Nikitsky Botanic Garden
Nikitsky Botanical Garden – a unique park, which is a creation of human hands and nature. For over two centuries it has existed in Crimea on the Black Sea coast and is admired by every visitor. On the area of one thousand hectares there are over 6000 species of herbaceous and woody plants. Thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate, flora from various parts of the world have found their home here, securely protected by rocky mountains from the cold northern breath. Picturesque terraces of the garden, surrounded with mighty oaks, fluffy Crimean pines, and fragrant junipers, go down the steep slopes from the Nikita Village to the seashore, six kilometers away from Yalta.
Save money on your trip!
Video: Nikita Botanical Garden
History of the Botanical Garden
A little over two centuries ago, Emperor Alexander I issued a decree prescribing the creation of the Arboretum in the Crimea. Its founder and first director was Christian Steven, who contributed a lot to the development of botanical gardens.
Over time, the territory of the park was expanded and landscaped. In the scientific laboratory there were carried out researches on the acclimatization of the brought specimens, as well as works on the development of new plant varieties.
Nowadays Nikitsky Botanical Garden is very popular among tourists. These days Nikitsky Botanical Garden is very popular among the tourists.
Christian Steven’s bust Chrysanthemum exhibition
The structure of Nikitsky Botanical Garden
Nikitsky Botanical Garden is divided into four parts, the oldest of which is the Lower Park. The best way to start is to start from the Upper Park, when you can enjoy a leisurely walk down the picturesque paths, surrounded by bushes and shady trees. Fresh and intoxicating air, amazing and diverse world of plants, stunning views of the neighborhood from viewing platforms – all this will make the walk an unforgettable experience!
The main entrance to the Upper Park is near the Church of Transfiguration (Transfiguration Church), built in 1884. Just outside the entrance near the art gallery building, all tour groups gather. If you want to learn and see more in a short period of time, a guide is the best way to do it.
Church of Transfiguration The entrance to Nikitsky Botanical Garden
Bypassing the gallery and passing by the bust of Christian Steven, tourists get to a spacious square – the parterre, in the central part of which there is a swimming pool. Opposite the gallery building is a scientific library. Here in the square – installed in honor of the 200th anniversary of the garden statue of Flora. Just behind it stretches its branches a huge Italian pine – Pinia, which has large cones with nuts inside. By the way, the Italians make delicious vegetable oil from their seeds. The name of the pine tree is associated with the name of a literary character – Pinocchio, made by Papa Carlo from the wood of this tree.
On the sides of the parterre can be seen pyramidal cypresses and a mighty downy oak. The sprawling Himalayan cedar, the wood of which is not affected by termites, is noteworthy. This is why it was widely used in India to build temples. There is also one more giant of Nikitsky Botanical Garden, which is an impressive two hundred year old Turkish oak, native to Asia Minor.
The parterre and the swimming pool in Nikitsky Botanic Garden Turkish oak statue of Flora
From the administration building along the alley of evergreen stone oaks visitors of the Botanical Garden get into a bamboo grove, formed by the sise-green leaf-fern, whose natural habitat is in the north of China. In this part of the park you can also meet a native of the Crimean forests – berry yew. Some of the trees celebrated their five hundredth anniversary. Then you have a view of another magnificent alley, flanked by North American black walnut trees and pyramids of cypresses. You won’t get past the Giant Sequoias, a conifer native to California. Some of its now living “relatives” on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada are about 3500 years old, reaching a height of 80-90 meters.
The Upper Park rose garden is a place that has earned the special love of visitors. They long to wander among the lawns, admiring the extraordinary beauty of Maiden’s Blush, Crimean Night, Golden Jubilee, Clementine and other varieties of roses. Their colorful collection is the pride of Nikitsky Botanical Garden. You can always admire the exhibitions of flowers: in mid-spring there is a “parade of tulips”, in May there is an exhibition of irises, in the first month of summer – the time of lilies, from June to July you can admire the roses and cannes, and in October and November there is a “ball of chrysanthemums”.
Walking along the picturesque park’s alleys, you’ll be amazed not only by the variety of species and their splendor, but also by wonderful view on the azure sea and panorama of Yalta, opened from one of the viewing platforms.
