Füvészkert (“Herbologist Garden”) was founded for medical students centuries ago, and it was made famous in Ferenc Molnár’s novel The Paul Street Boys. Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu has recently published some interesting facts about this green “island”.
Exploring this “jungle” of various plants and herbs provides an exciting and unique program even in the harshest summer heat. The shady walkways, the quiet stream, and the small pond create an atmosphere of tranquility. The blooming gardens of colorful flowers make visitors forget that they are in fact in the middle of a crowded and noisy capital city.
This place is even more atmospheric for those who have read The Paul Street Boys, as they can imagine clearly the scene in which Boka, Nemecsek and Csónakos spy after their enemies, the Redshirts. We can almost see as they sneak from one palm tree to another.
Füvészkert is the first botanical garden in Hungary. It is currently operating as a unit of Eötvös Lóránd University in Józsefváros. The overall territory of the greenhouses exceeds 2,000 square meters.
This garden has a history full of adventure, indeed. It was founded in 1771 in Nagyszombat in order to support the education of medical students. It was moved to Buda 1777 along with the university itself. After multiple relocations within the city, it has been moved to its current place in 2847.
It was made famous by the novel of Ferenc Molnár, as the protagonists of The Paul Street Boys had some adventures there. The name “Füvészkert” was taken to honor the novel.
The botanical garden’s territory had been decreased. Maps from that time show that Füvészkert lied between today’s Klinikák (Clinics) metro station and the Szigony Street-Üllői Street-Korányi Sándor Street-Illés Street-Tömő Street line.
The greenhouse described in The Paul Street Boys was somewhere near Tömő Street. The pond in which Nemecsek ended up hiding was probably in the place of today’s clinical building near the Museum of Natural Sciences.
The garden is a protected area since 1960. It has received the Hungarian Heritage Award in 2005.
Multiple sights can be found in Füvészkert. Maidenhair trees older than 150 years, cacti, ferns and orchids, and almost 8,000 plant species can be visited in the garden.
There is also the Victoria House, which was built exclusively for the giant water lilies from the Amazonas. Unfortunately, this section is closed right now as some visitors damaged the plants there.
Species from several climates ranging from Australia to the Mediterranean can be found there. In Füvészkert, these plants are protected, tended, propagated and studied. The garden does not lack herbs and spices, annuals, garden plots and rock garden species either. Füvészkert has a unique collection of citruses, palms, tropical flowers and flycatchers.
Naturally, birds also love this environment, so birdwatching sessions are held there regularly. Those who are interested in insects can also find their luck in the garden, as sometimes special species are attracted with light traps for examination.
The library of Füvészkert is special, as well as its herbarium with 30,000 specimens and the 20,000 different types of seeds and yields.
Multiple programs are organized in the garden regularly. In spring, Füvészkert celebrates the traditional Japanese Sakura in connection to cherry blossoming. In autumn, Ginko Days provide an insight into Chinese culture.
After visiting Füvészkert, we recommend you to visit the Museum of Natural Sciences, which is the greatest collection in Hungary concerning mineralogy, petrography, geology, paleontology, herbology, zoology and anthropology.
And finally, taking a calm walk in Orczy Garden is the best way to finish a day full of experiences connected to nature.