Composers / Fryderyk Chopin / Places catalog

‘Botanika’

A botanical essay entitled Viridaria varia regia et academia publica [Various royal gardens and public academies], attributed to Joachim Gerstorf and published in 1653, includes two Varsovian gardens in its catalogue of European botanical gardens: the suburban royal gardens and the royal gardens at the castle. The records of court physician Andrzej Gnotelius, dating from the same period, tell us that the suburban gardens had 770 species of plant and those at the castle 740.

This suburban garden, i.e. the one on the grounds behind Casimir Palace, was described by another doctor during the Saxon period as being ‘embellished with varied and wonderful contrivances’. During the period of the Kingdom of Poland (or Congress Poland), the garden came to be called 'Botanika’ (Botany) .

Fryderyk Chopin grew up in Warsaw during this period, when the city abounded in beautiful green spaces, filled with flora. Yet the Botanical Gardens behind the University boasted some of the world’s rarest plants.

The custodian of ‘Botanika’ was Prof. Michał Szubert. A Temple of Divine Providence was to have been erected on this site during his time, in remembrance of the Third of May Constitution. The plans, however, were reportedly shelved by the Targowica Confederation, allied to Russia, and the temple got no further than the foundations, long since overgrown with grass.

When Mikołaj Chopin taught at the Warsaw Lyceum, then housed in Casimir Palace, the botanical gardens were made available to the pupils, who learnt there by cultivating garden patches and observing seedling development for themselves. After a few years, ‘Botanika’ was made into a park, where the teachers at the Lyceum and their charges could stroll among the well-tended flower beds or sit on the benches. The teenage Chopin described the change to one of his friends, Jan Białobłocki, as follows: ‘The Commission ordered that my botanical garden, that old one, in other words, the one behind the Palace, be put very beautifully in order. Now there are no longer carrots, which once upon a time we consumed greedily by the spring, […] nor canapés, nor arbours, nor lettuce, cabbage, bad smells, etc., but flowerbeds à la manière anglaise.’ Eugeniusz Skrodzki, looking back in the 1880s, recalled how the young Chopin, roughly ten years his senior, would occasionally spend a lovely romantic evening in ‘Botanika’, teasing and flirting with the young women who went walking there.

Place Category
Antonin Manors / Palaces / Castles
Antoni Brzezina’s bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Apartment of Dominik Magnuszewski Flats
Apartment of Stefan Witwicki Flats
Apartment of the family of Alfons Brandt Flats
Augsburg Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity Churches / Places of worship
Belvedere Appearances
Bielany, Camaldolese monastery Churches / Places of worship
Blue Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
‘Botanika’ Other
Brochów Churches / Places of worship
Brühl Palace Appearances
Buchholtz’s instrument store Other
Casimir Palace Flats
Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park Other
Czapski (Krasiński) Palace Appearances, Manors / Palaces / Castles
Dal Trozzo bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Duszniki Zdrój Hotels / Inns
Dziewanowski home Flats
Engraving studio of Fr Izydor Józef Cybulski and Antoni Płachecki Education
Franciszek Klukowski bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Fryderyk Chopin Museum Other
Fryderyk Skarbek’s apartment Flats
Gdańsk Hotels / Inns
Gładkowskis' apartment Flats
Golub Other
Holy Cross Church Churches / Places of worship
Home of Jan Matuszyński Flats
‘Honoratka’ Coffeehouses
Jabłonowski Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Jan Böhm’s townhouse Flats
Kalisz Other
Kikół Manors / Palaces / Castles
Kolbergs' apartment Flats
Kowalewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Kozłowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Krakow Other
Ludwik Dmuszewski’s house Flats
Magnus's bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Marceli Celiński’s apartment Flats
Maurycy Mochnacki’s home Flats
Miss Kicka's Salon in Lubomirski Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
National Theatre Appearances
Obory Churches / Places of worship
Obrowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Ojców Other
‘Old’ Merchants' Hall Appearances
Patisserie Lourse Coffeehouses
Pieskowa Skała Other
Płock Other
‘Pod Kopciuszkiem’ and ‘Dziurka’ Coffeehouses
Poturzyn Manors / Palaces / Castles
Powązki Cemeteries
Poznań Other
Presbytery of St Jadwiga (Hedwig) parish church in Milanówek Other
Pruszak Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Residence of Józef Reinschmidt’s parents Flats
Rościszewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Sanniki Manors / Palaces / Castles
Saxon Palace Flats
Saxon Post Office Other
Skating rink Other
Sochaczew Other
Sokołowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Staszic Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Strzyżew Manors / Palaces / Castles
Szafarnia Manors / Palaces / Castles
Toruń Other
Turzno Manors / Palaces / Castles
Ugoszcz Manors / Palaces / Castles
‘U Brzezińskiej’ Coffeehouses
Viceroy's Palace Appearances
Vilnius (Wileński) Hotel Hotels / Inns
Visitandine Church of St Joseph Churches / Places of worship
Waplewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Warsaw Other
Warsaw Charitable Society Appearances
Warsaw Conservatory Appearances
‘Wiejska Kawa’ Coffeehouses
Wieliczka Other
Wojciech Żywny’s apartment Flats
Wola Tollhouse Other
Wrocław Appearances
Żelazowa Wola Flats
Żychlin Manors / Palaces / Castles