Chrysanthemums Roses Coreopsis nymphaea Lilies Iris “Chrysanthemum ball
The section at the beginning of the walk in the Lower Park is occupied by fruitful subtropical plants: the Central Asian wild pomegranate with rich orange or red flowers and the ziziphus, better known as the Chinese date or chaparral. In the olive grove, among the European olive trees that form it, you will see two ancient cultures – the fig, which has a smooth and almost white bark, and the Japanese medlar with yellowish fruits collected in brushes.
Olive grove Chinese date or ziziphus
After a short walk tourists enter the territory of dense bushes of Korolkova exochord, which is more hardy in winter compared to other representatives of the species. At the end of April, its snow-white inflorescences delight the eyes of park visitors. The crowns of common bobwhite and Judas tree rise above the shrub. A little further away, under the spreading branches of the strawberry small-fruited strawberry, there is a platform where weary tourists can have a little rest. However, you can see the strawberry-like fruits of this local resident only from December to January.
An evergreen California oak stands majestically beside one of the flowerbeds. A path leads from it, bounded on one side by a stone wall, from which the branches of jasmine hang picturesquely, passing above into thickets of twig broom. Both shrubs are an ornament of any southern coastal park, especially during the period when on their leafless branches blossom fragrant yellow flowers, which look unusually beautiful in their overall mass.
One of the attractions of the Lower Park in Nikitsky Botanical Garden was planted in 1844 in its territory a grove of Lebanese cedars, which were used in ancient times for the construction of ships Phoenician sailors. Nearby is another representative of the conifers – Spanish fir, which is the most thermophilic of the firs of the Mediterranean coast.
Walking track Atlas cedar Arbor
Park paths lead past picturesque thickets of phylliums and photiniums, which seem dwarfed by the dark green pyramid of the Himalayan cypress. It will be possible to compare how the Guadalupe cypress or large-fruited cypress growing here differ from its relative.
Tourists will have a chance to breathe the cleanest air, saturated with phytoncides of crimson and virgin juniper, also belonging to the Cypress family. The Montezuma pine, named after one of the prominent Aztec emperors, was brought here from the Mexican mountains. It is distinguished from other pines by its wide cone-shaped crown, whose powerful branches end in soft hanging sultans.
Next to the marble fountain are river cedars and a quaintly shaped stone oak, and just beyond that is the metasequoia, which is quite a common park crop these days. There was a time when it was thought to be extinct, having originally been found as fossils. It was not until the middle of the last century that miraculously preserved trees were discovered in China.
Montezuma Metasequoia pine
Seaside Park was founded on the centenary of the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 and the foundation of Nikitsky Botanical Garden, during the existence of which the collection of plants has increased so much that it required its expansion.
The park is located in the warmest south-eastern part of the garden, which Cape Martian closes off from the winds. Seedlings of trees such as eucalyptus, araucaria, some of the palm species, bamboo, and dracaena were brought from Batumi, Sukhum, and the Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg. Some of these species of plants already existed in the Upper and Lower parks: they were grown in tubs and moved to greenhouse for the winter. Now the trees are planted in the open air in order to follow their growth in natural conditions. The first winter was disastrous for the majority of them and later the geography of their growth was taken into account. That is why mainly Chinese and Japanese flora found their shelter here.
Seaside Park Seaside Park
Start of the route
At the entrance to the park you can see an interesting creation of nature – Adzher-kaya, which means “Dragon Rock” in Turkic. It has another name – “The Rock of Rest”, because the gurgling of the stream, flowing from its like a split base, causes an irresistible desire to sit down and rest at the foot in the shade of trees. One of them, like a welcoming master of the park, greets its visitors at the entrance, greeting them with its curved branches. It is a strawberry tree, growing here even before the appearance of the park.
The picturesque alley of Chinese palms, which was planted on the occasion of the opening of the Seaside Park, will lead to a fabulous sculpture – a mountain troll’s head peeking out of the ground. Strands of silver cortaderia “hair” crown the creature’s balding top.
