The Zoological Garden Hof

The gem not only kids love

In 1954, a zoo was opened in the Theresienstein in Hof. The Hof Zoo which back then was rather justifiably called ‚Kleinzoo‘ (small zoo) came into being more or less by chance. The aquarium club, which had its club house there, built small ponds for water fleas which they used as live foods for aquarium fish. Around the ponds, gradually more and more cages and aviaries were built which housed sick animals from the area in need of asylum and a new home. Little by little, more and more Hofer came to see the animals. In 1955, one year after its formation, 2500 visitors had already been to the zoo. In 1957, the club put up a small aquarium house as part of their honorary work. Since then, visitors had to pay an entrance fee.

The basement area of the building is to this day used as a small mammal house.

The 60s
The grand opening of the zoo restaurant and the club house was  in 1964. The zoo grew more and more in popularity among the locals. At the beginning of the 70s, about 30,000 visitors went to the zoo annually. From the mid-70s on, stagnation regarding the development of the zoo started to set in. The zoo grew so ‚big‘ that the club alone was not able to finance it through own resources. Closing it down was considered.

Reconstruction and Modernization
During this period, the city of Hof got involved. Closing down the zoo was ruled out completely. The people of Hof had grown fond of the zoo as it had already been in existence for over 30 years. Moreover, it was and still is the only zoological garden in Upper Franconia. It was then decided to reconstruct and modernize the zoo. The city of Hof granted financial aids. By the year 1987, the stables and the monkey house were built. Both of these buildings have been preserved. The zoo was expanded by one third.

Horticultural Show in Hof
The next big step in the further development of the zoo was the Horticultural Show in Hof in 1994. More plots were added to the park. The main item of the expansion was the new construction of a reptile house and three spacious free-flight aviaries. The zoo was architecturally redesigned and it was opened visually towards the Theresienstein in order to merge the two facilities.

A Geological Garden was set up at the entrance of the zoo. It represents a model of northern Upper Franconia, the Fichtelgebirge, the Münchberger Masse and the Franconian Forest – also, the course of the Saale and its tributaries. The rivers and streams of the park really transport water so that children can playfully experience the diversity of rocks occuring in Upper Franconia while splashing around in the water on hot summer days. The educational value of this model park should not be underestimated. The region High Franconia is among the stone richest areas of the world. About 80 different rocks of the most important rock types that also mirror the spatially authentic, geological formation of Upper Franconia were gathered in the Geological Garden. In the center of the garden, directly adjacent to the Saale, a model of an 18th century Hof made out of granite is artistically portrayed.

With this, the zoo is now part of the three-section complex furthermore consisting of the Botanical Garden and the Geological Garden.  


Zoologische Gesellschaft Hochfranken e.V.
Zoo-Leiterin Sandra Dollhäupl 
Alte Plauener Straße 40
95028 Hof

Telefon   +49 (0)9281 85429
Telefax  +49 (0)9281 839660
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Opening hours

Summer time: 9 am - 6 pm

Winter time: 9 am - 4 pm