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Just few minutes work from Old Town & centre you'll find some peace and beatuiful colours.
Outside the mill of tourists and crush of narrow Old Town streets, Kraków’s Botanical Gardens provide a pleasant retreat. Hundreds of specimens, including a 500-year-old oak and a fine collection of carnivorous plants, blossom in vivid colour over the grounds, which cover 9.5 hectares of what once was the Wisla riverbed.
The gardens are above all a centre for plant conservation and research, attached to the Jagiellonian University and originally founded in 1783 for the medical faculty. The university’s astronomical observatory, dating from the late 18th century, now houses a botanical museum. The museum is divided into three sections – its botanical collections include more than 5,000 specimens collected over 200 years from Poland, Africa and Indonesia; its educational materials collection includes models of fungi, flowers and parts of plants; and a third section presents scientific manuscripts, photos, slides and audio-visual materials.
Besides offering a relaxing and educational garden stroll, Kraków’s botanical gardens provide an excellent reason to explore beyond the Old Town, on the other side of the central train station. Visitors can reach the garden by wandering down tree-lined, church-studded Copernicus street, get a peek along the way at the controversial, ultra-modern opera house, and view what much of the rest of Kraków looks like, gazing across the massive traffic circle Rondo Mogilskie to patchworks of quiet neighbourhoods of mixed old and new architecture interspersed with housing blocks. The gardens are open from mid-April to mid-October, 9am-7pm.
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