Botanical garden in Padua
The period of Renaissance is not only a period of dynamic development of gardening art but also the period of foundation and development of many botanical gardens, possessing big collections of various plants. However such activities were not originated in Renaissance time but it was just the continuation of traditions of previous ages. These collections consisted of medical, food and ornamental plants, both native and of foreign origin. It supported to increase the common knowledge about these plants as well as their wider practical use. These collections in form of botanical gardens were created mainly by various universities and served first of all scientific purposes. Due to fact, they were created in connection with mainly medical departments, they consisted mostly of medical herbs.
The first botanical gardens founded in Europe were located In Italy. The botanical garden in Padua is founded in 1545 on the initiative of prof. Francesco Bonafede and is one of oldest botanical gardens (the oldest one is located in Pisa).
The botanical garden in Padua layout is based on a circular form and for many years served a model for many other similar ones, being the oldest of its kind.
The circular ground-plan is divided in beds, planted with various plant species, sorted in sections. The whole garden is surrounded by a wall with ornaments. The interior is ornamented with water arrangements and sculptures.
Practically from the beginning of its existence, the botanical garden in Padua had a big input in the introduction and propagation of many species, which originate from outside Europe, mainly from countries and continents, with which the Republic of Venice kept commercial contacts.
The area of the garden inside the walls is equal to 0,56 ha.
At present, the botanical garden in Padua, existing practically in the same shape as before centuries, still serves as a centre for scientific researches.
The botanical garden in Padua has been inscribed in 1997 on the World Heritage List UNESCO as a cultural good.