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History and Present

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Basic Facts and Mission

  • The Botanic Garden (BG) is a research and teaching unit of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, in a broader sense being an educational and cultural establishment of the region of East Slovakia of both national and international significance.
  • Extending on an area of 30 hectares, with its greenhouses covering an area of 3,500 square metres and a collection of over 4,000 species, subspecies, and cultivars of plants, it is the largest botanic garden in Slovakia; plant communities in the area of the Botanic Garden are complemented by rare and endangered species of animals that have found their home here.
  • It has the largest collection of cacti and cycads in Slovakia; very rare specimens of various tropical and subtropical plants, such as unique orchids, as well as “living fossils”, such as wolemia, ginkgo or redwood.
  • In accordance with the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the main focus of the Botanic Garden activities is in scientific research aimed at concentrating and studying the gene pool of endangered and common species from around the globe with a special focus on endangered species in the Carpathian-Pannonian region.
  • In synergy with the Faculty of Science, the Botanic Garden participates in higher education in the region through teaching by experts from the BG and provides a background for the teaching of botanical and other biological disciplines.
  • The main mission of the Botanic Garden in the field of educational and popularisation activities is aimed at supporting education and training at primary and secondary schools through permanent exhibitions and shows, as well as contests for primary schools; these activities also play a significant role in the education and development of cultural awareness of adult population.

The Botanic Garden is located at

Mánesova ulica street No. 23, 043 52, Košice, Košice – North City District

How to reach us?

Important milestones in the history of the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University in Košice

