Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

Botanical Garden

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Long since an important and beautiful part of Buenos Aires, the Botanical Garden - or, as it is known locally, Jardin Botánico Carlos Thays - is located in Palermo, a neighborhood known not only for its trendy shops, but for its sprawling parks and gardens, as well.

This Buenos Aires Botanical Garden, however, is carefully manicured, and has been providing a calm, natural atmosphere to porteños and visitors for years. In fact, it was inaugurated on September 7, 1898, but architect and landscape designer Carlos Thays, who lived on the property with his family from 1892 and 1898. During that time, he also served the city as the director of parks and walks in the city. Today, the mansion, which was built in 1881, still serves as the primary building on the park grounds.

The Botanical Garden may be most exciting for botanists and plant enthusiasts, but it has also provided serenity and natural beauty to the city and her visitors for decades. Don’t pass up this important part of Buenos Aires while in the city; it will be an afternoon well spent.

The five winterhouses are each beautiful in their own right, and the biggest is in the Art Nouveau style, and received international recognition in 1889 at the Paris Universal Exhibition. It is 35 meters by 8 meters, and has over 2500 tropical plants within. It is thought to be the only winterhouse of Art Nouveau style still in existence today.

botanical garde, buenos aires

Artwork in the garden includes 33 different sculptures, busts and monuments, as well as the Weather Indicator (Indicador Meteorológico, in Spanish) monument by José Marovich. See this Buenos Aires Travel Guide for more information about these activities.

The garden is features three different landscape styles - mixed, symmetric, and picturesque - within three distinct gardens: the Roman, French and Oriental gardens. They each feature styles that are appropriate to that type of garden, as well as plants and trees from that area of the world. There is also a variety of species from the Americas throughout the park. There are several monuments and other structures that are worth a gander while strolling the grounds. There is a Municipal Gardening School linked to the University of Buenos Aires’ Faculty of Agronomy. There is also a well-stocked Botanic Library and a Botanical Museum.

Rather than removing the cats, which has proven to be an unpopular solution, a group of volunteers helps care for the unwanted pets, feeding them, putting them up for adoption and providing vaccines and medical care. It is still quite a curious phenomenon, but the cats have become an integral part of the garden.

Today, the garden continues to be famous not only for its serene atmosphere and lovely blooms, but also for its large population of cats. Contrary to popular belief, these cats are not feral, and were not born on park grounds; rather, they are all domestic cats, abandoned in the garden after their owners decided they were no longer wanted (for unknown reasons).

The garden has played such an important role in the city, it was even declared a national monument in 1996. It is 69,772 square meters, and has about 5,500 species of trees, plants and shrubs. There are also quite a few sculptures and monuments, and 5 winterhouses.

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