Padua Botanical Garden

Padua, Italy

The Orto Botanico di Padova is a botanical garden in Padua, founded in 1545 by the Venetian Republic. It is the world's oldest academic botanical garden that is still in its original location. The garden, affiliated with the University of Padua, currently covers roughly 22,000 square meters, and is known for its special collections and historical design.

A circular wall enclosure was built to protect the garden from the frequent night thefts which occurred in spite of severe penalties (fines, prison, exile). The Botanical Garden was steadily enriched with plants from all over the world, particularly from the countries that participated in trade with Venice. Consequently, Padua had a leading role in the introduction and study of many exotic plants, and a herbarium, a library and many laboratories were gradually added to its Botanical Garden.

At present, the Botanical Garden allows for intensive didactic activity as well as important research to be conducted on its grounds. It also cares for the preservation of many rare species. In 1997, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site on the following grounds:

The Botanical Garden of Padua is the original of all botanical gardens throughout the world, and represents the birth of science, of scientific exchanges, and understanding of the relationship between nature and culture. It has made a profound contribution to the development of many modern scientific disciplines, notably botany, medicine, chemistry, ecology and pharmacy.

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Founded: 1545
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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

darckghost rider (7 months ago)
The botanical garden of Padua is one of the must attraction of the city. It’s situated near Prato della Valle. It a magic place where you can spend some hours like a day with your family, friends or alone. An awesome spot where you can relax, find some peace. Suitable for family, photographer and nature lover. It’s full of different plants in their own environment: Tropical forest, Mediterranean, desert and so on. Highly recommended.
ermes tuon (ErmesT) (10 months ago)
If you haven't been there already, you should book your online ticket and go to visit the Padua Botanical Garden now. It is not only the most ancient Botanical Garden of the world (built on 1545) but is also fully accessible. The new Garden of Biodiversity, opened on 2014, is an unbelievable experience. The garden have an area for visually impaired people, with Braille plates and the possibility of touching the plants, for a tactile experience. Perfect for children from 4 to 124 years, is a refreshing experience on summertime
Rachel Righetti (11 months ago)
Fantastic, amazing place! Great for all ages, very well maintained in the old part, modern structure around it. Kind workers,just 10/10!
Enrico Bovo (11 months ago)
Amazing Botanic Garden in the center of Padova, near Prato della Valle. Very well organized and the plants are kept very well with name tags. Cheep and free for University Student of Padova. Suggested.
Nicola B (14 months ago)
In my opinion this is one of the most beautiful places in Padova (if not the most!) The botanical garden is a wonderful historical monument and just a green gem in the heart of the city. It's filled with the most diverse plants and it just inspires curiosity and wonder. It looks its best in late spring-early summer, since during the winter lots of plants either loose their foliage or are brought inside the greenhouses for protection (it's the case of the succulent and cacti collection which during the warm months is displayed in the main paths of the old garden). It's still very beautiful during the other seasons, just a little less charming! But the whole newer part with the large greenhouse ( the rainforest section) stays luscious year round! I highly recommend a visit here!
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Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

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