THE OLDEST BOTANICAL GARDEN BECOMES HI TECH
Posted on October 9, 2014 by Luisa Fazio
“It is the origin of all botanical gardens in the world… ” – as explained by the beginning of motivation that made it UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. We are in 1545 when, in Padua, was born the “herb garden” – Hortus Simplicium – the oldest university botanical garden in charge of medicinal plants cultivation for therapeutic purposes or study. After half a century, it gives birth to new spaces and opens its “historic portals” to the future. Restored, renewed, expanded without altering the urban fabric of the Italian city that proudly does the honors. Leaving intact the perspective on byzantine domes of Sant’Antonio’s Church (North) and on renaissance domes of Santa Giustina’s Abbey (South), the futuristic “garden of Biodiversity” was annexed to the old part: five high-tech greenhouses with a botanical blaze of 1300 plant species, from tropical to arctic. Thanks to high level of technology used (computerized temperature and humidity measuring, roofs constructed of super light panels, most transparent in the glass) the greenhouses, in respect with the CO2 and eco – sustainability, living their own life. It was 1586 when Goethe watched and praised in his writings a specimens of Saint Peter palm (Chamaerops humilis L.). Now, it has reached the height of 12 meters and it is considered the oldest plant in the garden. We are on the threshold of 2015 and in synergy with Expo, the “new garden” will be part of the Italian Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Milan. The nature combined with high technologies, always gives supreme forms of entertainment. We all very much hope that will a reminder to thousands of visitors… Hurry, run!