Ajuda Botanical Garden, the eldest garden in Lisbon
Have you been to the oldest garden in Lisbon? It’s the Ajuda Botanical Garden, an takes us back to the reconstruction of the city after the earthquake of 1755, that tore Lisbon apart.
With the city in ruins, the court of King José I was transferred to the parish of Ajuda - an area that hadn’t been affected by the earthquake. That is why, years later, in 1768, the Royal Botanical Garden was built by the man who was responsible for the reform of the city after the calamity: the Marquis of Pombal.
The garden was born with two main purposes: to be a space for leisure and conviviality for the royal family, but also to contribute to the education of the princes.
Designed by the italian Domingos Vandelli, who brought to Lisbon the memory of his hometown, Padua, the garden grew with an impressive collection of species.
However, the french invasions, in 1808, tore a big part of the collection.
The garden would be reactivated later, but only open to the public after the implantation of the Republic, in 1910. It suffered modifications throughout the years, and it remains as one of those oases in the city of Lisbon, with an area of 3,5 acres and a garden with sculptural elements following the baroque influence. Besides its vast botanical collection, it displays a garden of aromas (thought for the blind) and also zones of natural vegetation.