The arboretum of Trsteno was created at the 15th century by a family patrician of Raguse, Gučetić (Italian Gozze), around its country house; Gučetić required of the captains of ship to bring back their voyages of the seeds and plants to them.
The park, of a surface of 25 ha, preserves more than 300 plant species.
The residence of summer of Ivan Marinov Gučetić, with a chapel and a park, was built in a Gothic style Renaissance towards the end of the 15th century (1494-1502); it was rebuilt after the earthquake in 1667.
The arboretum occupies a special place among the old parks of Raguse, Dalmatia and the Mediterranean because of its five centuries of continuous development, since the gothic script Renaissance, the Renaissance baroque, and of the romantic forms until our days. It understands a park of the Gothic Rebirth surrounding the residence of summer of the 15th century, which is a monument of the architecture of garden, and the park neoromantic of the 19th century, Drvarica.
This beautiful park evokes with wonder art of living and to garden with the Rebirth. The residence of summer of Gučetić very quickly became one of the humanistic arts centres of Raguse, and many poets ragusains wrote there their poems, the such poetess Cvijeta Zuzorić.
The pride of the arboretum are the two plane trees of the East located in a small public garden in front of the arboretum. They are old of more than 400 years and would be single specimens of their botanical species (Platanus orientalis) in Europe where it was replaced by the common plane tree (Platanus occidentalis). These old trees are both 60 m height and their trunks are 5 m in diameter. These two enormous plane trees announce the entry of the arboretum.
The arboretum shelters many exotic or rare plant species (giant plane trees, palm trees, eucalyptus, camphor trees). One maintains there also a broad sample the Mediterranean flora.
The park consists of a succession of paths bordered of stone columns, driving with small harbors with the varied topics, like that of the fountain of Neptune.
In 1736, an old Renaissance fountain was transformed into a fountain baroque representing Neptune, the god of the sea and water, and the Nymphs, with its cave, its statues and its streaming water.
The exact date of the beginning of the arboretum is unknown, but there existed already in 1492, when a 70 m length aqueduct, including 15 m in its air part with four arches, was built in order to irrigate the arboretum; this aqueduct, evoking the Roman presence, is always in function.
The park is completed by a pleasant terrace dominating the sea.
The arboretum of Trsteno was nationalized in 1948, then became the property of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and arts two years later.
In 1962, the arboretum was registered on the list of the list of the natural monuments protected like monument from landscape architecture. The protected area covers approximately 255,000 m².
It underwent extensive damages during the Yugoslav war when, October 2nd and 3rd, 1991, the Yugoslav popular Army launched a series of maritime and air attacks which set fire to the arboretum, destroying most of this one, and causing damage partial with the residence of summer and the oldest part of the arboretum. The arboretum seriously was also damaged in 2000 by a forest fire for one period of drought, where nearly 120,000 m² were devastated by fire.
While arising from the park, to take on the right and descend the steps in the middle of the bougainvilleas, kitchen gardens and planted orchards of citrus fruits, kiwis and bay-trees, to the tiny port below located the arboretum.