Riga is widely known for its parks and gardens. The art of parks in Riga started to rapidly develop in the first half of the 18th century. The first significant town planning measures were the establishment of two gardens: the so-called Tsar Forest at Gustavsals or Pētersals (the first Tsar garden) and at the Alexander bastions. Initially the parks were conceived as a part of an ensemble of the Tsar’s palaces, which were to be built in these places. Later, however, the citizens of Riga were able to utilize these parks for their rest and recreation.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a plot of land given to the town by the widow of the merchant Vērmanis was planted with trees and shrubs. In line with the terms of the gift deed, this park was open to the public. In due course the park expanded and became one of the most remarkable open spaces in the city.