Lisbon Botanical Garden: Oasis in the city
More to its beautiful beaches and historical sites, Lisbon also has something to offer for those who appreciate botanical species as it is where one of Europe’s best botanical gardens is located.
Lisbon’s Jardim Botanico, located in Principe Real district, houses a collection of unique and endangered plant species from many parts of the world, including Australia, South America, and New Zealand. With all these, it is also not surprising why it has become a famous destination for people with special interest in botany, and why it has become a ground for scientific studies of plant species.
Covering about 10 acres of land, Botanical Garden in Lisbon was established in 1873 through the initiative of professors Andrade Corvo and the Earl of Ficalho. The Botanical Garden was first tended by E. Goeze, a German; and J. Daveau, a Frenchman—who also helped gather the plant species that visitors can now see. Housing a wide collection of plant species from many parts of the world, of which the most notable are the palms, the Botanical Garden in itself also shows Portugal’s colonial power during the time it was established.
Not only ideal for foreign tourists to visit, the garden is also a great place to visit for students who want to learn about plants and their ecological processes. Botanical garden in Lisbon serves as an educational ground, illustrating ways to conserve plants, especially those whose survival is threatened.
In addition to palms, among the most notable species that capture the attention of scholars from many parts of Europe are the cycads, which is an extremely rare plant species that is only found in a few botanical gardens around the world.
The Botanical Garden in Lisbon has also become a ground for other scientific studies, including astronomy and meteorology. Located within the garden are scientific facilities such as the Astronomical Institute Observatory and the Meteorological Observatory, which was opened in 1863. Also located at Jardim Botanico is a department of the Science Museum, which visitors can see by appointment.
Visitors can visit the Jardim Botanico in Lisbon everyday, from 9AM-8PM during summer and 9AM-6PM during winter. Located in Rua da Escola Politécnica, it is close to other famous tourist attractions, including Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, a garden on top of a hill where tourists can get a view of the city of Lisbon; and São Roque Church, where one of the city most interesting chapels is located.