The week-end getaway in the heart of Bucharest: the Botanical Garden

On a hot summer day, guest writer Mariana Ganea enjoys the beauty of the 150-year old Botanical Garden in Bucharest. 

One Sunday, when the weather forecast didn’t allow too many entertainment options in Bucharest, I saw myself in need of a plan for the summer leisure day. I remembered I had visited the Botanical Garden two years ago, during the autumn, when everything was wild there, so I decided to pay another visit, see what has changed.

Much to my surprise, the Botanical Garden, located in Cotroceni neighborhood of Bucharest was restored due a European Project financing. Not sure if it was the season or the EU funding, but this time it looked much better than I remembered it. It is definitely worth a visit.

Laying on 17.5 hectares, including 4,000 sqm of greenhouses, the Botanical Garden has more than 10,000 species of plants. It is a beautiful place to spend some time, in some ways like a park but with certain areas that look a lot like what you’d find out in the wild, which is a pleasant feeling, in the middle of dusty Bucharest.  The Garden is close to the Cotroceni Palace, now the headquarters of Romania’s President, and close to a busy Bucharest neighborhood.

The garden has several sectors, such as an ornamental plant sector, plants grouped geographically, Romanian flora of rare plants, plants from the Mediterranean area, waterfalls, an Italian garden, a rosary, a “Plant System” stand called Dendrarium. It also includes the Botanical Institute building and the Botanical Museum, a building in Brancovenesc style located near the entrance gate, where are more than 5,000 plant species, including 1,000 exotic plants. A complex of greenhouses completes the scenery.

The rose garden is among the best maintained with diverse species of colorful roses obtained through controlled crossings. The Botanical Garden also has amazing water lilies (Nymphaea) species. The water lily grows in the Danube Delta and it is protected by the Romanian law.

The Botanical garden in Bucharest has not always been in the current location. The first botanical garden in Bucharest was founded in 1860, during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the prince who unified Moldavia and Wallachia as Romania in so called “the small unification”. The Garden was then set up near the Medicine Faculty by the doctor Carol Davila. The first manager of the botanical garden was the botanist Ulrich Hoffmann and six years later Romanian botanist Dimitrie Grecescu took over.

It was moved to its present location in 1884 by the Romanian botanist Dimitrie Brandza. It was designed by the landscape architect Fuchs and was opened in 1891 when the greenhouses and the Botanical Institute building were finished. During World War II, the garden was damaged by bombing, as the German troops installed one of their locations there.

The Botanical Garden

32 Sos. Cotroceni

Open daily between 08,00 – 20,00 between April 1 and October 31 and between 09,00 and 19,00 between November 1 – March 31.

Entry ticket – RON 5 – the equivalent of EUR 1.12 (full price)

By Mariana Ganea, Guest Writer

Mariana holds a PhD in Economics and she has been working in banking since 1991. Now, she is senior training consultant in banking and she is also freelance authorized trainer in soft skills and financial banking techniques. She studied banking techniques, communication, sales, NPL, coaching and transactional analysis. She is passionate about education, travel, history, politics, music, reading, movies, cultural events and photography.

The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Romania Insider.com. 

(photo source and credits: Mariana Ganea)