Palm Alley Sculpture of a mountain troll
The heart of the park
Here is a pool with a fountain set up, and nearby is the large-flowered Garthwis magnolia, named after Nikolaus von Garthwis, the second director of the botanical gardens, who selected this form. This specimen is over a hundred years old.
In the central part you can admire the living sculptures, and not just borders and balls, but the works of topiary art, similar to those that decorated the estates of the Roman patricians. You will see intricate “hairstyles” of small-leaved Japanese privet and original spiral pruning of cypresses, take pictures against the background of arches, covered with Chinese jasmine. A marvelous view on the sea and steep spurs of Crimean Mountains descending to it opens from the beauty-appealing recreation ground here.
Once upon a time, bamboo was planted here and grew into a whole forest, which actually came from one root. For the Chinese and Japanese, this plant is a symbol of a warrior, as well as a wise and flexible, but at the same time resilient man. Among the bushes of bamboo, you will notice sculptures arranged to resemble the warriors of the terracotta army, another symbol of China. Through the grove is the Yatsuhashi Bridge made of planks, its curves symbolizing the thorny path of knowledge of the truth. It is believed that a person who walks across such a bridge among bamboo performs a purification ritual.
In the part of the park dedicated to Japanese culture, tourists will admire niwaki – small trees (larger than bonsai) and harmoniously “woven” into the landscape, which is a kind of topiary art. To create niwaki on the territory of the botanical garden are used pine, berry yew and Chinese juniper. You can see stone sculptures of the seven Japanese gods of happiness, among which Hotei, the hollow god of well-being, good luck and happiness, is easily recognizable. According to the beliefs, if you rub his belly and make a wish, it will come true.
This is the youngest part of Nikitsky Botanical Garden, founded in the middle of XX century. There are not only native Crimean oaks, juniper, cotoneaster, but also species from different habitats, such as walnut, cedar, ash, fir, pine, cypress. A grove of short-coniferous cedar is planted here, which is the only one in Russia. Even without bamboo plantations, more than ten thousand representatives of flora grow on the territory of this park with an area of nine hectares. Here you can find species that have not taken root in any other region of the Crimean peninsula: “Kaizuka” juniper, puffball, Lebanese oak, Mexican sycamore, Maksimovich linden and a number of other plants.
For twenty-five years, the park was not accessible to visitors, falling gradually into disrepair. The adjacent territory, including the rose garden, fell under the construction of residential apartment buildings. Thanks to the efforts of employees of Nikitsky Botanic Garden, the park managed to defend itself, but it has long remained in disrepair. Over the past three years, did a lot of work on its restoration: cleaned the ponds, which ran the decorative fish and turtles, planted a grove of olives, created a new rose garden, and repaired the paths. The old gazebo, decorated with a Mexican slide, was reconstructed. Next to it is an American agave that has survived three winters. In addition, another arbour was built, which occupies part of the observation deck, where you can admire the Cape Martian and the stunning panorama of Yalta. The swimming pool, situated in the park’s center, has been fully restored, and now there are about a hundred lilies floating in it. You can cross the ponds by the restored bridges.
The grand opening of Montedore Park, which took place on November 8, 2017, was a real gift for visitors to the arboretum, made on the eve of the 205th anniversary of its existence.
Nikitsky Botanical Garden is open to the public all year round from 8:00 to 18:00 without weekends. The entrance ticket costs 300 rubles and 150 rubles for schoolchildren under 14 years old. A separate visit to the parks “Montedor” and “Seaside” (including a visit to the cactus greenhouse and the “Garden of Eden”) will cost three times cheaper. Your guide for a group (at least 15 people) is 100 roubles, for schoolchildren under 14 years old it’s 50 roubles. There are discounts for pensioners and citizens on benefits.
Cost of visiting the tasting room, located in the botanical garden – 250 rubles. Here you can taste the processed subtropical fruits and herbal teas based on medicinal and aromatic plants.
In the store of medical cosmetics you will be offered a wide range of cosmetic, massage and essential oils, balsams, aromatic candles, as well as bath salts and creams for peeling.
