Astro park on the hill in the city center is now open
Ozren Franić

Makarska got a unique children's playground with a solar system structure

It has been almost eight years since it was first mentioned as the future of the city's cultural and tourist offer, and on the plateau of the Monument to the NOB and the Makarska Observatory, the Astro Park was finally opened on Friday - the first scientific playground for children based on the concept of the Solar System, and also a unique project of its kind in Europe.

It is a place that, with its special combination of educational, scientific and entertaining content, is destined to be one of the highlights of Makarska's tourist and cultural offer. On the other hand, today's opening of the Astro Park also represents the culmination of the work of the DAUP Orion Makarska association, the founder of the Makarska Observatory, which is now, together with the newly opened children's playground, rounded up into a unique scientific-educational 'reserve' in the city center. It is not surprising, therefore, that today's opening ceremony was attended by a large number of visitors, both children and adults, who were greeted with a performance by the Makarska City Band before the welcoming speeches of the guests.

Makarska City Band

Astro Park Makarska is a triple work of art

The backdrop (Monument to NOB) was built by architect Matija Salaj, the parterre and project were designed by architect Goran Juričić, and these beautiful sculptures were created by our academic sculptor Vice Glibota. What the city gains with it is a permanently open art exhibition, an open educational center for children and young people, a new unique tourist attraction, but also a new public park area. Today, we have gained a space that is accessible to all children for education about life and the world around us. I hope that the role of Astro Park will be exactly what we want, and that is to expand children's horizons and knowledge through recreation, socializing, and communication - said the satisfied president of DAUP Orion Gloryan Grabner, who took the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the idea presented in 2009 becoming a finished project today: Maja Novaković from the County Technical Culture Community, Lidija Vukadin Vranješ, Split-Dalmatia County, former representative Jakša Baloević, SABA of Makarska Primorje, as well as the contractor Mata, while he highlighted the mayor Tonći Bilić as the most deserving individual who, he said, advocated for the project from day one and lobbied for its realization.

Amidst laughter and joy of gathered children, today I opened the Astro Park - the first such educational and amusement park in Europe for which a portion of the funding was secured from non-refundable funds.

A good example of cooperation between the public and civil sectors

I am happy that after two years of intensive work, we have realized this project, as a true example of good practice of collaboration between the public and civil sector, i.e. Orion Association and the City of Makarska. Everyone remembers how this space looked before the construction works. Today, it is a completely different picture - on one side is the Monument to the People's Liberation Struggle and the square where cultural events take place, and on the other is the Observatory with Astro Park, making this space finally a complete and organized unit.

"First and foremost I want to thank the Ministry of Tourism for recognizing the value and tourism potential of the project and co-financing it, and am expressing gratitude to everyone who helped in its realization" said the Mayor Bilić in his speech, after which the newly opened Astro park was blessed by Father Pavao Banić.