Basel, Botanical Garden/Botanische Garten 1589. Photo/Foto: TES.

The First Botanical Garden

The first botanical garden of Switzerland is located on the southern bank of the Rhine, on the complex of the University of Basel (1460). Gardens were until then only cultivated by the monks of monasteries and abbeys.

The garden in Basel (Hortus medicus) was created by the scholar Caspar Bauhin (1560-1624), who also wrote the first scientific description of the potato in 1596 in Phytopinax. The potato was called Solanum tuberosum esculentum.

The garden was moved to the Petersgraben in 1692, in the vicinity of the new university.

The old hortus became the private property of the Sarasin family. The ancient hortus is a national cultural heritage nowadays. (Source: J. Stoffler, ‘Jardins botaniques’, in Art + Architecture en Suisse, 2016, Nr. 3, Berne, 2016).