The Sárvár arboretum is one of the oldest collections in Hungary. The earliest documents from Vas county already mention the arboretum in Sárvár. Its predecessor was founded in 1546 as a fruit and vegetable garden.
It flourished until 1671 when the judge royal, Ferenc Nádasdy III., was beheaded and all his possessions confiscated for his participation in the Wesselényi conspiracy. Thus the famous garden deteriorated, however, a few fruit trees and oaks preserved the memory of the glorious past.
In 1803, the garden came into knowing hands. Ferdinand of Habsburg, the Archduke of Este-Modena purchased the castle and all surrounding areas. Recreating the run-down garden was a noble, yet difficult task. Fruit trees were planted in one part, on the other areas the English garden was established, keeping old trees and oaks. Sycamore trees with a diameter of more than three meters were planted in 1812. There were mostly yews, Japanese pagoda trees and lime tress planted to meet the fashion requirements of that time. The Gyöngyös-brook crossing the area provided the proper climate, and the fishpond kept the continuous groundwater stable.
Count Ludwig from Bavaria inherited the garden (and of course the castle as well) in 1868 and brought experience and ideas of the famous Bavarian forest stewardship. His forestry experts reshaped the low-value meadow forests around the town. Due to their work, the forests around Sárvár are famous all over Hungary. His experts also paid attention to inaugurating the castle park. Károly Scherg mentioned 123 tree and bush species in his article published in the Forestry Paper 1932.
The Second World War did not do much damage to the arboretum. The local forest stewardship took over the maintenance and after major restoration works were implemented the National Environmental Council put it under protection in 1952. A year later, the Forestry Institute was given the task of implementing management and development works. Ferenc Kopeczky began the works following the advice of István Bánó and József Retkes and as a result, the number of taxa doubled. His followers continued his work. Today, there 300 tree and bush species in the arboretum.
With regard to its flora, the arboretum can theoretically be split into two parts. One part is the remnant of the flooded forest which gives an insight into conditions prior to the urbanisation. Here you can find 400-years-old English oaks, ash trees, along with younger field elms surrounding the one-hectare fishpond along with common mixed species and bushes of the floodplain forest.
The other part of the arboretum is the classic arboretum where the image you can see today is the result of works having begun 200 years earlier. Here you can find the most valuable species. The landscape is dominated by 200-year-old sycamore trees, yews, Japanese pagoda trees, bully trees and black pines, along with one-leaved ashes. Later on, there were 100-130-year-old magnolias (Magnolia denudata, M. hypoleuca, M. kobus, M. liliiflora Nigra, M. tripetala) planted, however, there are many rhododendron and azalea species enjoying the..
A lake system consisting of four parts on an area on hectares can be found in the vicinity of the spa.
Five bridges connecting five islands, with mallards nesting on them, complete this experience. In the summer you can fish or row, in winter you can ice-skate on the lake.