Nikitsky Botanic Garden
How to get there
There are several ways to get to Nikitsky Botanical Garden, so it all depends on your location. From Yalta you can get here by trolleybus №29 from the Pionerskaya bus stop, and from the flea market you can take trolleybus №2 or bus №34 (the starting points are indicated). From Alushta or Simferopol, take a trolleybus or bus and go to Nikitsky Botanical Garden, and then take a minibus № 29 or № 34 or go on foot. From Sevastopol you will first have to take a bus to the Yalta bus station, then bus №29, bus №34 or trolleybus №2 will bring you to your destination.
Nikitsky Botanic Garden
DEAR COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS!
We are living in a difficult, difficult time. There is a war going on, a war unleashed by the United States with the support of its lackeys from Europe, aimed at the destruction of Russia! And in this war they are using our brothers in Ukraine, captured by Bender’s neo-fascists!
We, the people of Crimea, understand what is happening, how angry they are about our return to our “native harbor”!
Today we have enough strength to give them a decisive fight and tell the whole world: enough mockery! We will not allow Russia to be destroyed! We will not give up our brothers Ukrainians!
We are very worried about our loved ones who live there.
What can be more precious than human life? Only the fate of our homeland Russia and our Faith.
We will win! We will live together, prosper, develop, prosper and raise our children!
We give our full support to our President.
We are proud that we are Russians.
Director of the Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor Nikitsky Botanical Garden – National Research Center of RAS, Corresponding Member of RAS.
Yuriy Vladimirovich Plugatar
March 05, 2022.
Nikitsky Botanical Garden was founded in 1812 and is one of the oldest research institutions in our country. The founder of the Garden was a prominent 19th century biologist and scientist Christian Christianovich Steven. From the first days the Garden was called to promote the accelerated development of agricultural production in the south of the country on the basis of introduction, acclimatization, breeding and wide distribution of southern fruit, flower, decorative, new technical, medicinal and other useful plants, study and active use of local plant resources. In order to quickly enrich the domestic agricultural production with new plants the founders of the Garden established strong business and scientific contacts with the leading botanical institutions in Europe, Asia and America. This allowed to collect here unique collections of species, varieties and forms of different crops.
Decree of Emperor Alexander I on creation of Nikitsky botanic garden. 1811 г.
Nikitsky Botanic Garden is the founder of such new branches of national economy as Southern ornamental horticulture, Southern and subtropical horticulture, viticulture, essential oil-bearing plants and tobacco growing.
Nowadays, according to estimates of leading specialists in the field of botany, the NBS is one of the most famous botanical institutions in the world and the largest collections of valuable plant gene pool. NBS is the only depository in our country of species and variety diversity of southern fruit crops, including more than 11 000 varieties of peach, apricot, alycha, fig, pomegranate, olive, zizifus, sweet cherry, persimmon. Unique collections of ornamental woody and herbaceous plants numbering more than 6000 species and richest variety and form collections of more than 250 botanical species of aromatic, medicinal, and spicy plants are represented here. For the first time introduced into culture more than 400 species of new plants, bred and transferred to the national economy over 800 varieties of cultivated plants.
Its unique arboretum (arboretum) brought world fame to the Garden. It is a visiting card of Russian botanical science for millions of Russian and foreign tourists, specialists and plant scientists. Here on an area of about 40 hectares concentrated collections of woody plants of world flora. Arboretum of Nikitsky Botanical Garden has always been and remains an object of paramount importance for conservation.
There are over 1150 awards in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden, among them 70 awards were received at international exhibitions, including pre-revolutionary exhibitions (376 medals of different values, 63 of them – foreign medals).
In 1962 the State Nikitsky Botanical Garden was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor of the USSR.
Since March 2014 the director of the Garden is Yuri Vladimirovich Plugatar, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, doctor of agricultural sciences, member of the Russian Presidential Council for Science and Education, honored worker of science and technology of the Republic of Crimea, head of the RAS Department for cooperation with scientific organizations of Crimea and Sevastopol city of federal significance. Under his leadership the coastal parks begin to be revived and opened for visitors, the Nikitsky garden receives a gold medal for participation in the All-Russian patriotic action “Victory Lilac”, the Garden for the first time in many years successfully reminds about itself at the International Flower Show, the piggy bank of the institution is replenished with gold and bronze diploma of the VII Russian National Award for Landscape Architecture.