Botanisk Have – Botanical Garden

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Botanisk Have is the Botanical Garden of the University of Copenhagen. It is located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark, covers an area of 10 hectares and serves both research, educational and recreational purposes.

Botanisk Have was first established in 1600 but was moved twice before it obtained its present location in 1870. It was probably founded to secure a collection of Danish medicinal plants after the Reformation had seen many convents and their gardens abandoned or demolished.

In 1874 the garden got its large complex of glasshouses at the initiative of Carlsberg founder J. C. Jacobsen who also funded it. His inspiration was the glass building Crystal Palace that was erected for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

Today Botanisk Have is an informal garden with free admission. There are conservatories, a museum and herbarium, a library (admission by appointment only), a plant shop and an eating place.

Botanisk Have contains more than 13,000 species, almost all of which have been collected in the wild. The garden is arranged in different sections including: Danish plants (600 species), perennial plants (1,100 species), annual plants (1,100 species), rock gardens with plants from mountainous areas in Central and Southern Europe and Conifer Hill which is planted with coniferous trees. One of the newest inclusions is a rhododendron garden.

The garden has many beatiful trees. The oldest is a taxodium from 1806 that was moved along from the old location at an age of 60 years.

Botanisk Have has 27 glasshouses. The most notable is the 3000 sqm conservatory complex from 1874.

The Palm House is 16 metres tall and has narrow, cast-iron spiral stairs leading to the top. Plants include a palm from 1824 and a fine collection of cycads, some of which are more than 100 years old. A fifty metres long glasshouse has an extensive collection of cacti and other succulents whilst another has orchids and begonias. A modern glasshouse is dedicated to caudiciforms. The garden also has a special air-conditioned greenhouse that can re-create environments suitable for Arctic plants.

The university’s botanical museum and herbarium are housed in a building situated within the garden, giving the garden staff ready access to reference works and more than 2 million dried plant specimens.

In 1909 to 1911, Carl Jacobsen installed a number of classical statues in the garden.

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