University Of Belgrade - Faculty Of Biology
Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden "Jevremovac"

History

At Josif Pančić’s proposal, the Botanical Garden was founded in 1874 in Belgrade by the decree of the Ministry of Education and Church Affairs of the Principality of Serbia. Even before the establishment of the institution, Pančić cultivated a small botanical garden in the courtyard of the Lyceum of Belgrade, for the needs of teaching at the Great School, where he taught botany as part of the natural history. After the establishment of the institution, a land was assigned to the Botanical Garden on Dorćol, along the Danube bank, which did not prove to be a good solution due to the proximity of the river and the possibility of being flooded. After the two major floods that occurred in those years and a completely destroyed plant life, Pančić was looking for a better place for the Botanical Garden. Unfortunately, the great naturalist, the hard-working enthusiast and the first director of the first botanical garden in Serbia died in 1888 and did not live to see the Botanical Garden placed safely in a new location.
Being aware of the problems Pančić had when raising the first botanical garden in Serbia, in 1889 King Milan Obrenović donated the property he inherited from his grandfather Lord Jevrem Obrenović to the Great School for the purpose of raising the Botanical Garden. The only condition was that the garden was named after his grandfather - Jevremovac.

Not long after the transfer of the Botanical Garden to its present location, a big greenhouse was purchased from the Mozentin factory from Dresden, and it was one of the most beautiful and largest in this part of Europe. In the History of Belgrade of Feliks Kanic, a book of important architectural solutions and antiques of Belgrade, the greenhouse of Botanical Garden was particularly highlighted.

During the bombing in World War II, a large greenhouse suffered serious damage. After the war, it was again glazed, but only in 1975 the iron construction was restored and prefabricated with the help of the Republic Communities for Education. The large greenhouse continued to collapse, so in 2005, when a part of it began to crumble, it had to be closed for the visitors. Only in 2014, thanks to the project "Improving the infrastructure of higher education institutions in Serbia - EU HETIP", which was carried out with the help of donations from pre-accession funds of the European Union, a large greenhouse was renewed after the two years of works and officially opened in the presence of high officials. The fundamental reconstruction of the greenhouse was completely carried out in accordance with the original architectural solutions.
Initially, the Botanical Garden was enclosed by a wooden fence. Just next to the main entrance of the Botanical Garden there was a cottage of the livery stable of King Milan Obrenović, which was used as a residential unit of the housekeeper and a physical worker. In 1894 a house for the director of the Botanical Garden was built. Administrative building of the Botanical Garden was built in 1908, the water network system during the period 1892-1896, and a teaching building, a masonry fence and a small greenhouse during the thirties of the twentieth century.

During the Second World War, the German but also the allied bombing of Belgrade caused considerable damage to the Botanical Garden. The teaching building was demolished, the greenhouse was completely exposed and the metal construction was damaged. On this occasion, a significant number of plant species, especially those from tropical and subtropical regions that were raised in the greenhouse, were destroyed. After the war, the destroyed buildings were rebuilt. In the following years and decades, the Botanical Garden facilities have been reconstructed and upgraded to the present look of the Botanical Garden, with infrastructure and facilities that are in the function of the work of the Botanical Garden and the Institute of Botany of the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade.

Under the guidance of the first directors, Stevan Jakšić and Živojin Jurišić, the Botanical Garden reached the total number of 2333 plant taxa in the first twenty years. In the following decades, the Botanical Garden is further developed and enriched, especially during the governance of the great Serbian botanist, academician Nedeljko Košanin, when the total number of plant species of the Botanical Garden reached the number of about 4000. From the very beginning, the planted species were grouped by geographical affiliation, there were areas with horticultural plants, fruit trees and occasionally with agricultural crops. Since then, the Botanical Garden changed the organization, structure, quantity and the composition of the plants for several times. It is interesting that from the end of the Second World War to the present day, the Botanical Garden is constantly facing the problem of insufficient number of quality gardeners and their assistants. Additionally, the earlier forcing of planting the trees has led to difficulties in cultivating the herbaceous plants and generally all heliophile species.