Historical information

Brief historical information about the institute

Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is one of the oldest scientific institutions in Russia. It was founded in 1714 (according to other sources - at the end of 1713) by Emperor Peter The First as a Pharmaceutical Garden («Aptekarsky ogorod»). Initially, its goal was to grow medicinal plants for the needs of the army, but already in the first decades of his activity, scientific collections were laid and scientific work began.Титульный лист первого каталога Аптекарского огорода (1736 г.)

In the 18th century, the Pharmaceutical Garden was also called the Medical Garden. At the end of the 18th century, it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Medico-Surgical Academy (now the Kirov Military Medical Academy) and became its Botanical Garden. In 1823, at the suggestion of an outstanding statesman, Prince Kochubey, it was reorganized into the Imperial Botanical Garden, which began to develop rapidly and soon became one of the leading botanical institutions in Europe and the world. In 1913, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of its founding, the Imperial Botanical Garden was named after Peter the Great. After the October Revolution, in 1918, it became known as the Main Botanical Garden of the RSFSR,
from 1925 - the Main Botanical Garden of the USSR, and in 1930 it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

Another predecessor of the institute is the botanical collections of the Kunstkamera, created in 1714. During the 18th century, the Kunstkamera and then the Academy of Sciences received numerous botanical samples, including materials from numerous «academic expeditions» that explored the then almost untouched nature of Asian Russia. In 1823, these collections were allocated for separate storage, which laid the foundation for the Botanical Museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences.

Thus, in the 19th - first third of the 20th century, 2 botanical institutions existed in St. Petersburg - Leningrad: the Botanical Garden (on Aptekarsky Island) and the Botanical Museum (on Vasilievsky Island). These institutions were merged in 1931 into the Botanical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, which became the country's leading botanical institution. In 1940 he was named after the outstanding Russian botanist Vladimir Komarov.

How the 200th anniversary of the Imperial Botanical Garden was celebrated in 1913

In January 1913, the highest permission to hold the jubilee celebrations, which took place on June 10-12, 1913, followed. Greenhouses No. 4, 5 and 6 were prepared for their holding, from which the plants were taken out.

On June 10, a memorial service was served at the tomb of Peter I in the Peter and Paul Cathedral, and a wreath of plants grown in the greenhouses of the garden was laid on it. In the evening, a solemn all-night vigil «for the prosperous existence of the garden» and a memorial service in memory of Peter I and all the leaders who worked in the garden were served in greenhouse No. 4. The choir of military singers from the nearby Life Guards Grenadier Regiment sang.Diploma of Emperor Nicholas II in connection with the 200th anniversary of the Imperial Botanical Garden

On June 11, a ceremonial meeting, or «solemn act», in the terminology of that time, took place in greenhouse No. 6. After the service, the chief manager of agriculture and land management, State Secretary A.V. Krivoshein, read out the highest charter of Emperor Nicholas II, bestowed on the garden in connection with the anniversary. He also read out the emperor's highest rescript addressed to the patroness and guardian of the garden, Princess E. M. Oldenburg, as well as other greetings. After that, the director of the garden, A. A. Fischer-von-Waldheim, made a short report on the history of the garden.

Further, foreign scientists made greetings (among them were J. Bornmüller, G. Kükental, K. Mez, O. Stapf etc.) and numerous representatives of Russian organizations: from the Academy of Sciences to regional societies of natural science lovers. Reading addresses and greetings lasted more than 3 hours. Then champagne and tea were served in greenhouse No. 4, and toasts were raised.

On June 12, in the morning, members of foreign and Russian delegations inspected the garden, and then left by cars to the Baltic Station for a special train to New Peterhof, where they had breakfast from the highest courtyard, inspection of the Grand Palace, the park and fountains. In the evening, a performance was given in the People's House (now the premises of the Music Hall), and then a reception on behalf of the Prince of Oldenburg.

In honor of the jubilee, a special medal was made, as well as a badge for wearing by honorary and regular members of the garden, as well as «persons who rendered special services to the garden on the day of the jubilee». A number of garden workers have received awards.