Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Richmond, United Kingdom

You might not think of a botanic garden as a historic site, but the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) have a firm place in the history of gardening. Established from a collection of royal estates in 1759, they demonstrate different garden styles through the centuries. The gardens are also home to 44 historic buildings, including royal residences, Victorian greenhouses and garden follies.

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Founded: 18th century
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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Ertug Ekenler (3 years ago)
Better than I expected. Was so great fun that I became a member. Now I can see Kew Gardens every season. The new children's playground looked fine, though it was not open when we visited (due to open on 18 May 2019). That should be great fun for the small ones too.
Will Hazelton (3 years ago)
Was so surprised by just how enormous this place is! Absolutely fantastic day with friends and family. Would recommend getting up early and taking a picnic. It's so huge and beautiful you could spend a whole day there. But be warned dogs and ball games aren't allowed. A must see if you are in London with a spare weekend. The value for money is amazing!
G Baptiste (3 years ago)
Kew is magical. It's stunningly beautiful. There's so much to explore. Check out the palm House, but be prepared to sweat! It has the most amazing plant life and lots of info which is great for school trips. It's a great day out if you're alone with friends or family.
Dilal Ahmed (3 years ago)
This is a great way to spend a day in London. The gardens are lovely. We booked online so entry was slightly cheaper & straightforward. We also booked the land train which we found very useful as it gave an overview of the whole gardens - which are extensive - and then we used it to hop on/off as required. It was helpful to have the main features pointed out by the train driver. Facilities are excellent.The treetop walk, while not extensive, was worthwhile. I would have enjoyed booking in for one of the events but that would require more planning than we did.
Philip Long (3 years ago)
I went to Kew today to visit the orchid display but I forgot what a wonderful place Kew is to visit. I found that the new greenhouse was spectacular. The overall care and attention is 1st class. Staff were extremely friendly and polite at the entrance. We parked which was not too expensive at £7-00 a day. My only complaint is that the restaurant serves the most appalling self-service coffee. The cakes were lovely. I would suggest people bring food with you as you could really have a lovely picnic in the warm weather. if you really like coffee avoid the self-service one but a great overall day. I could see they are in the process of building a play area for children which looks amazing. Well worth the money and time. I am definitely going back soon with a flask.
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Royal Palace of Naples

Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.

In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.

During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.

In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.

The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.