Botanical Garden of Lucca
The Botanical Garden of Lucca was founded in 1820 by Maria Luisa, Duchess of Parma. The city of Lucca is called the territory of one hundred churches. But in addition to the abundance of religious buildings and ancient houses, there is a cozy botanical garden, which, according to local residents, is a must-see for any tourist. In the warm season it is open daily, in winter ─ only on weekdays.
History of the Botanical Garden of Lucca
An amazing corner of nature appeared in the city relatively recently. The order for its arrangement was given by the Duchess of Parma Maria Luisa in 1820. In those days, the garden was divided into three zones. There was a geometric Arboretum, a hill with a spiral structure and Lake Laghetto, which appeared in 1860. As for the small pond, local residents will be happy to tell a legend about a noble lady who tried with all her might to preserve her beauty and youth and for this even made a deal with the devil. He fulfilled his part of the agreement, but when its term expired, he put the debtor in a hot carriage, drove the suffering woman across the city and threw her into the lake. They also say that if you look into the water for a long time, you can see the face of a sinner at the bottom.
For a long time, the Botanical Garden of Lucca belonged to the Royal University of Lucca, on its territory there were a Physics Laboratory and an Astronomical Observatory. They continue to function today, although the equipment has changed over the past 200 years. The shape of the Arboretum has also changed, but the Hill has remained the same and boasts trees that are over two hundred years old.
100 years after its creation, the park was transferred to the city municipality and began to be considered a national treasure, which everyone can visit, although for a fee. But the wonders of the park area are worth it.
What to see
Today's Botanical Garden of Lucca is divided into two large sections. In the first there is an arboretum, an open garden and a pretty lake, in the second the territory is given over to a greenhouse, the Botanical Museum, famous for its herbarium and ancient collection of archival documents, the Botanical School and laboratories that have remained here since the 18th century.
The greatest interest of visitors to the Botanical Garden of Lucca is caused by the green inhabitants of the park: Lebanese cedars (the oldest was planted here back in 1822), charming camellias and azaleas, lovely rhododendrons, ferns and cacti, palm trees and cypresses. In the center of the lake, nymphs and the amazing taxodium tree feel great, which has learned to live in the middle of the water and receive the necessary oxygen through respiratory roots floating on the surface.
In total, about 200 plant species have found a home in the Botanical Garden of Lucca. Fans of unusual architectural ideas will appreciate all nine entrances to the garden, each decorated in its own style, ceramic medallions telling about the most important historical moments in the life of the garden, the sphinx and a huge terracotta pumpkin decorating the area of aquatic plants.