Botanical Garden

Flowers and their pollinators

Botanical gardens were once founded "for research and teaching". But Albrecht von Haller, who counted anthers here with his students and taught them the characteristics of plant families, would hardly have thought it possible that botanical gardens would one day become valuable substitute habitats for native animal species. Many species of insects are threatened in their existence because they can no longer find flowers and food plants in our modern agricultural landscape. For many years, the Old Botanic Garden has been working on a flower ecology basis to steadily improve the food basis for specialised insect species as well.  

The diversity of the pineapple family (Bromeliads) 

You can't collect everything - this is especially true for botanic gardens, because the preservation of living collections requires higher expenditure than that of "dead" objects in cabinets and magazines. For this reason, botanic gardens network and coordinate their collecting policy in order to jointly preserve and make accessible as much of the threatened diversity as possible. One of the focal points in the Old Botanic Garden is the pineapple family (Bromeliads). The extensive and well-documented collection is not only of scientific value, but also contains numerous species whose habitats no longer exist in the wild and which only survive in captivity. 

Dokumentation und Erschließung der Vielfalt

Seit Gründung der ersten Botanischen Gärten in der Renaissance stehen diese in regem Austausch von Knowhow und Pflanzenmaterial. Äußerst bequem lassen sich Pflanzen in Form von Saatgut versenden und verbreiten, und die Göttinger Samenverzeichnisse waren über lange Zeit begehrte Publikationen, in denen sogar neue Arten veröffentlicht wurden. 

Ein besonders eindrucksvolles Zeugnis vom hohen Niveau des Göttinger Gartens ist die von Gartenmeister Carl Bonstedt herausgegebene „Pareys Blumengärtnerei“ (1931). Das zweibändige Handbuch stellte über Jahrzehnte ein Standardwerk über winterharte und exotische Pflanzen und ihre Kultur dar. 

Biological art on paper and skin

The beauty of plants and animals has always inspired artists: whether as decorative accessories to religious devotional paintings as in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as Baroque still lifes, scientifically accurate illustrations, framed wall decorations or tattoos. Increasingly, plants and insects from the Botanic Garden are used as models for book illustrations, prints and tattoos, and more and more students, scientists, gardeners and other nature lovers in Göttingen and all over Germany are now connected to the Old Botanic Garden through their tattoo. 

Old Botanical Garden

The Old Botanical Garden at the Karspüle was founded in 1736 and is thus one of the oldest facilities at the university. Conceived by Albrecht von Haller as Hortus Medicus, the garden still fulfils an important function in botanical research and teaching. In addition, it is appreciated by around 100,000 visitors a year as a "window on nature" and has also become home to many, sometimes rare, animal species as an inner-city biodiversity hotspot. 

Since the partly manicured, partly natural garden has remained in the same place with the same function since its founding, and the historic greenhouses have also survived the world wars unscathed, the charming grounds are a precious gem of the university not only biologically and culturally, but also historically. 

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