On 22 May, 1839 the botanical garden of the University of Kyiv began its work. On this day the first plantings were made. It is the oldest botanical garden in the city and one of the oldest in Ukraine. On the area of 22.5 hectares there are over 10 thousand species of plants.
More than a century ago, in 1908-1913 this territory was a zoo. A small cat house reminds you of that time. A box for raising money for animals was set up at the entrance to the zoo.
For more than 20 years the garden was run by Professor Olexandr Fomin. Those were the terrible times of the First World War and the Civil War, during which explosions and cannon fire were heard here. Fomin and his colleagues saved the plants - they covered the broken glass in the greenhouse with blankets, collected firewood for heating, and replanted the damaged trees. Until his death the director lived in a small garden house. The botanical garden was later named after him.
During World War II the garden suffered again - many valuable specimens of bushes and trees were destroyed. A small part of the equipment and small plants managed to be evacuated. During the occupation the buildings were used as military barracks and stables. During the retreat, the Germans cut down valuable trees for firewood and removed dozens of palms and orchids. The botanical garden was opened to the public in 1944. In the following years the greenhouse was restored.
Another misfortune befell the garden during the construction of the metro station "University" in the 1950s.Then the beautiful arch, which served as a central entrance, was destroyed, and all plantings on the area of 0.5 ha were annihilated! By the way, it is interesting that under the botanical garden is not only the famous metro station, but also a secret communication center. Thanks to this telephone and telegraph station, there used to be the government communication between Kyiv and other cities of the world.
In the mid 70s the botanical garden was reconstructed, the drainage system was renewed, a relief was planned, trees were planted and new greenhouses were built.
Today the Fomin Botanical Garden is one of the favourite recreational places of Kyiv citizens. When magnolias, lilacs and sakuras bloom, it gets very crowded. After all, everyone wants to take good pictures and selfies!