADE THE GREENSWAY
JP5 SIGN BEST 3
JULIANAPARK POSTCARD 1936
Nijnjte in Juliana park
NIJNTJE PLAYGROUND INAUGURATION 2024
RETAINING POND WITH ROCK FORMATIONS

Nijntje Makes an Important Appearance

The history of Juliana Park starts with the wealthy Kol family’s estate in Utrecht in the late 1800s. By the turn of the century they had commissioned the Louis Copijn Architects to turn the area around their farm into an English walking garden. Soon everyone knew the area as ‘Kol’s Garden’, a sanctuary where the town’s elite could stroll in peace. Two decades later in 1928, the family sold the land to the municipality of Utrecht on the condition that it would stay a park for at least 100 years. The city made the 25 acres a public park and named it after Queen Juliana’s visit there in 1935. Since then the Antje Drijver Pavillion has been constructed and the property has become a registered animal sanctuary – with deer, alpacas, goats, pigs, and waterfowl in attendance. Moreover, the park is locally famous for the many free-range chickens wandering about, with fresh eggs you can buy sometimes, when available.

Park Videos

The video above shows a 2000 year time lapse of the Domplein

Incredible aerial shots of the bell tower in clouds