Vul. Cheremshyny, 44 – botanical garden (former Tsetnerivka park)
The main territory of the botanical garden of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University is situated at the foot of Lviv’s eastern hills, in the vicinity of the former Lychakivske suburb, near the Pohulianka forest park. Its present-day address is Marka Cheremshyny street 44. The area is notable for a mixed character of its relief. Once it was the territory of the so-called Tsetnerivka (Cetnerówka), a legendary Lviv park of the late 18th - 1st half of the 19th centuries. In 1911 the Tsetnerivka was purchased by the university with the purpose of the botanical collections development. Now there are conservatories, flowerbeds, and an arboretum. The botanical garden of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University is one of the leading scientific institutions of Ukraine; its flora collections consist of about 5000 taxons of plants.
The first projects of founding a botanical garden in Lviv stipulated that it should be created on the basis of a garden plot belonging to one of the abolished suburban monasteries. Thus, in the late 18th century it was planned that the former missionaries’ monastery garden, situated in Zhovkivske suburb, would be used for this purpose. Another botanical garden existed for a short time on the grounds of the Dominican nuns’ convent in the neighbourhood of Kopernika street. Yet another botanical garden was founded by professor Ernst Wittmann in 1832 near the town shooting gallery on Kurkowa (now Lysenka) street. Finally, in 1852 professor Hiacynt Łobarzewski founded a botanical garden of the Lviv University on the place of an old garden plot belonging to the former Trinitarian monastery and located on present-day Kyryla i Mefodiya street 4 (Finkel, Starzyński, 1894, 325; Jaworski, 1911, 302-303). In 1911 the university purchased for its botanical garden an additional plot in the neighbourhood of the former Lychakivske suburb; it was the territory of the so-called Tsetnerivka, a historic Lviv park of the late 18th - 1st half of the 19th centuries.
Tsetnerivka has its own glorious history. It was founded in the late 18th century by Ignacy Cetner, a rich magnate and a former voivode of Belz, a lover of art and a collector (Jaworski, 1911, 297-301). Cetner collected old books, coins, engravings, and minerals but above all he was fond of botany. He built his residence in the environs of Lviv, to the east of what is now the historic center, and founded his private park nearby, on the edge of the forest. Cetner was a caring amateur gardener who grew flowers and trees by himself working in his garden. As a historian wrote, “there were not only local but also outlandish trees there; they stood in nicely arranged groups, American pines with black beeches and ashes, acacias with maples, weeping birches with oaks… Cetner’s greenhouses were famous for their most valuable and rare kinds of flowers. In the park, there were summerhouses, benches, a small well hidden in the shadow of the trees; there were also swans swimming in the pond” (Крип’якевич, 1991, 97). According to another author, “it was nice here in the first years of the last [19th] century. A road twisted between the rocks; it was built of stone and lined with most diverse trees, with some rare botanical species among them. An enchanting pond and an estate, beautifully arranged inside, were fringed with well-attended lawns and flowerbeds. No trace of this can be seen today, and only the old trees are still talking about the wonderful past time” (Stankiewicz, 1928, 69). So Tsetnerivka went down in history as one of legendary parks famous in the Romantic period. In the mid-to-late 19th century the Cetner’s park fell into decay, and in the early 20th century its territory was purchased by the university.
The university’s botanical garden was organized at Tsetnerivka in 1911. According to Mieczysław Orłowicz, after the World War II its area was 14 ha (Orłowicz, 1925, 10, 240). From 1924 the garden was managed by professor Stanisław Kulczyński, the organizer of the plant morphology and systematics department at the Jan Kazimierz University. His principal purpose was to create a garden museum of Poland’s flora; seeds and living plants were brought there by numerous expeditions. The mixed and diverse topography of Tsetnerivka helped to recreate different kinds of flora: that of water bodies, marshes, woodlands, meadows, forest-steppe. In the interwar period the garden was enclosed with a fence; its central building was reconstructed (Богданова, Дідик, Максим’юк, 2008, 572).
