The Giardini Botanici Hanbury, also known as Villa Hanbury, are major botanical gardens operated by the University of Genoa.
The gardens were established by Sir Thomas Hanbury on a small, steep peninsula jutting southwards from an altitude of 103 meters down into the Mediterranean Sea. He purchased the extant Palazzo Orengo property in 1867, and over decades created the garden with the aid of pharmacologist Daniel Hanbury (his brother), the botanist and landscape designer Ludwig Winter, and scientists including Gustav Cronemayer, Kurt Dinter, and Alwin Berger. In 1912 the Hortus Mortolensis, the catalogue of the garden, contained 5800 species, although the garden itself had more. Hanbury died in 1907, but energetic plantings and improvements resumed after World War I under the direction of his daughter-in-law Lady Dorothy Hanbury.
The gardens were severely damaged in World War II, when they became a no-man's land and in 1960 Lady Hanbury sold them to the State of Italy. Initially its care was entrusted to the International Institute of Ligurian Studies but when they withdrew for lack of adequate funds in 1983 responsibility was passed to the University of Genoa. Restoration has been gradually proceeding since 1987 and it was declared a nature preserve in 2000.
In 2006 the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali submitted a proposal for the inclusion of the gardens on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
In 2007 and 2011 Villa Hanbury was included in the list of the 10 most beautiful gardens in Italy.References:
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.
According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.
The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.
The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.
With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.