Teaching, medicine and flora in Botany

The Botanical Garden of the University of Valencia is a living museum. In the heart of the city, more than 4,500 species are cultivated. The plants are ordered in 27 monographic collections to show their diversity, their adaptations to the environment or their usefulness for human beings.

Spiral ginger. g.caballero

But the Botanical is something more than plants, species and a leisure garden. What’s more, its objective and its main origin was not at all related to free time or having a good time.

Water well in the enclosure of medicinal plants. g.caballero

A native flora

The Botanical Garden has an infinite number of species. The hundred-year-old and irreplaceable trees that have been around since the 19th century stand out, the important collection of palm trees and Mediterranean plants or the sample of cacti so varied that you have your section of desert plants in the Botanical.

New Zealand Sago. german knight

Even so, some of the initiatives that the park wants to carry out are the conservation of plants in danger of extinction or the study of the native Valencian flora.

Horse tail. g.caballero

When visiting the Garden you can find different greenhouses. These facilities help to safeguard the most exotic and geographically remote spices, with special properties such as the change in temperature from winter to summer.

One of the characteristics of the Botanical Garden is the ability to change its environment depending on the season of the year in which it is located.

Stone pine. g.caballero

Therefore, depending on the season in which you visit, it is very attractive to find different colors, smells and sounds.

Mexican fan palm. german knight

Since 1990 they have housed different collections of plants: orchids, bromeliads, palm trees, ferns, tropical, carnivorous or desert.

A historical architecture

It is a quiet, comfortable and pleasant space, so it is very normal to always see families with children and even older couples who see a good option to spend the day outdoors and breathing nature.

In the center of the garden are the historic buildings, all built at the end of the 19th century to grow plants from tropical climates under protection.

However, within the architecture and buildings built in the Botanical Garden, the most important and emblematic located right in the center of the Garden, is the Tropical Greenhouse. It is the first Spanish building that has iron and glass as the main materials. And it was one of the most important constructions in Europe during the second half of the s. XIX.

But the Botanical has more architecture within its facilities, an architecture full of history and with curious and special shapes that give the place an important beauty. This is the case of the Umbráculo, a construction with a semi-cylindrical metal roof, supported by large exposed brick pillars. During his life, it has undergone different rehabilitations, always respecting the original design.

Although as it is a space dedicated especially to teaching and studying species, it has a research building. A building for dissemination and education, and to project the social and cultural life of the Botanical Garden.

It houses the laboratory, the library and the germplasm bank, aimed at conserving the genetic diversity of crops and their species.

A medicinal space

In its beginnings, the Botanical was used to teach and teach botany to medical students. To this day, they want to preserve that tradition, and that is why university students in careers such as Environmental Sciences, Gastronomy or Biology, are instructed in this campus and carry out internships.

Although it is currently open to the public, it was closed until 1962, as they did not want the Garden to become too idle an area and put aside its academic tradition, where only teachers and students could access.

Starting in the 80s, its public ceased to be students and began to carry out activities for schools. Even so, he has always continued to combine this aspect with the university.

Tranquility in the city

It is curious that despite the fact that it is located in the heart of the city of Valencia, the very wide walls that surround the Botanical Garden do not allow the sound of the outside to pass through, so it is very unlikely to hear the traffic and the busy life that takes place. lives outside the park.

This allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature and let yourself be carried away by its varied smells, colors and shapes.

The activities, usually for families, carried out by the Botanical are focused on children, with workshops to learn how to cultivate and take care of an orchard, but also aimed at older people with gym sessions for the elderly that encourage active ageing.

A story with roots

The Garden opened its doors in 1567 and for more than 200 years it was an orchard of medicinal plants. However, the location of the park has changed over time.

It was not until 1802 when the University located it definitively in the Huerto de Tramoyeres, where botanical collections were developed, plants were acclimatized and new agricultural crops were tested.

During the 20th century, the garden was increasingly abandoned until, in 1987, the University drew up a comprehensive restoration project for the botanical collections and historic buildings.

In May 2000, the restoration concluded with the inauguration of the research building.

Currently, it is a center for research and dissemination of plant diversity, which has its didactics and culture and communication offices, which organize activities to maintain a wide educational and cultural offer in the Garden throughout the year.

The scientific collections, which contain living plants, a germplasm bank and herbarium, preserve the endemic or threatened species of the Valencian flora, one of the great bets of the enclosure.

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