The Three Oldest Botanical Gardens in the World

Time amongst plants provides a heavenly escape, a way to commune with nature, a relaxing atmosphere, and numerous other benefits. Because of this, they have a long history as part of urban and rural atmospheres. Here are the top three oldest botanical gardens in the world, all of which were created around the same time in the 1540s, and all in the same country.

3) Orto botanico di Firenze, Florence, Italy, 1545. Spanning about 5.9 acres, this garden contains nearly 9000 plant types. Founded by Cosimo I de’ Medici, one purpose of this garden was to grow medicinal plants. The site, approximately square-shaped, is surrounded mostly by walls.

2) Orto botanico di Padova, Padua, Italy, 1545. Planted amongst 5.4 acres, this garden contains over 6000 plant species and is affiliated with the University of Padua. The garden had two purposes at the time it was created: To serve as a learning tool and to grow and test plants as medicinal remedies. The garden is modeled on medieval enclosed gardens, with a square inside a circle, which divides the garden into four parts.

1) Orto botanico di Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 1544.  Edging out the previous two gardens by just a year, this garden was founded as a research garden for botanist Luca Ghini. One of Ghini’s projects was the creation of an herbarium, which allowed for the study of dried plants and their various uses. The area of the garden and the number of plant species is currently unknown. Initially located on the river Arno, the entire garden was relocated in 1563 in 1591. It contains schools, greenhouses, ponds, and more, broken up in various sections.