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Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University

Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University
Kopernika Street 27
31-501 Cracow
Telefon: +48 12 421 26 20
Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University
Kopernika Street 27
31-501 Cracow
Informacje kontaktowe

hortus@uj.edu.pl

Adres: Kopernika Street 27 , 31-501 Cracow

Telefon: +48 12 421 26 20, +48 12 663 36 33
Faks: +48 12 12 663 36 24

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General information

Year of establishment: 1783

Area: 9.6 ha

Number of taxa: about 9 000

The Botanic Garden is one of the departments of the Institute of Botany, at the Jagiellonian University. The staff consists of research workers, technicians, gardeners and servicemen. The research work is closely connected to the scientific programme of the Institute and comprises taxonomy, plant geography, ecology, history of botany, and studies on protected and endangered plants, especially from the territory of the Carpathians. However, the didactic activity remains the basic function of the Garden. There are lectures and classes prepared for students of the University and other academic schools as well as for pupils from primary and secondary schools.

The territory of the Botanic Garden is divided into several sections. The main aim of the plant taxonomy section is to show natural relations among plant species and the general divisions of the plant kingdom. The group of protected and endangered plants of Polish flora includes plant species which need special protection in natural conditions. The section on genetics and variability shows chosen problems from this branch of botany, e.g. Mendel's laws, hybridisation, the ways in which new species or forms originate in nature, etc.

The flower ecology section presents the process of flower pollination and the adaptation of flowers to different pollinators. The morphological and ecological section includes various phenomena connected with seed dispersal and shows different morphological features which are the result of adaptation to environmental conditions. Visitors always show great interest in the section on medicinal plants - there are also other useful plants such as vegetables, fruits, seasoning herbs, fibre crops, dyeing and honey-yielding plants. The alpine gardens, imitating high mountain conditions, are devoted to the preservation of mountain plants. The water plants of temperate regions, mainly native, are grown in artificial lakes and pools. The Arboretum housing collection of trees and shrubs covers the largest area. It is partly arranged as a landscape park, but there are geographical groups representing trees from East Asia or Northern America, and ornamental groups, e.g. the collection of lilacs. Ornamental plants supplement and increase the aesthetic value of the specialist collections.

The collection of tropical plants is kept in three glasshouses:

  • "Victoria", in existence from the very beginning of the Garden. It is named after the water plant that grows in the pond in the hothouse;

  • "Holenderka (Dutch)", a small glasshouse especially designed for epiphytic plants, orchids, and other rare plants which should be kept out of public reach (this glasshouse is closed for visitors);

  • "Jubilee", consisting of a palm house and a long hothouse, divided into several compartments for different groups of plants (the name commemorates the 600th anniversary of the Jagiellonian University in 1964, when the glasshouse was opened).

 

Opening hours and tickets

From April to 20 September

Garden

every day

9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Greenhouses

excluding Fridays

10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Museum

Tuesday- Friday
Sunday

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

From 21 September to 24 October

Garden

every day

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Greenhouses

excluding Fridays

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Museum

Tuesday- Friday
Sunday

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

Tickets prices

Standard

9 zł

Concessions

5 zł

Family (2 adults/2+children)

25 zł

Group (standard)

5 zł/person

Group (concessions)

9 zł/person

Annual

90 zł

 

Free Admission: senior citizens 70+and children under 4.
Concession ticket: school children, students (under 26) and pensioners.
Annual ticket allows unlimited number of visits to the Botanical Garden.

 

Garden Rules and Regulations

The following is not permitted in the Garden:

  • picking or destroying plants, collecting seeds,

  • walking outside the designated routes,

  • drinking alcohol,

  • walking dogs,

  • enter the premises during storm or strong wind,

  • photography for commercial purposes.

 

History

Founded in 1783 the Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow is the oldest in Poland. Initially it was an auxiliary unit of the department of chemistry and natural history. Jan Jaśkiewicz (1749-1809) was the first professor of natural history and the director of the garden. When first established the Garden covered an area of about 2.4 ha and was organised as a baroque park with geometrical arrangements of plants. In the glasshouses, built in 1786-1787, tropical plants were grown. In 1809, Alojzy Estreicher (1786-1852) became the new director. The plant collection consisted of more than four thousand species and varieties. Among many investments the enlargement of the Garden area to 3.6 ha (1819-1825) the construction of new glasshouses and the establishment of many new collections were the most important. In the 1860s the Cracow Garden was among the richest in plants among European gardens. Ignacy Rafał Czerwiakowski (1808-1882) was its director, and Józef Warszewicz (1812-1866), a distinguished traveller and plant collector, its inspector (i.e. chief gardener). He brought many thousands of plants from his expeditions to South and Central America. Catalogus plantarum, issued in 1864, contained 9470 species and varieties, including 3779 glasshouse plants.

In 1878, Józef Rostafioski (1850-1928), a specialist on algae and myxomycetes as well as historian of botany, accepted the post of the head of the Department of Botany and the Botanic Garden. He developed a botanical laboratory and in 1882 a new iron-and-glass palm house was constructed. In the years 1912-1917 Marian Raciborski (1863-1917), one of the most distinguished Polish botanists, accepted the post, and after him Władysław Szafer (1886-1970) became the director of the Garden in 1918 and kept the post for the following 42 years. The present shape of the Garden is the result of Szafer's activity - new modern glasshouses were built, long-term efforts resulted in joining new territories to the Garden and in the 1960s it reached its present area of 9.6 ha.

In 1983 a Botanic Garden Museum was organised and opened to public. The collection amounts to about 5000 items, including exotic fruits, seeds, wood, fossil plants, old didactic equipment. The materials on the history of Polish botany are gathered in the archive section.

 

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