Old Botanical Garden of the University of Göttingen Lower Carrinth 2
37073 Göttingen
Public exhibition:
Monday to Sunday 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (garden), Monday to Sunday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. (greenhouses), limited in winter weather
see annual program of public themed events or by arrangement
Contact person:
Dr. Michael Schwerdtfeger
Tel.: +49 551 39-25755

Founded in 1736, the Botanical Garden at Karspüle is as old as the Georg-August University itself and is therefore one of the few of around 100 botanical gardens in Germany that have been located in the same place with the same function for over a quarter of a millennium. Conceived as a “Hortus medicus” by the physician, poet and botanist Albrecht von Haller (1708–1777), the garden soon outgrew its function as a medicinal herb garden. Haller already collected plants from all over the world and published a plant catalog with 1,500 species just seven years after opening.

Important directors in Haller's wake included the botanists Heinrich Adolf Schrader (1767–1836), Friedrich Gottlieb Bartling (1798–1875), Heinrich August and Hermann Graf zu Solms-Laubach (1842–1915).

In the 19th century, the garden expanded to areas beyond the city walls and was able to build up outstanding plant collections, especially through close contacts with the Royal Gardens in Hanover-Herrenhausen, while from 1900 to 1930 the garden master Carl Bonstedt (1866–1953) was in charge of the garden's fortunes particular. His commitment and his extraordinary cultural successes - including with ferns, carnivorous plants, orchids and aquatic plants - brought great popularity to the garden with the Victoria House, the Fern House as well as the pond and Alpinum. This ultimately culminated in the publication of the horticultural and botanical standard work “Pareys Blumengärtnerei”. In 1968, the New Botanical Garden was founded in the north area of the university, initially with the aim of subsequently dissolving the old garden in the city. Today, however, the two gardens of the Faculty of Biology work synergistically “hand in hand” together with the Forest Botanical Garden. There are still extensive plant collections on every botanical topic imaginable in the centrally located Botanical Garden. In addition to its primary function in research and teaching, the charming, historical facility also represents a welcome "window on nature" for students and the public. With its extensive public relations work and around 100,000 visitors annually, the garden is the university's most popular facility.

Michael Schwerdtfeger

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