Paks, Gardens, and beautiful public places are part of the St. Petersburg tour, which many tourists would love to visit during their trip to Russia. There are lots of places that you can visit on your tour to Russia to witness the beauty of this city, including gardens, such as Mikhailovsky Garden, imperial estates, such as Peterhof, and public parks, such as the Summer Garden. There’s also one place that was initially established as a pharmaceutical garden for the Russain Army in 1714. However, now, it’s one of the top attractive sites of St. Petersburg tour, The Botanical Garden.
When Peter the Great had issued an order to establish a herb garden to grow medicinal plants for the Russian army in 1714, he didn’t think that he was establishing one of the greatest botanical gardens in Europe and possibly the world. Although Initially, its goal was to provide medical plants for the army, soon enough, it grew into one of the greatest botanical gardens in St. Petersburg, where people had brought many types of rare herbs, seeds, exotic plants, and saplings to the institute for scientific porpuses. In the first decade of its establishment, the Botanical Garden went from medical plant provider for the army into one of Europe’s top horticultural research centers. Peter the Great called it the Pharmaceutical Garden. However, in the 18th century, it was also called Medical Garden, but at the end of the 18th century, the pharmaceutical garden was transferred to the Medical and Surgical Academy, and they used it as their botanical garden. Prince Viktor Pavlovich Kochubey suggested that the botanical should be under the imperial court jurisdiction, and should run as the Imperial Botanical Garden in 1832. After that recognition, the botanical garden grew even faster and soon became one of the top botanical gardens of Europe.
Throughout the 19th century, many prominent scientists had worked and searched inside the Imperial Botanical Garden, including Eduard August von Regel. Regel was a German botanist who had a particular fascination with sorts Allium. During his career as the director of the Russian Imperial Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg, he had identified several unknown species, including 60 of the alliums that we know of today. He also wrote two monographs about the plants in the Russian Far East. If you visit this place today during your tour to Russia, many of those alliums can be seen in the Northern Yard. From 1897, Konstantin George Alexander Winkler acquired the title of head botanist of Russian Imperial Botanical Garden. During his career, he managed to reorganize the greenhouses and herbaria and their collections, which was a huge change for the garden at that time. After him, Boris Fedtschenko had become the head botanist of the garden, and during his time, multiple books had been written about his teams’ investigation in Caucusus, Serbia, Middle Asia, and Asiatic Russia. On the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Russian Imperial Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg named after Peter the Great. However, a few years later, after the October Revolution, all the imperial titles had been changed, such as the Imperial Botanical Garden, which changed to the Main Botanical Garden of the RSFSR. It was after the foundation of the new country of the USSR and in 1925 when the garden’s name had changed once again to the Botanical Garden of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In 1714, there was another botanical institute in St. Petersburg, which came from Kunstkamera’s collection, in the 19th century, that collection laid the foundation for the Imperial Academy of Sciences’ Botanical Museum; So, at the beginning of the 20th century, there were two different botanical institutes, one was the current botanical garden, and the other was the Botanical Museum on Vasilievsky Island. Those two institutes were merged into one at the beginning of the second third of the 20th century as the Botanical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. They created the most prominent botanical institute of Russia, Europe, and probably the world at the time. One of the most tragic events that happened in St. Petersburg was the Siege of Leningrad during the Second World War, in which the city was under the siege for about 900 days, and people had to chop down trees, grew vegetables on the historic sites, and many more things to survive. Although some of the collections of the botanical garden were destroyed, such as unique examples of palms, cacti, and ferns, but despite all the hunger and needs of fuel to keep people warm, the collection remained untouched by the people. After the war, the Botanical Garden was one of the first institutes that went under reconstruction, and its collection was almost replaced. Currently, the Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg is one of the best places to see rare plants and unique examples of trees on tour to Russia.
When you visit the Botanical Garden on your Russia tour, you will find 25 greenhouses in the garden, which only some of them are open to the public. However, in those that are open, you can find large collections of azaleas and other Ericaceae, cacti and other succulents, ferns, multiple tropical plants, the 23-meter-high palm tree, a rare collection of orchids, and many more interesting things that you will find there on your tour to Russia. One of the greenhouses also has a pond, in which you can see a beautiful collection of Victoria amazonica. These greenhouses are part of the reason why people should visit this garden on their tour to Russia.
Another attraction of the Botanical Garden is its 16 hectares outer park, which is mostly organized as an English Garden. The park includes an amazing rock garden as well in front of the Palm tree greenhouse. While the garden is open all the time for tourists who have the desire to visit this attraction on their tour to Russia, the outer park is closed between October to May due to the possibility of seasonal flooding. Still, you can enjoy this park during your travel to Russia from May to October.
There’s also a museum inside the Botanical Garden, which has more than 80 thousand exhibits in its collection, mostly from Peter the Great’s Kunstkamera’s herbarium collection. The museum covers four main topics; the history and evolution of plants, the vegetation of Earth; the floral resources of Russia, and the plants and the man. Each one of these topics will educate you in different ways. If you visit this museum on your tour to Russia without knowing anything about plants, you can leave it having as much knowledge about plants as an amateur botanist. This museum is good for both children and adults, so we recommend it to our Russia tour program.
One of the most amazing events at this institute happens during May when the rare, tropical Queen of the Night flower blossoms for only one night. This event attracts lots of people and tourists to this institute, and if you were lucky and happen to be on tour to Russia during May, we recommend you visit it on your tour to St. Petersburg. Because of this event, the museum will be open until late at night.
The Botanical Garden is part of the parks, gardens, and beautiful places that you should visit during your travel to Russia. If you want to learn about other beautiful places and top Russia attractive places, which you can see on your tour to Russia, you can always check out our weblog at the Star Travel Group.