Visit Botanical Garden of Saint Petersburg
St. Petersburg’s Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens of Russia. When you plan your travel to Saint Petersburg, take some time to visit it and you won’t be disappointed. You can combine your visit with our guided tours of Free Tour Russia Saint Petersburg. Click here for more information.
Get to know Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden
Like many other places in St. Petersburg, a botanical garden was built by order of Peter I. A little over a hundred years after, it was called “The Apothecary Garden” and, according to its name, mainly used for the cultivation of a variety of medicinal herbs. Besides, there was a big collection of so-called “curious” or exotic plants. The garden grew very fast. Almost immediately after the construction, its territory occupied almost 23 hectares. The island where the Botanical Garden is located also called Aptekarsky (transferred from the word “apothecary”).
A new reorganization of the garden occurred at the beginning of the XVII century during the reign of Alexander I. New greenhouses were built, the largest swimming pool in Europe was created, which remains unique to this day. In these years, the number of plants was determined, the collection was actively replenished. For example, a copy of Todea barbara was brought from South Africa; its estimated age was about 2,000 years. By the beginning of the 20th century, Botanical Garden collection consisted of 26,000 species.
During the war and the siege of Leningrad, botanical garden collections of plants suffered greatly. But more than 200 species of cacti, several copies of cycads and several palm seedlings were saved. Restoration of the greenhouse collection began in the spring of 1943. Seeds of subtropical cultures were brought from the Batumi garden, spores of ferns taken from plants frozen in the winter of 1941-42 were sown, plants from other greenhouses of the city and from individuals were collected.
The modern greenhouse collection has more than 13,000 taxa. Most of the collection is grown from seeds obtained from other botanical gardens, about a third of the collection consists of species brought from places of natural growth.
What to see in St.Petersburg Botanical Garden
Orangery complex of the Peter the Great Botanical Garden is the fifth largest collection in the world, the largest northern collection. Park-arboretum of the Botanical Garden is one of the oldest parks in Russia. The whole territory is divided into 145 plots. In the greenhouses are regular tours on three routes, which content is different depending on the time of the year. There is a botanical museum in the park. The museum expositions are devoted to the vegetation of the Earth, the evolution of the plant world, the place of plants in human life. Botanical exhibitions and festivals, lectures and master classes are often held in the garden.
The botanical garden is open from 10:00 to 16:30, but you can walk until 18:00. Monday is a day off.