The Vilnius University Botanical Garden was founded in 1781 by Professor Jean-Emmanuel Gilibert (1741-1814) in the courtyard of the Medical College, now 22 Pilies Street. The Garden occupied an area of about 200 square meters and contained about 500 species of plants grown outdoors and in a small greenhouse. Funds raised by the famous naturalist and companion of James Cook, Johann Georg Adam Forster (1754-1794), contributed a lot to the acquisition of the tract of land in Sereikiškės at the foot of the Castle Hill. In 1799 the Botanical Garden was moved to a new site with an area several times larger than previous site. For 25 years the Garden was headed by Professor Stanislaw Bonifacy Jundzill (1761-1847). Under his management by 1824 the collections of the Garden contained as many as 6,565 taxa.
Vilnius University was closed down by the Russian Tsarist administration in 1832 after the Uprising of the previous year. The Vilnius University Botanical Garden was kept open for 10 more years until 1842 when it was shut down completely. Introduced plants perished without proper maintenance and the Botanical Garden soon turned into just another park. The Botanical Garden was successfully re-established in 1919 at the new place of the Vingis Estate, in the valley of the Neris River in the western part of Vilnius. Previously known as the Department of Plant Systematics and Geography, the Vilnius University Botanical Garden in Vingis was in 2011 renamed Vingis Department. Today it houses as many as 4,600 different plant species and cultivars in greenhouses and outdoors.
In 1974, just before the 400th anniversary of Vilnius University, the expanding Botanical Garden was moved to a new site in the village of Kairėnai, to a site of the previous wealthy Estate, in the north-east of Vilnius. The Vilnius University Botanical Garden in Kairėnai and Vingis occupies a total of 199 hectares (about 2 square kilometers).
|Address||Kairėnų 43, 10239 Vilnius|
|Monday – Friday||08:00 – 20:00|
|Saturday – Sunday||11:00 – 20:00|
|Telephone||(370-5) 219 3139|