Vul. Kyryla i Mefodia – The Old University Botanical Garden
The old botanical garden of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University is situated in the central part of the city, at the foot of the northeastern slope of the Kalicha hill. Its present-day address is Kyryla i Mefodiya street 4. The University garden was founded in 1852 by professor Hiacynt Łobarzewski on the place of a garden plot belonging to the former Trinitarian monastery. The project was designed by Karl Bauer, an inspector of Lviv’s urban plantations. At present, there are flowerbeds, a conservatory, hothouses (in particular, for tropical and subtropical species), and an arboretum on the old botanical garden’s territory. A considerable number of the objects making up this complex have survived since the mid-19th century and are valuable historical monuments.
The old botanical garden of the Lviv University was founded in 1852 by Hiacynt Łobarzewski, a professor of mineralogy, botany and zoology. A plot allocated for this purpose was situated near the university building, a former Jesuit convict which was transferred to the possession of the Lviv Emperor Joseph University in 1851. The old university building was burnt during the 1848 riot when the city was bombarded by Austrian Artillery (Крип'якевич, 1991, 110-111). A plot allocated for this purpose was situated near the university building, a former Jesuit convict which was transferred to the possession of the Lviv Emperor Joseph University in 1851. Some projects of creating a botanical garden in Lviv were designed as early as the late 18th century. Initially, it had to be planted on a plot belonging to the former missionaries’ monastery located on present-day Kryvonosa street. 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 23a. Professor Łobarzewski continued the tradition of the previous decades: it was specified in his project that the scientific botanical garden would be developed on the basis of a former monastery plot, the Trinitarian monastery garden. After the monastery was abolished, the garden was taken care for by a parish priest of the St. Nicholas church (its present-day address is Hrushevskoho street 2). The initiative to restore and expand the “post-Trinitarian” plantations under the auspices of the university was supported by count Agenor Gołuchowski, the governor of Galicia (Wiczkowski, 1907, 245).
As researchers reported in the late 19th century, in 1855 Łobarzewski “was given a skilful and gifted gardener, Karl Bauer from Vienna, at a salary of 400 guldens” (Finkel, Starzyński, 1894, 325). Eventually, Bauer became an inspector of urban plantations and a prominent figure in the history of Lviv gardening. So, the initial stage of Karl Bauer’s career was connected with the organization of the university botanical garden. It was Bauer who designed the Jesuit Garden’s (now the Ivan Franko park) layout, as well as that of Lychakivsky cemetery and the lanes at Wały Gubernatorskie . The botanical garden design can be considered one of his most known works. Zygmunt Stankiewicz wrote: “Under Bauer’s care, a real green paradise blossomed here again, enlarged due to several neighbouring grounds which had been bought to construct hothouses and garden buildings” (Stankiewicz, 1928, 66).
It is worth mentioning that during twenty years between the revolutionary events of 1848 and the introduction of the Galician autonomy several new plantations were founded in Lviv on the grounds belonging to scientific and educational institutions. Apart from the university, Stankiewicz also mentions a school for the deaf and mute, an orphanage, and the Ossoliński scientific institute; the authorship of the newly created gardens he associates also with the name of Karl Bauer.
In 1862 Adolf Weiss, a newly appointed professor, found the university botanical garden completely arranged, with a new high conservatory and three smaller hothouses constructed in its territory; consequently, Weiss was able to concentrate on the project of the university museum development. From 1872 the position of the professor of botany was held by Teofil Ciesielski who constructed a pool for water and marsh plants, founded an experimental plot for testing fertilizers and provided the hothouses with double panes. From 1889 he was assisted by gardener Adam Błażek, an “inspector” of the botanical garden, who controlled the construction of four new hothouses (Wiczkowski, 1907, 246-247).
In the 1890s the garden lost a part of its territory due to the construction of the chemistry faculty building (Kyryla i Mefodiya street 6). In the first years of the 20th century its area was reduced again because of the construction of the university library (Drahomanova street 5).
