In the Roman times, the space of the square was part of the urban settlement Singidunum. As regards the Middle Ages, there are not many data regarding its appearance and purpose in that period.
In the 18th century, during the Austrian occupation of Belgrade, it was used for military maneuvers and in the Turkish period it served as a praying site and as a cemetery.
The cemetery remained here until 1860s. In the middle of the 19th century administrative and educational buildings were built in the square and in 1863 was constructed the Palace of Captain Miša. At first this was a mansion of this wealthy merchant, Mr. Miša Anastasijevic, and subsequently it was donated to the Great School ( today this is the seat of the Rectory of the Belgrade University ) .
In the 1820s, or more precisely in 1824, on the abandoned part of the cemetery, opposite to today’ s old University building, the Serbian authorities opened a marketplace, known as’ the Great Marketplace ‘ . It remained open until 1927. At the same time, the Turks fenced in the remaining ( smaller ) part of their cemetery in order to prevent its further destruction. In the following years, after the Turks left, this area was turned into a field. It was Mr. Emilijan Josimovic, the first Serbian urban planner, who in 1867 came to the idea of turning it into a green area.
The works on implementing of Josimovic’ s proposal did not start until spring 1886 and they were finished in 1889.
After Josif Pancic, famous biologist and the first President of the Serbian Academy of Sciences, died in 1888, his monument was erected here in 1897. Three decades later, in 1927 the Great Marketplace was closed and instead of it here was built the park that nowadays we call the Academic Park. The little park finished in 1889 became part of the new, big park.The fence around the park was built in 1929.
Apart from the already mentioned monument to Josif Pancic, in the park there are also monuments to Dositej Obradovic, Serbian educator and to Jovan Cvijic, geographer and one of the presidents of the Serbian Academy of Sciences.
The Park occupies 1. 4 hectares.