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Begun in 1545, this is the oldest university garden in Europe. It was started to grow herbs for medical cures and testing, and the concept and administration was from medicine sutides at Bo University. It was called Hortis Simplicium for its simple theme. Venice's reach to foreign lands brought back exotic plants for medincinal study. There is also a library and herberium. The gardens were designed as a circle, planned by Daniele Barbaro. It is now enclosed by walls built after many thefts of plants in early days, and four elaborate gates were built in 1704. A square in middle is divided in 4 quarters for pathways. There is about 5 acres of ground. The oldest plant is from 1585, a palm.
The garden was restored by the Wiegand family of Nevada in recent years. Entry is 4 Euro, but a Padova card for 14 Euro allows entry to this and many other sites.
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
This garden was first planted in 1545 and is said to be the oldest in Europe, and the oldest University garden in the world
created for the University it originally held many rare medicinal plants known as `simples` and plants from countries that had links with the Venitian Republic
the Orto Botanico is included in UNESCO`s World Heritage list
the garden is laid out as a circle, divided into four quadrants, these quadrants in turn are divided into sections holding different families of plants, outside the main garden wall are conservatories and laboratories, one of the conservatories has a very interesting collection of carniverous plants, there is also an orchid house which was closed when we visited
one of the pictures accompanying this tip shows the oldest plant in the garden which is a palm planted in 1585. This is known as the Goethe Palm as the German writer studied the palm and published his ideas of evolution in 1786 [well before Charles Darwin] based on those studies. The palm is enclosed by a specially built glasshouse, which looks like it will soon need enlarging
this is a lovely place to stroll, with lots of shady areas for hot days. Many of the plants were past their best when we visited, but the aquatic plants were wonderful, especially the Victoria Cruziana, there are also sensory areas designed for the visually impaired with aromatic planting, and outside the walled garden an arboraetum
the garden is open daily between April and October 9.00-13.00 and 15.00-18.00, and between November and March 9.00-13.00 [excluding public holidays
Address: via Orto Botanico 15, 35123 Padova
Directions: clost to Basilica di Sant`Antonio
- Historical Travel
Padua's botanical garden is said to be one of the oldest in Europe dating from 1545 and today still retains much of its original appearance. The gardens and hothouses were used to cultivate the first lilac trees (1568), sunflowers (1568) and potatoes (1590) to be grown in Italy. In its beginning, the gardens were devoted to the growth of medicinal plants since they made up the majority of the remedies directly obtained from nature without any further intervention. The gardens provide nice peaceful and scenic walks and restful relaxation.
Open: 9am-1pm & 3pm-6pm Apr-Oct. 9pm-1pm Nov-Mar.
Padova's Orto Botanico are really very special...they are the very first academic botanical gardens anywhere. For this reason they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The gardens were first planted in 1545 by the university's medical department as a collection of herbs and plants with medicinal uses. The gardens are still laid out pretty much as they were originally and each plant is carefully labelled with its Latin name. There are over 6000 plants in total.
The famous 'Goethe' palm is protected by a specially-built greenhouse. I didn't realise palms lived so long (Goethe visited in the 1500s) but signs confirm that this is indeed the same tree (planted in 1585), although it has many separate side-shoots.
There's a pretty impressive collection of cacti and succulents in the other greenhouses, as well as orchids and other tropical plants. And there's an arboretum too, with some very ancient trees as well as some very unusual ones.
I thought this was a lovely place to wander and somewhere which would be super for a shady picnic in the summer heat. Unfortunately, it closes at lunchtimes, so perhaps that isn't a feasible idea!
The gardens are open daily April>October from 9am - 1pm and from 3-7pm. Entrance is 4 euro. There is a (very clean) set of toilets, but you have to ask at the ticket desk for the key.
Address: Via Donatello
Directions: Via Donatello leads off Piazza Del Santo, at the top of Via Belludi (to the right as you look towards the cathedral).
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Between the 'Prato della Valle' and the Basilica there’s one of the most interesting Botanical gardens in Europe: the "Orto Botanico" (1545), with exotic flowers and plants.
It’s another recommended visit in this city. The Garden was in its origins dedicated to cultivate natural medicines.
Padua's Botanical Gardens were the first ever in Europe, founded in 1545 by Francesco Bonafede for the study of medicinal plants. It's surrounded by a wall, and divided into four sections.
Directions: Just east of the Prato della Valle.
- Hiking and Walking