Karlsruhe Botanical Gardens (Botanischer Garten Karlsruhe) are a haven of tranquillity located at the edge of the Schlossgarten, west of Karlsruhe Palace, surrounded by historical structures such as an orangery, greenhouses, a winter garden and the State Art Gallery Karlsruhe (Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe).
A feast of flora
The Botanical Gardens were established in their current location in 1808, during the reign of Karl Friedrich of Baden (1728–1811). The origins of this extraordinary collection of plants date back to Margrave Karl Wilhelm of Baden-Durlach (1679–1738). Between the two wings of the palace, he ordered a “princely pleasure garden” to be laid out – with magnificent orangeries, greenhouses, aviaries and grottoes. The famous Karlsruher Tulpenbuch (Karlsruhe Book of Tulips) is testimony to this era’s fascination for flora. At the end of the 18th century, the Margrave had his residence, garden and palace grounds remodelled in the English style – and established the Botanical Gardens on their present site.
The Margraves and Grand Dukes of Baden were plant aficionados, amassing an impressive collection of exotic greenery. The greenhouses built to display their treasures are today home to a unique, rich array of plant life. A number of rare trees from the 19th century collection have survived until this day in the park grounds. The combination of exuberant growth, glorious colours and rarity is sure to delight all plant lovers.
Spectacular greenhouse architecture
The picturesque group of buildings at the northern and western edge of the Gardens – the State Art Gallery, orangery, greenhouses, gatehouse and winter garden – were rebuilt according to plans by the architect Heinrich Hübsch. In 1863, the wooden glasshouses were replaced by grand ornamental cast-iron structures, putting Karlsruhe at the forefront of garden architecture.
An exhibition in the gatehouse offers visitors a more detailed account of the rich history of the Botanical Gardens.