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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

de Hortus Botanicus: Amsterdam

On Planage Middenlaan, just off Muiderstratten is a 2 arce plot that plays host to Amsterdam's Botanical Gardens. It is an intriguing place, sort of a mini Kew Gardens, with an Orangery built 1875, the Palm House for palm trees and cactus constructed in 1912, an miniature rainforest in the big Three-Climate Greenhouse dating from 1993, the Hugo de Vries building was built in 1915 to honour Professor de Vries was a famous genetics scholar and a director at de Hortus from 1896 to 1918. There is also a pond and potager. It was a beautiful hot day, so wandering around was a delight and a pleasure.

The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world. There are apparently over 4,000 plant species from all over the world. The Hortus started out as a medicinal herb garden in 1638 by the Amsterdam City Council. I can't imagine any other city in any other country doing the same. Although it was in part due to an plague epidemic that the medicinal garden was formed to allow doctors and pharmacists to train in the preparation of prescriptions.

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