The same point of view: our faculty then and now

Did you know that where the pond with the statue of the Frog now stands in the Botanical Garden, there was originally a tropical greenhouse with a pond where the first Victoria amazonica was grown as early as 1924?  

6 Apr 2021 Magdaléna Chytrá

At the site of todays garden lake, there was originally a tropical greenhouse with an indoor pond which, in 1924, housed the first Victoria amazonica (a tropical water lily with gigantic leaves) to be grown in the faculty garden. On the coloured slide below, you can see the facade of the first natural greenhouse, which was built using hotbed windows. The greenhouse was built by the gardeners themselves under the leadership of František Jirásek. Several steps led down from the entrance in the middle of the building to the greenhouse floor, which was mainly underground with windows set at ground level. Behind the entrance, towards Kotlářská Street, there was another greenhouse just for the Victoria amazonica, and this became a great attraction for citizens from all over Brno and its surroundings. These stood here until 1931, after which new greenhouses were built elsewhere.

At the site of todays garden lake, there was originally a tropical greenhouse with an indoor pond.
Photo: MU Archive, undated.

The garden pond with the frog fountain in the botanical garden is a popular site that people remember for a lifetime. Everyone happily tells how they took pictures of the frog statue as a child. The concrete statue of the frog was created in 1947 by the sculptor František Knaifl, who used a real American frog, the bull jumper, as a model. This species of thermophilic frog, which is bred on farms producing frog’s legs, becomes an invasive species when it escapes into nature. Fortunately, we only have a statue! The fountain used to spout drinking water, which then flowed into the canal on the other side of the pool; however, this stopped in the 1970s. In 2019, the fountain was professionally repaired by the restorer Libor Jaroš and it was reconnected to a circulating pump, allowing it to once again function as a fountain. 

The garden pond and its frog statue in the botanical garden is a popular site. Photo: Libor Teplý, 2019. 

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