Bernardinai Garden (previously known as Sereikiškės Park) is a public park in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. It is located on the right bank of the Vilnia River between the Gediminas Tower and Bernardine Monastery and it covers over 9 hectares. . Most of its territory is parkland, divided in the monastery exposition, the botanic exposition and other recreational territory including a children's amusement park. It hosts a variety of festivals and exhibitions, including an amateur chess championship of Ostap Bender.
History of Bernardinai Garden
Until the 14th century, in the territory of Bernardinai garden there was a Lithuanian pagan saint oaks wood. After Christianity the oaks were cut down and in 1469, when Lithuanian Grand Duke Kazimieras invited the Bernardine monks to Vilnius, the park was created. The monks rearranged the territory, set up a botanic exposition and did a lot of oher things.
In 1864 the Russian tsar government closed Bernardinai garden, but about twenty years later the townspeople recovered this garden. It was reconstructed according to A. V. Strauss and J. Jasinskis project. But during the World War II Bernardinai garden was destroyed. In the Soviet Union times it was reconstructed for the second time and named Jaunimo sodas (The Youth Garden).
In 2013 Bernardinai garden was reconstructed for the third time. Reconstruction works were done by „Vilnius city parks“ and partly funded by the European Union.
Educational and recreational zones of Bernardinai Garden
The botanical exposition is a very special part of the park, where plants are sorted by groups and classes. They are planted in two types. The first type is from the lowest to the tallest and the second type is when the tallest plants are in the centre while the smallest ones are at the sides. In this exposition’s center there is a small pool, sacred water plants. The monastery garden exposition was developed with medicinal herbs, potherbs, and edible and tea plants. There is a small fountain in the center of the exposition and a pergola - bower on which a lot of climber plants wind. In the rest territory of the park there are two fountains. The main fountain, which is situated in the center of Bernardinai garden, works all the day at weekends in a warm period of the year. On work days the fountain works only from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. as a magnificent light and music show. Also there is a rockery, a carousel, a playing ground for children, a giant chessboard, and checkers and chess tables. In a warm period of the year one can enjoy different expositions of sculptures.
- "Ar Sereikiškių parkas atgaus istorinį pavadinimą – Bernardinų sodas?" (in Lithuanian). Bernardinai.lt. 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "Idėja" (in Lithuanian). sereikiskes.lt. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- Bernardinai garden opened his gates after reconstruction (Lithuanian)