Articles Spring 2013
Botanic Gardens (2) Leuven / Louvain, Belgium
(23rd April 2013)
The Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis (Dutch: Kruidtuin) is the oldest botanical garden of Belgium dating from 1738. It is situated in the centre of Leuven / Louvain along the Kapucijnenvoer and measures 2,2 ha. The first scientific gardens were herbal gardens and collec-tions of medicinal plants. Originally, the “Kruidtuin” was linked with medicine. Later, the gardens were used for study purposes and they hosted an extensive collection of ornamental plants, cultivated plants that could pos-sibly be used for economic purposes and rare plants. Despite the differentiating in use, in popular language the garden is still called the Dutch equivalent for "herbgarden". A bota-nical garden and an arboretum were added to the original garden. These days there are an extensive collection of trees, shrubs and bush. Next to a collection of herbaceous plants, herbs, water plants and creepers there is a conservatory housing a host of tropical and subtropical species. Exhibitions are regularly held in the orangery, which is a protected monument since 1976. The botanical garden of Leuven is a member of Botanic Gardens International. The botanical garden has always been linked with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. It first aim was to provide herbs for medical use. Nowadays the Botanical Garden is maintained by the municipality of Leuven. In contrast with many other botanical gardens, this garden has free access and is used extensively by tourists and citizens alike. The gar-den functions sometimes as a place of exhibition for contemporary art.
23rd April 2013.
23rd April 2013.