Trans Eurasia travel

Your virtual guide to Eurasia! Let's travel together!

Botanical gardens

The National Botanical Garden of Georgia, formerly the Tbilisi Botanical Garden is located in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, and lie in the Tsavkisis-Tskali Gorge on the southern foothills of the Sololaki Range (a spur of the Trialeti Range). It occupies the area of 161 hectares and possesses a collection of over 4,500 taxonomic groups. Lying behind the Sololaki ridge, below the southwest side of the Narikala Fortress, the gardens were opened on March 17, 1809, on land that had served as the gardens of the Georgian kings in the 17th and 18th centuries.

They were first used to grow medicinal herbs. Officially opened on May 13, 1845, the Botanical Gardens are now under the auspices of the Georgian Academy of Sciences. They cover more than 128 hectares (300 acres) and contain over 4,900 species. The flora is primarily from the Caucasus, but special sections are devoted to a wide variety of trees, plants, and flowers from other parts of the world. The rose garden boasts over 950 varieties.

The central botanical gardens of the Georgian Academy of Sciences are one of the most beautiful spots in all Tbilisi and a must for every traveler.

Its history spans more than three centuries. It was first described, in 1671, by the French traveler Jean Chardin as royal gardens which might have been founded at least in 1625 and were variably referred to as "fortress gardens" or "Seidabad gardens" later in history. The gardens appear in the records by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1701) and on the Tbilisi map composed by Prince Vakhushti (1735). Pillaged in the Persian invasion of 1795, the garden was revived in the early 19th century and officially established as the Tiflis Botanical Garden in 1845.

From 1888 on, when a floristics center was set up, several notable scholars have worked for the Garden. Between 1896 and 1904, the Garden was expanded further westward. Between 1932 and 1958, the territory around the former Muslim cemetery was included in the botanical garden. Several graves have survived, however, including that of the prominent Azerbaijani writer Mirza Fatali Akhundov (1812-1878). The central entrance to the Garden is located at the foothills of the Narikala Fortress. The other, cut through the rock as a long tunnel in 1909-14, had been functional until the mid-2000s when the tunnel was converted into Georgia’s largest nightclub "Gvirabi".