The Uppsala University Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Sweden. It was founded in 1655 by Olof Rudbeck the elder, professor of medicine. The garden was used for teaching students botany and pharmacy. By the end of the century, more than 1 800 species were grown in the garden, many of them for the first time in Sweden. Olof Rudbecks´ botanical garden was largely destroyed by a fire in 1702. The university could not afford to restore it, and it was left unattended for a period of 40 years.
In 1741, Carl Linnaeus became professor of medicine at Uppsala University and responsible for the neglected garden. Under his supervision, it turned into one of the foremost gardens of its time. Through contacts with fellow scientists all over the world, Linnaeus was able to gather thousands of foreign plants in cultivation. They were grown in parterres either based on ecology or following the classes of the sexual system. This botanical garden has been reconstructed according to Linnaeus´ original plan from 1745. It is now called the Linnaeus´ Garden.
The location close to the river Fyrisån was unsuitable for gardening as the grounds were very swampy. Furthermore, by the end of the 18th century the expanding garden needed more space. In 1787, Carl Peter Thunberg, Linnaeus´ disciple and successor, persuaded King Gustaf III to donate the Uppsala castle garden to the university, so that it could be turned into a new botanical garden. The castle garden was a baroque garden designed in 1750 by the architect Carl Hårlemann. The king also donated a large sum of money, for which the orangery building Linneanum was erected. All the plant material was moved from the old garden, which then fell into a stage of neglect.
Today, after being enlarged several times, the Botanical Garden extends over 34 acres. Some 11 000 species and cultivars from all over the world are under cultivation. The garden is divided into many different sections: economic plants, rock and arid gardens, stone troughs, peat beds, annual beds and areas for research and education. The cool orangery has been supplemented by a Tropical Greenhouse with about 4 000 species from the warmer climatic zones.
The Baroque Garden has been restored according to the plan from the 1750s. Linneanum still houses an orangery, the oldest plants grown there are Linnaeus´ laurels, four 250 year old trees.
The main tasks for the Botanical Garden is to provide plant material and horticultural support for research and education within Uppsala University and to promote public awareness on all issues concerning biological diversity. Each year, more than one thousand students are tutored in botany, pharmacology, horticulture or ecology. The garden regularly arranges guided tours, exhibitions and events open to the public.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.