Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Lisbon Chronicles | Ajudas's Botanical Garden

The Ajuda's Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico da Ajuda) was founded in 1768 and constructed according to the design of the Italian botanist Domingos Vandelli,  who was called by King Joseph to teach the princes.

Although Lisbon has been place of many gardens that harbored collections of plants from Africa, Asia and America, the Ajuda's Botanical Garden was the first Portuguese Botanical Garden designed with  scientific  purposes  and in order to  collect as many species of the plants possible (it came to have 5000 species).

The garden has an area of ​​almost 4ha and an architecture that follows the Renaissance models, with carved terraces on the hillside. The light reflected from the river renders even more beautiful its decorative elements in carved stone, scattered among the plants, particularly on the stairs, and on the water fountains and ponds. This existing ornaments have markedly Baroque influences (namely the central source and the stairs (side and central).

The  top terrace holds the botanical collection and the bottom terrace was designed as an ornamental walking garden with ostentatious geometry of hedges and boxwood, sculptures, bucolic ponds and, in the centre,  the beautiful Fountain of the Forty Spouts, decorated with snakes and fantastic creatures. There is also, "a garden of scents" with aromatic and medicinal plants, designed for the visually impaired, and a wood where you can play or rest.

The view from the garden is nothing less than extraordinary, with the Tagus and its left bank framed by picturesque houses of the historical part of the the city (Ajuda and Belém). The garden also holds a restaurant with a terrace (Estufa Real), where you can have a meal, some refreshments or, if you visit the garden on a Sunday morning, you can opt for a brunch.

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda
Calçada da Ajuda s/n, 1300-011 Lisboa, Portugal
Telefone: +351 21 362 2503

Opening Hours and Ticket Prices:

October to April 10am – 5pm
May to September 10am - 6pm (9am - 8pm on weekends)
Closes 25th December and 1st January

Adults (18 – 64 yrs) – 2 € |  Youths / Students (8 – 17 yrs) – 1 € | Seniors (over 65 yrs) – 1 €

To get there you can take a taxi, a bus  (Carris 14, 27, 29, 32 or 73) or a Tram 18.

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