The Garden Landscape Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Public Botanic Gardens in Germany

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374. The first public botanic garden in Germany, according to Deleuze (Annales du Museum, tom, viii.), was established by the Elector of Saxony, at Leipzig, in 1580; this magistrate having undertaken the reform of public instruction throughout his dominions. Those of Giessen, Altorf, Rintel, Ratisbon, Ulm, and Jena soon followed. In 1605, Jungermann, a celebrated botanist, obtained one for the university which the landgrave had just founded at Giessen. After having disposed of it, he went to Altorf, and solicited the same favour for this city. The senate of Nuremberg agreed to his wishes in 1620, although the country was then a prey to the disasters of war. Jungermann, named professor, gloried in the prosperity of an university which he looked upon as his work, and in 1635 he published the catalogue of the plants he had collected. Ten years afterwards they constructed a greenhouse, and the garden of Altorf (pref. to the Nuremberg Hesperides) was then the most beautiful in Germany. That which Ernest count of Schauenburg established in 1621, at Rintel in Westphalia, also acquired much celebrity. Those of Ratisbon and Ulm are of the same epoch. From 1555, when the university of Jena was founded, the professors of botany, during the summer season, took the students to the country to herbalise. They soon found it would be much more advantageous to collect in one place the plants they wished them to be acquainted with, and the government constructed a garden in 1629. The direction of it was given to Rolfinck, who has left a curious work on plants, containing a history of the principal gardens of Europe of his time.