In this chapter we treat the Botanical Garden of Padua, the oldest garden in the world, thanks also to the University of Padova.
The University Botanical Garden of Padova is the oldest in the world and continues to exist, on a land which once belonged to Benedictine monks, from 1545 and, since 1997, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Born as “Giardino dei Semplici” was established by the Senate of the Republic of Venice to ensure the cultivation of medicinal plants for pharmacological purposes and, at the same time, to be a field of study for medical students.
The garden is divided into various sectors and the curious ones are certainly those near the library, reserved for poisonous and insectivorous plants. The most fairytale piece of the garden, however, is definitely the plane tree which dates back to 1680, up to about forty meters high with a thick and very shady foliage.
Nonetheless, however, they are an “evergreen magnolia” of 1789, coming from the southern regions of the United States, the “ginkgo” of 1750, the “palms of St. Peter” also called dwarf palms for the small size, the “evergreen cedar” “originally from the Himalayan mountain range and, finally, the metasequoia that is considered extinct in the Pliocene. Since 1997 it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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