The Botanical Garden occupied a considerable portion of the grounds of the College of São Bento, which had been given over to the University of Coimbra, undergoing extensive remodelling dating from the time of the Pombaline Reforms (1774).
In 1854, the engineer Pezerat presented his project for a greenhouse (which is still in existence), marking a technological advance in the use of iron and glass in architecture in Coimbra. This building was completed in 1865. The works, carried out between 1944 and 1949, involved the addition of a fountain in the central square, stone benches, a cold greenhouse and the renovation of the thoroughfares between the various sections of the garden and the woodland area.
The survival of some of the buildings of the former Benedictine College, such as the old chapel in the woods, endows the place with a romantic historical air. In addition to the Botanical Garden’s various works of architecture and sculpture, there is an extensive biological heritage, involving thousands of ancient plant species.
The Botanical Garden seems to be the perfect island in the centre of the city, but it is its scientific value that makes it unique.
Open Every Day09h00 | 17h30 (01 October to 31 March)09h00 | 20h00 (01 April to 30 September)Guided Visits by request (Mata, Estufas Tropicais, Estufa Fria, Quadrado Central)Bus: 1, 103, 5, 11C, 24
To plant a garden is a task that takes commitment, love and the ability to wait. For a garden to completely grow, 20 to 25 years are necessary. The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra is definitely one of the most iconic gardens in Portugal. The tropical greenhouse, dating back to 1859, has recently reopened its doors. A magical place within this true paradise at the heart of the historical city of Coimbra.
The architect João Mendes Ribeiro is responsible for the renovation of the tropical greenhouse building, an astonishing work that took a long time to be accomplished, because the original building was highly damaged. The renewal works took in consideration that the tropical greenhouse of the Botanical Garden is above all a scientific greenhouse and every detail matters. There were several challenges to face, namely: the maintenance of the original building, a living example of the iron architecture in Portugal; the glass windows were extremely fragile and therefore, the architect João Mendes Ribeiro, worked in partnership with Covina, a glass national producer, to assure that the glass was safe and temperature-resistant; the shading of the whole building; the shutters are fully electric depending on temperature and humidity, key factors for the preservation of this amazing tropical greenhouse.
In 2017, the renovation works of the tropical greenhouse were awarded the National Urban Rehabilitation prize in the category Best Intervention with Social Impact.
The tropical greenhouse houses mostly tropical and subtropical plants. It is divided in 3 sections, where we find a great diversity of species, such as: orchids, carnivorous plants, tropical trees and ferns.
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