Jardín Botánico-Histórico La Concepción is one of most beautiful and important tropical and subtropical gardens of Spain and one of the most appreciated ones in the whole of Europe. Created around 1855 by the Marquises of Casa Loring, it was expanded some years later by the second owners, the Echevarría–Echevarrieta family. It was officially declared a Historic and Artistic Garden (currently a 'Bien de Interés Cultural' in 1943. It became the property of the Council of Málaga in the spring of 1990 that opened it to the public in 1994.
It comprises 23 hectares and it has a garden in the centre that has been declared to be a historic/artistic garden of approximately 3 hectares. Form the set of fountains and waterfalls combined with a beautiful selection of subtropical plants from all over the world, its romantic landscape style stands out with significant neoclassical features.
There are more than 25,000 plants belonging to about 2,000 different species of which 90 are palm trees, 200 are native plants and the remainder are tropical and subtropical. In relation to buildings, the Casa-Palacio (Palace House) and the Casa del Administrador (Administrator's House) stand out. The administrative offices are housed in the first one and it has generous rooms for different uses and a comfortable and well-equipped assembly hall. The laboratories for research staff, an exhibition room and a classroom can be found in the second. There are some more smaller buildings doted around the garden such as the Antigua Escuelita (Old School), la Casita del Jardinero (Gardener's House), known as the Casita de los Cipreses (House of the Cypresses), the Museo Loringiano (Loringiano Museum) and a regionalist style dome that is used because of its panoramic views of the city.
The Museo Loringiano houses the archaeological finds that Jorge Loring acquired from the excavations of Málaga and the province such as the 'Lex Flavia Malacitana' (Malaga's municipal code of law), which is currently in the National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid. Some of these archaeological items can be seen around the museum.
Around the Historical Garden, we can find the Botanical Garden that contains a set of plant collections that have been structured scientifically that can be visited in the following thematic routes.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.