The ancient Greco-Roman culture experienced the second uplift in the Renaissance. People suddenly turned to the great heritage of the classical era to rethink and enhance it. This was an era of cultural flourishing, one of the benefits of which was the foundation of the world's very first botanical garden.
The "Apothecary's Garden," as it was originally called, appeared thanks to the Venetian Senate in 1545. Initially, it belonged to the University of Padua, one of the oldest educational institutions in Italy and Europe. Teachers and students examined the qualities of medicinal herbs and grew them to make herbal mixtures, which were the main medicine of that time. As time went on, the garden's collection was enriched and soon went beyond its original goals. Today, there are more than 3,500 plant species from all over the world, as well as 6,000 individual specimens. However, the garden still occupies the same area of 22 thousand square meters, which was allocated to it in the 16th century.
The garden was designed by Italian architect Daniele Barbaro. Its territory was shaped as a square and divided into equal parts circumscribed by a circle. According to the architect, this geometry symbolizes a perfect garden, which inspires ideas about the inextricable connection of man with nature.
The current appearance of this beautiful and inspiring place dates back to the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. At this time, the garden got its fountains, which were mentioned by Count Pyotr Tolstoy in his travel notes named The Journey of Stolnik P.A.Tolstoy in Europe, as well as statues of Greek philosopher Theophrastus and the third Jewish king, Solomon. The beginning of the 19th century was the time of important changes: the greenhouses were capitally renovated, and a "botanic theater" for students was built. By the way, the latter still holds educational lectures.
Today, visitors to the Botanical Garden of Padua can see rare specimens of magnolias and ginkgos, learn to distinguish medicinal plants from their poisonous twins, get acquainted with typical representatives of the tropical, Mediterranean, highland, desert, and freshwater areas.
This place, included in the UNESCO list for its enormous contribution to the development of many scientific disciplines, has served as a prototype for all modern botanical gardens.