Kvirikoba in Svaneti, 3-day tour
135.00 ₾ per person
Up to eighty species of trees, shrubs and plants grow in the garden, including six species of magnolia, various species of oak, Atlas and Himalayan cedar, Canary poplar, relict and endemic plants imported from Asia, including India, Japan, the Mediterranean, the Americas and elsewhere. Zugdidi Garden became decorative after the last prince of Samegrelo, Davit Dadiani, started its development.
Zugdidi Botanical Garden is one of the best bases for the introduction, research and acclimatization of valuable subtropical plants, with its location, as well as climate.
According to Iona Meunargia, Raphael Eristavi, V. Mirzashvili, Borozdin, I. Gogia and others, when David Dadiani took power from his father, Levan V, the prince of Samegrelo, in 1840, he began building a decorative garden with the management of the principality. In the same year, he enclosed the part of the forest situated around the palace, which was recognized as the palace garden, and established permanent staffs of specialist gardeners. Soon David handed over the care of the garden and its management to his wife Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani. Ekaterine took this noble affair with great love and enthusiasm and in a short time created a garden rich in exotic species.
Ekaterine Chavchavadze invited Joseph Babin, a gardener from Trieste, Italy, as the main builder of the garden, who completely change the look of the garden - cleaned it from weeds, specified the decorative area, planned it in a French, symmetrical style, separated and decorated the plots, created the artificial landscapes (today at this place the artificial lake with island is preserved), which were skillfully combined with the natural landscapes left at certain places, arranged a nursery, etc.
David Dadiani died in 1853. After that, the management of the principality, also the care and patronage of the garden passed completely into the hands of Ekaterine Chavchavadze. Ekaterine started to arrange the garden with more energy, though the existing political circumstances prevented her from doing so. The garden experienced a great natural disaster during the Ottoman–Russian War of 1853-1856. In 1855 Samegrelo also became an arena of war. The 30,000-strong Ottoman army, led by Omar Pasha, spent more than half a year in Samegrelo and during this time destroyed the area. In 1856, under the command of Iskander-Pasha, the head of one of the garrisons oppressed by the Megrelians, the garden was completely dug up and destroyed.
After the armistice with the Ottomans, as a result of Ekaterine's energetic action, restoration work began in the garden, and it has fully been restored since 1869, i.e after the return of Ekaterine Chavachavadze from France. The work was carried out at a fast pace, especially after inviting the specialist gardeners-decorators, brothers Gaetani and Giovanni Zamberletti from Varese (Italy) in 1896.
As I. Gogia (1947) notes that the Zamberlettis brought many rare and precious seeds and saplings of exotic plants from St. Petersburg, which supplemented the existing plant collection, expanded the garden area according to the general plan, lengthened boxwood edgings and paths of interesting trees. I. Gogia attributes this exact period to building beautiful lanes of goliath planes, that cover the whole garden (1182 m). As for the 187 m long hornbeam lane, which is no less beautiful, Gogia considers it to be the scion of the stumps cut by the Ottomans that is the complete truth.
The garden gradually grew, the collection of plants was enriched with new species, but from 1882, because of the death of E.Chavchavadze, the importation and propagation of exotics were stopped, however, the maintenance continued.
In 1903, Niko David Dadiani and the old gardener Gaetano Zamberletti died, which reduces the maintenance of the garden.
From then, until 1917 the garden, along with other Dadiani estates, was guarded and managed by their attorney, and during the Menshevik domination (1917–1921) - the people. Especially during this period, the garden was neglected and abandoned.
Nevertheless, Zugdidi Park has done a glorious job since the day it was planted. It became a home for the introduction of precious plants in Samegrelo, from where hundreds of foreign plants were widely introduced to the population, many gardens, squares and parks were planted in villages, towns and cities of Samegrelo, and the population instilled a love of woody shrubs.
Reconstruction of Zugdidi Botanical Garden, after many years of promises, started in February 2018. The restoration works of the garden are carried out by the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia.
Internal paths will be arranged in the territory of the Botanical Garden - in total, the length of the paths will be eight kilometers. At the same time, an artificial lake and water canals will be paved and an administrative building will be built. A lighting system will be arranged, chairs and garbage bins will be installed.
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