The Uppsala University Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Sweden. It was founded in 1655 by Olof Rudbeck the elder, professor of medicine. The garden was used for teaching students botany and pharmacy. By the end of the century, more than 1 800 species were grown in the garden, many of them for the first time in Sweden. Olof Rudbecks´ botanical garden was largely destroyed by a fire in 1702. The university could not afford to restore it, and it was left unattended for a period of 40 years.
In 1741, Carl Linnaeus became professor of medicine at Uppsala University and responsible for the neglected garden. Under his supervision, it turned into one of the foremost gardens of its time. Through contacts with fellow scientists all over the world, Linnaeus was able to gather thousands of foreign plants in cultivation. They were grown in parterres either based on ecology or following the classes of the sexual system. This botanical garden has been reconstructed according to Linnaeus´ original plan from 1745. It is now called the Linnaeus´ Garden.
The location close to the river Fyrisån was unsuitable for gardening as the grounds were very swampy. Furthermore, by the end of the 18th century the expanding garden needed more space. In 1787, Carl Peter Thunberg, Linnaeus´ disciple and successor, persuaded King Gustaf III to donate the Uppsala castle garden to the university, so that it could be turned into a new botanical garden. The castle garden was a baroque garden designed in 1750 by the architect Carl Hårlemann. The king also donated a large sum of money, for which the orangery building Linneanum was erected. All the plant material was moved from the old garden, which then fell into a stage of neglect.
Today, after being enlarged several times, the Botanical Garden extends over 34 acres. Some 11 000 species and cultivars from all over the world are under cultivation. The garden is divided into many different sections: economic plants, rock and arid gardens, stone troughs, peat beds, annual beds and areas for research and education. The cool orangery has been supplemented by a Tropical Greenhouse with about 4 000 species from the warmer climatic zones.
The Baroque Garden has been restored according to the plan from the 1750s. Linneanum still houses an orangery, the oldest plants grown there are Linnaeus´ laurels, four 250 year old trees.
The main tasks for the Botanical Garden is to provide plant material and horticultural support for research and education within Uppsala University and to promote public awareness on all issues concerning biological diversity. Each year, more than one thousand students are tutored in botany, pharmacology, horticulture or ecology. The garden regularly arranges guided tours, exhibitions and events open to the public.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.