It has been open to the public for almost 400 years in the heart of Paris, by the shore of the River Seine, marrying knowledge and tradition. The huge variety of shapes, colors and scents of the plants in the Jardin des Plantes is itself the medium for disseminating knowledge and conservation.
Welcome to a haven of incomparable beauty in France!
Created in the 17th century for King Louis XIII, the Jardin des Plantes was given over to species with healing properties at first. In the 18th century though, it became a center for research and a Muséum, spearheaded by the Count of Buffon.
After the 1789 revolution, it continued its scientific development. The Jardin's many buildings, all listed as Historical Monuments, have borne witness to an epic history, including the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution (Gallery of Evolution) and the Grandes Serres (Greenhouses). A trip back through time in which the "historic" trees have a part to play, like the Lebanon cedar tree planted in 1734 by the botanist Bernard de Jussieu, or a rare species of Sequoia discovered in 1940 in the Chinese province of Sichuan and whose grains were brought to Paris thanks to a Chinese-American expedition.
Here, it's all about diversity, with 10 different thematic gardens to stop and admire. First of all is one of the site's most iconic attractions – the "carrés de la perspective". Five rectangular flowerbeds, which offer a stunning view of the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution (Gallery of Evolution).
As for the garden at the École de Botanique (School of Botany), a walk among the plants from temperate climes is very educational. An eclectic selection of plants which highlights, through its layout, the link between the evolutionary history of plants and their classification. The idea is to raise public awareness about the importance and fragility of biodiversity and inspire means to preserve it.
For a total change of scenery, visit the alpine garden, whose entrance is hidden in the École de Botanique garden. This private and charming space is home to over 2,000 species of mountain plants from all over the world.