Anastasie Fătu, an important doctor and naturalist from the Iași of the 19th century was the one who founded the oldest Botanical Garden in Romania, in 1856, on a land of his own, in the Yellow Precipice area.
The evolution of the Botanical Garden wasn’t an easy one, its placement and sizes changing throughout time. There have been smaller botanical arrangements in the yard of the Natural History Museum, behind the current “Gr.T.Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy or behind the University Palace in Copou, where we can still see some rare species and the former pavilion for exotic plants.
The current placement of the Botanical Garden, named after the initiator “Anastasie Fătu” in Copou hill, has been established in 1964. The lands extended throughout time, and today, the Botanical Garden in Iași remains the biggest one in the country and one of the biggest ones in Europe. It is spread on over 100 hectares which include lakes and mineral water springs. The biggest sector, dedicated to the flowers and vegetation of Romania, has a surface of 25 hectares. The 12 greenhouses complex illustrates aspects of the flowers and vegetation of the world: Mediterranean, tropical, sub-tropical (with a rich collection of cacti) plants, decorative flowers etc. In the ‘70s, an important dendrological section was arranged, with new plantations of linden trees, hornbeam, oak tree, trembling poplar and sycamore maple. Some portions were planted with seeds of exotic trees offered by many botanical gardens in the world. One of the most popular sections is the Rosary, which has over 600 species of roses. The azalea exhibitions, in February, and the ones of chrysanthemums in each autumn, are appreciated on a national level. The exhibitions have a scientific, informative, but also decorative purpose. The Phytogeographic Section is 13 hectares wide and has plants placed after their origin place and by the category of landscape in their area of origin.
An interesting thing in the Botanical Garden is the section for the blind. Founded in 1991, this section reunites over 30 species whose main features are the strong perfume and certain leaf particularities, which offer blind people details on the plants through their simple touching. The section has labels written in Braille which offer the essential information regarding each exhibited species.
The biology research is well represented in the Copou institution. Thus, there are specialised labs with interdisciplinary teams that are doing numerous projects of national and European importance. At Agigea, on the Black Sea shore, the institution from Iași arranged a small botanical garden with a vegetation typical to sea dunes inside the own Research Station.
Parks and gardens of Iași
Iași is a city of green spaces and parks. The most known one is Copou Park, a place with tradition (19th century). On Copou Hill, in 1923, the Exhibition Park was founded, made on the occasion of an agriculture exhibition of reunited Moldavia. The Arch of Mihăileană Academy was moved here (from where the name of the street – Arch), demolished in 1890. The National Theatre Park is situated in the city centre and has 20 monumental English planetree. Since 2012, Palas Garden offers a modern relaxation space, with English lawn, a fountain and romantic pavilions, and continues with Podu Roș Park, near the Lipovan Church. Other small parks exist inside the yards of the Metropolitan Cathedral, Golia Monastery and St. Spiridon Church.