The current park near the Poreč bus station is widely accepted as the most possible location of the botanical garden which existed a century ago.
There are three possibilities for a botanical garden location in Poreč:
- park of the Mate Balota High School,
- park of the Anton Štifanić Gastronomy and Tourism College and
- the park close to the current bus station.
The detailed research regarding the exact location was conducted recently in 2012-2013.
It was discovered both school parks were planted on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the reign of the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I in 1907 or (most likely) in 1908. Today the park of the Gastronomy and Tourism School is lost, while the Mate Balota High School park is well preserved and the disposition of plants has not been changed. Those two parks were not designed as botanical gardens, but as decorative and educative school parks.
The park next to the current Poreč bus station has a more complex history. This area was known under the name St. Lucia, and it was privately owned by the Calegari family. The exact year of the beginning of the planting of a garden could not be defined. It was probably a few years after World War I. The initiator of the botanical garden was doctor Virginio Calegari. He, very probably, was supported by his uncle Matteo Calegari, a known botanist, who was often said to be the most to be credited with the idea of a botanical garden idea due to his indisputable expertise.
It was Virginio Calegari who took care of the family estate and the botanical garden from its establishment to the middle of the World War II. There is no written evidence of the number and distribution of plant species at that time, but the area of the garden diminished and the number of species fell drastically in 1967 due to construction works, when the city bus station was built on the present site. In fact, the area was proclaimed state property in 1962.
The garden contained a large number of exotic and indigenous plant species, often purchased, and systematically marked and listed. At its beginning, the garden was probably not opened to the public. It was used for the educational purposes of the Agricultural School, and was open to the public at least in one period of its existence. It cannot be stated that the park was ever registered as a botanical garden, but it fulfilled all the postulates for the definition of a botanical garden in today’s terms.
Nowadays, from the original park only a small area behind the bus station is left, counting about 30 trees and shrubs. Unfortunately, it is not recognized as a valuable city site and the number of plants is decreasing continuously. This negligence could lead to the irrecoverable loss of the park.