  • 5th May 1950 – Establishment of the Botanic Garden as the Institute of Botany of the Agricultural and Forestry Engineering College with Dr. Jozef Rácz being its interim director.
  • Spring 1951 – Construction of greenhouses commenced according to the design by the company Hontsch of Děčín, the highest greenhouse was to be 12 metres high.
  • 1st January 1953 – Transfer of the BG under the planned Slovak Academy of Sciences.
  • 1953 – The oldest building built in the BG was Rozhľadňa (Lookout Tower) (also called Strážna veža (Watchtower) or Strážny domček (Gatehouse) with a height of 6 metres offering a beautiful view of the Košice Basin with the River Hornád.
  • 12th December 1954 – the Botanic Garden started participating in the international seed exchange and publishing its Index Seminum, the first seed exchange list.
  • 1955 – The Botanic Garden of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Košice became the only one in Czechoslovakia to have its own Department of Biochemistry.
  • 1956 – The Botanic Garden covered an area of 56 hectares.
  • 1957 and onwards – Mutation cultivation research was being carried out using our own gamma field.
  • 1958 – The BG land shrank with the construction of the Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
  • 14th October 1958 – Grand opening of the Botanic Garden greenhouses (three large and seven connected smaller ones).
  • 31st December 1959 – Delimitation of the BG to the emerging Teacher Training College of Košice.
  • 1960 – Attendance of the BG amounted to 8,700 visitors from Czechoslovakia and the neighbouring countries.
  • 1st January 1964 – The BG affiliated to Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice.
  • 1964 – Definite concrete steam sites and overhaul of the catch well built.
  • 1965 – The “Kamenoružiak Červený” (Rockrose Red) wine from the Botanic Garden was awarded the 3rd prize and an honourable mention at the Regional Wine Fair in Sobrance.
  • 1965 – The UPJŠ BG participated in the national exhibition of ornamental horticulture in Olomouc for the first time.
  • February 1969 – Full completion of the BG administrative building, part of the premises with lecture halls, laboratories and offices belonging to the UPJŠ Faculty of Science.
  • 1971 – Breeding of the ʼDargovʼ Trifolium Pratense variety by the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University staff.
  • 1982 – The first Enumeratio Plantarum published, a list of the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University collections, later renamed to the Catalogue of Plant Collections.
  • 1989 – The Catalogue of Plant Collections No. 2 was published.
  • 1990 – Reconstruction of the BG entrance hall.
  • 1990-1991 – Requirements of restituents for land in the BG area rose (solved by renting the land from the restituents).
  • 1991 – Completion of modifications of rooms for the storage of and working with the Herbarium.
  • 1991 – Start of the publishing the international botanical journal, Thaiszia – Journal of Botany (the 30th volume of the journal was published in 2020).
  • 1991 – 1992 – Construction of eight greenhouses, of which four are heated.
  • 1992 – 1993 – Extensive reconstruction carried out in the exhibition greenhouses.
  • 1994 – The Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University was declared Biocentre by a Generally Binding Regulation of the City of Košice No. 25 on the Local Territorial System of Ecological Stability (that Regulation was repealed in 2016).
  • 2000 – The Ecological Educational Area project implemented according to the design by Prof. Ivar Otruba.
  • 21st March 2002 – The BG was declared a legally preserved area.
  • April 2006 – Launch of the biological plant conservation programme in exposition greenhouses.
  • 2007 – The Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University was registered in the International Agenda Botanic Gardens Conservation International system.
  • May – June 2008 – The first year of the exhibition of tropical butterflies in the Victoria greenhouse, one of the most successful thematic exhibitions in the years to come.
  • 2009 – The first year of the exhibition of orchids, in that and in the following years also very successful exhibitions.
  • May 2010 – The Botanikiáda, the first year of the extremely successful series of competitions for primary school children launched.
  • June 2012 and 2013 – The Gourmet Fest of Košice took place in the BG premises.
  • 17th – 19th May 2013 – The 11th National Exhibition of Bonsai and Suiseki took place in the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University.
  • 2013 – The BG participated in accompanying ventures of the European Capital of Culture.
  • 2013 – 2014 – Installation of the Beekeeping Educational Trail with 13 boards in the BG area.
  • April 2014 – After lengthy and exhausting negotiations, land issues in the BG area settled (by purchase of six hectares from the Dominican Convention who refused to extend the lease).
  • 24th October 2014 – The BG awarded the Košice Self-Governing Region Award for excellent results of the transfer of collected knowledge from the plant realm among the general public in order to support sustainability of a favourable environment.
  • 2014-2015 – Reconstruction and modernisation of the main BG greenhouses cladding.
  • 2016-2017 – Reconstruction and automation of heating in the BG greenhouses system.
  • Summer 2017 – Reconstruction of the “Boutique” plant-cultivation greenhouse.
  • 2018 – The first mobile application for BG visitors in Slovakia launched.
  • Summer 2018 – Modernisation of the so-called Anthurium Greenhouse.
  • August 2018 – Issue of a souvenir € 0.00 banknote with the theme of the UPJŠ BG greenhouses on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the commissioning of greenhouses.
  • 19th – 28th October 2018 – Exhibition of luminescent plants was held in cooperation with flAVATAR for the first time.
  • July – October 2019 – Reconstruction of electricity distribution and computer networks, as well as the interior of the building, the plant-cultivation greenhouse, and the pond in the lower part of the area.
  • October 2019 – Establishment of the BotaniKE civic association, the aim of which is to support the development activities of the UPJŠ BG.
  • 10/03/2020 – 05/05/2020 – The UPJŠ BG cancelled the opened exhibition of orchids and closed the premises to visitors due to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, the BG held “My Garden”, a photo contest for the public.
  • 17th June 2020 – The Slovak Post issued a sheet with a stamp in the nominal value of € 2.80 in the Nature Protection cycle: “UPJŠ Botanic Garden in Košice – Large-blossomed Magnolia” depicting magnolia on the stamp and the BG greenhouses on the sheet.
  • August 2020 – 3 summer concerts took place in the Botanic Garden for the first time, the Musica Iuvenalis association having performed at the first concert.
  • September 2020 – Catalogue of Plant Collections No. 7.
  • 3rd – 4th September 2020 – The Botanic Garden held a scientific conference “History and Present of Botanic Research and Nature Preservation” on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UPJŠ BG.
  • 3rd September 2020 – On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University was awarded a Bronze Medal by the Rector of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, a Bronze Medal by the Dean of the Faculty of Science of P. J. Šafárik University in Košice, and a Commemorative Medal by the East Slovak Museum in Košice Director.
  • 11th September 2020 – the Botanic Garden of P. J. Šafárik University was awarded the Rector’s Award in the category of Significant Media Act: For Spreading the Good Name of P. J. Šafárik University in Košice by the organisation of Botanic Garden ventures on the occasion of its 70th anniversary and for significant media response to the inauguration of the annual postage stamp with a botanical motif.
  • 15th October 2020 – The Botanic Garden has been closed for longer than half a year due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

UPJŠ Botanic Garden in Košice Directors

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