Jardim Botânico da Ajuda
Gardens, Parks and Forests
Situated in the parish of Ajuda, this is the oldest garden in Portugal, created on the orders of the Marquês de Pombal in 1768 as the Royal Botanical Garden of Ajuda.
It was the first botanical garden in Portugal specifically created to act as a museum and nursery for botanical species collected from all over the world. The garden is currently managed by the Higher Institute for Agronomics, which undertook a restoration project during 1994-1997 with a view to preserving its botanical origins by conserving and displaying the plants in a collection recording the spirit of scientific enquiry of the Portuguese explorers, and making it a place for leisure and relaxation.
Important aspects of this restoration include the restoration of the 40-spout Fountain in the centre of the garden´s lower flower bed (a marvel of stone and water), and the re-creation of the botanical collection from seeds obtained from various botanical gardens around the world and Portuguese institutions.These new plants are arranged by phyto-geographical region - Brazil and South America, Australia and New Zealand, Macronesia, Central and Atlantic Europe, China and Japan, North and Central America, the Mediterranean Region and Africa - reflecting the history of their introduction into Portugal and their connection with the Voyages of Discovery.
Another highlight is the Scent Garden for the blind with lables in Braille and the plants displayed in raised beds to allow visitors to smell and touch them.
The garden also contains a group of small lakes, a flower-raising greenhouse and a natural grassy amphitheatre for outdoor performances.