In 1911 the university purchased for its botanical garden a new plot at Tsetnerivka (Cetnerówka; Marka Cheremshyny street 44) with the purpose of enlarging the collection funds. However, an intensive scientific work was done also on the old “post-Trinitarian” plot; in particular, collections of endemic plants were developed. Before the World War II the chief function of the garden was to provide university studies of plant morphology and systematics.
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, plant physiology and biochemistry. The garden’s collections are located on two plots (Kyryla i Mefodiya street 4; Marka Cheremshyny street 44); according to the official website, they consist 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.
At present, there are hothouses (in particular, with collections of tropical and subtropical species), a conservatory, flowerbeds, open experimental beds, and a small arboretum on the old botanical garden plot located on Kyryla i Mefodiya street 4.
The old botanical garden of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University is situated in the central part of the city, to the south of the historic center where the old Halytske suburb was located; this plot was once occupied by the Trinitarian monastery’s garden.
The botanical garden is a part of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University campus. On its outer perimeter it is surrounded by the university buildings: the scientific library (Drahomanova street 5 and 17), the biology faculty (the old university building located in the former Jesuit convict on Hrushevskoho street 4), the chemistry faculty (Kyryla i Mefodiya street 6). The garden’s area is about 2.5 ha. Its present-day address is Kyryla i Mefodiya street 4.
The plot is situated on a sloped terrain, at the foot of the northeastern slope of the Kalicha mountain, between two parallel streets, Drahomanova and Kyryla i Mefodiya. Its outline resembles an irregular square. Topographically, it can be divided into two parts, an upper terrace in the south, with parterre flower beds and hothouses, and a lower northern part where an arboretum has been planted and laid out in an irregular manner.
The arboretum territory lies in the inner angle between the biology faculty and the scientific library buildings. According to the official website, there is a 12-meter-high European yew and a 25-meter-high European beech with a crown 15 meters in diameter among its oldest and biggest trees. Some alien plants also are notable for their considerable size, for example, a European larch is 28 meters high, a Weymouth pine is 30 meters high, and a black walnut is 36 meters high. The arboretum is a calm “oasis” in the core of the modern lively city.
The southern part, the garden’s upper terrace adjoining the chemistry faculty building, has a regular layout. The main historic buildings making up its complex have survived since the mid-19th century (Wiczkowski, 1907, 246) and thus are valuable architecural and historical monuments. The Neo-Gothic style motifs can be seen in the decoration of some objects. In this part of the garden, there are flowerbeds with geometrically laid-out lanes, open experimental beds, an old conservatory constructed of metal structures, and hothouses with collections of tropical and subtropical plants (in particular, araceae, bromeliaceae, dracaenae, orchidaceae, and arecaceae or palm trees) built as far back as the time of professor Łobarzewski.
Agenor Gołuchowski – a count and governor of Galicia.
Adam Błażek – a gardener, “inspector” of the botanical garden.
Adold Josef Weis – a professor of botany, director of the botanical garden of the Lviv University (1862-1871).
Hiacynt Łobarzewski – a professor of mineralogy, botany and zoology who founded the university botanical garden.
Ernst Wittmann – a professor who founded a botanical garden on Lysenka street.
Karl Bauer – an inspector of urban plantations and a prominent figure in the history of Lviv gardening.
Teofil Ciesielski – a professor of botany.
1. Finkel L.,
Starzyński S., Historya Uniwersytetu Lwowskiego (Lwów, 1894).
2. Stankiewicz Z., Ogrody i plantacje miejskie, Lwów dawny i dzisiejszy: Praca zbiorowa pod redakcja B. Janusza (Lwów, 1928), 62-71.
3. Wiczkowski J., Lwów: jego rozwoj i stan kulturalny oraz przewodnik pomieście (Lwów, 1907).
4. Крип’якевич Іван, Історичні проходи по Львові (Львів: Каменяр, 1991).
Material compiled by Ihor Zhuk