During the World War II the botanical garden of the Lviv University suffered considerable losses as its hothouse plants perished while alpine and subalpine species were virtually lost. After the war was over, the recovery work started in the garden. Its area was increased to 104 ha due to the addition of some plots of the neighbouring locality of Pohulianka which had belonged to the Armenian episcopate and private owners. A site plan for the further development of the botanical garden was designed in the late 1950s; however, it has not been realized (Дідик, Максим’юк, Мих, 2008, 640). In the following decades the garden started to lose its territory; a major part of its area was separated and merged with the forest park of Pohulianka. A plot with rare steppe plants was lost in the 1970s; the ponds were neglected. The botanical garden area was reduced to 16.5 ha. A conservatory complex with a total area of 1250 sq. m. was constructed in the garden’s territory in the 1970s.
As of today, the structure of the botanical garden of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University consists of five scientific departments, those of dendrology, natural herbaceous flora, cultivated flora and landscape gardening, tropical and subtropical plants, as well as that of plant physiology and biochemistry. The collections, located on two plots (Kyryla i Mefodiya street 4 and Marka Cheremshyny street 44), represent the wealth of both Ukraine’s flora and plants from different parts of the world.
The botanical garden of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University occupies a plot in the vicinity of the former Lychakivske suburb, at the foot of an upland surrounding the city center from the east. On the map, this plot looks like an irregular polygon which wedges in the Pohulianka forest park area from the east and south. It borders on the university sports complex in the northeast and on Banakha street in the northwest, the street separating it from Lychakivsky cemetery. The new area of the university botanical garden is notable for a mixed and diverse character of its relief. The garden was founded on sandy slopes, partially covered with beech forest; consequently, apprehensions were expressed that the newly acquired territory was not suitable for scientific gardening. However, it was just the specific combination of natural conditions (water bodies, a moist valley, and a neighbouring upland with differently exposed slopes and a dry plateau) that provided the possibility to artificially reproduce complexes of different vegetation on a compact territory.
Topographically, the garden is divided into two parts: an upper terrace situated on the northern side of the plot and a hollow with a pond in the south. In the central part of the northern plateau, there are parterre flower beds and experimental beds divided by regularly laid-out orthogonal lanes. The south part, located closer to the Pohulianka forest park, is occupied by an arboretum. The buildings of scientific departments are scattered over the territory; the most notable is a conservatory complex situated in the southwestern part of the plot. A part of the tropical and subtropical plants collection can be seen here. The botanical garden plot at Tsetnerivka (Marka Cheremshyny street 44) has an area of 16.5 ha. Besides, there is an old university botanical garden with an area of 2.5 ha in the central part of the city (Kyryla i Mefodiya street 4). According to the official website of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University’s botanical garden, the garden’s plant collection consists of about 5000 taxons, including 1025 species and forms of trees and bushes, 720 natural herbaceous species, 1095 cultivated herbaceous plants, 1630 tropical and subtropical plants.
- Stanisław Kulczyński – Polish botanist, politician, professor at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv and at the University of Wroclaw.
Hiacynt Łobarzewski – a professor of mineralogy, botany and
zoology who founded the university’s old botanical garden (Kyryla i Mefodiya
Ernst Wittmann – a professor who founded a botanical garden near the town shooting gallery on Kurkowa (now Lysenka) street.
Ignacy Cetner – a rich magnate and a former voivode of Belz, a lover of art, collector and amateur gardener.
Stanisław Kulczyński – a professor, the organizer of the plant morphology and systematics department at the Jan Kazimierz University, who managed the botanical garden.
1. Finkel L.,
Starzyński S., Historya Uniwersytetu Lwowskiego (Lwów, 1894).
2. Jaworski F., Lwόw stary i wczorajszy (szkice i opowiadania): Z ilustracyami. Wydanie drugie poprawione (Lwów, 1911).
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4. Stankiewicz Z., Ogrody i plantacje miejskie, Lwów dawny i dzisiejszy: Praca zbiorowa pod redakcja B. Janusza (Lwów, 1928), 62-71.
5. Богданова Ю., Дідик В., Максим’юк Т., Садово-паркова архітектура, Архітектура Львова: Час і стилі ХІІІ–ХХІ ст. (Львів: Центр Європи, 2008), 570-573.
6. Дідик В., Максим’юк Т., Мих Р., Садово-паркова архітектура, Архітектура Львова: Час і стилі ХІІІ–ХХІ ст. (Львів: Центр Європи, 2008), 637-643.
7. Крип’якевич Іван, Історичні проходи по Львові (Львів: Каменяр, 1991).
Material compiled by Ihor Zhuk