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Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Netherlands

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Zoe Marrion
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The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens - a small oasis of calm and grace in the heart of the hectic city. Where else in the city can you find cycas palms that outlived the dinosaurs, or stand amidst a flock of butterflies fluttering around your head?
Hortus Botanicus
Behind the three-hundred-year-old gates at the entrance, situated right on the border between the city centre and the Plantage district, are some six thousand different species of plants that originate from every corner of the globe. The garden is home to cycas palms that are nearly as old as the Hortus itself, as well as younger plants from all over the world. The garden is set amidst historic buildings and the palm greenhouse from the early 1900’s, is a monument in its own right. Visitors can also browse around in the modern Three-Climate Greenhouse, the Oranjerie and the museum café.
History of the Hortus
After the outbreak of the plague in 1635, the Hortus was founded by the city council as a medicinal herb garden. In what is known as the Golden Century, the city council had close ties with the Dutch East India Company and the ships brought back many of the plants they found. Tropical crops like coffee, pineapples and nutmeg were cultivated in the Hortus, as well as many other unusual plants. It also became a research site for studies on medicines to treat tropical diseases.
During and after the Second World War, the scientific research at the Hortus came to a near standstill. In the late 1960’s, Amsterdam residents and people from all over the Netherlands saved the Hortus from closure by a widely supported campaign.
Three-Climates Greenhouse
Recent maintenance, restoration and renovation means that the monumental garden with its characteristic buildings can now once again be admired in its full glory. A new Greenhouse was recently constructed, presenting the tropics, sub-tropics and the desert. The renovated and restored Oranjerie re-opened this fall and is now used as a museum café.


Source: www.holland.com/uk/ - all rights reserved

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