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History

The Botanical Garden was established in 1956. However, it has rich prehistory dating back 165 years ago when in 1836 the gardening company had been organised byСhristian Wilhelm Schoch who owned a seed shop in Rīga and a nursery at Ganību Dambis (Pasture Dam) near Rīga. After increasing the nursery it was transferred to Salaspils. The plants for C.W.Schoch’s company were imported from West Europe, including the famous L.Späth’s company in Berlin. Before the World War I, thousands of fruit-trees and a lot of ornamental trees to gardeners of Latvia and European part of Russia were sold yearly from Salaspils nursery. From 1888 to 1918, the company was managed by Wilchelm Beer. In 1919, during the first independence period of Latvia, it was bought by Pēteris Balodis. By that time the Salaspils nursery had become the largest nursery in Baltic states regarding its area and assortment of plants. 

Before the end of the World War II, the State Experimental Nursery of Fruit-trees and Berry-bushes was formed in autumn 1944, which later, in 1947, was renamed to become the Gardening Experimental Station in 1947 where ornamental plants were widely cultivated, too. 

On the initiative of the scientists - professors P.Galenieks, A.Kalniņš, J.Sudrabs and academican Alfrēds Ozols the Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences was founded in Salaspils in 1-st September, 1956, using the rich collections of plants (more than 2000 taxa) from nursery and the heritage of the past gardening traditions. At the moment, the area of Botanic Gardens covered 198 ha then (now it is 129 ha). 

At the time of establishing the Botanical Garden, the main tasks had been defined: investigations in botany and ornamental gardening, plant collections, introduction of plants, researches in genetics and breeding and besides these - information and popularisation of the investigations' results. The status of the institute of scientific researches was conferred to the Botanical Garden in 1968. 

After the re-establishing of the independence of Latvia in 1992 the status of National Botanic Garden was conferred to the Botanical Garden of Salaspils so approving it by the law as an object of national importance in education, culture, and science. 

The directors of the Botanical Garden:

Artūrs Mauriņš, Dr.hab.biol. (1956 to 1958),

Ilmārs Zunde, M-st. agricult. (1958-1967),

Viktors Ozoliņš (1967-1980),

Andris Zvirgzds, Dr.biol. h.c. (1980-1992),

Kārlis Buivids, Dr.biol. (1992-2002),

 Ģederts Ieviņš, Dr.hab.biol. (2002-2006),

Andrejs Svilāns (since 2006).