Saturday 29 November 2008

Hortus Medicus

I am not botanically inclined, but botanical gardens can be pleasant to visit. In Vienna I had even more reason to go to the Botanical Garden of the Vienna University, as it was Gerard van Swieten who as Direktor of the Medical Faculty suggested to Empress Maria Theresa to found a 'Hortus Medicus', a medical garden. This was in 1754, i.e. the year before both the Empress and van Swieten became involved in the matter of Magia Posthuma and vampirism.

To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the Botanische Garten, but that is probably because of my lack of personal interest in botanics, and because I had spent hours at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum and at the Upper and Lower Belvedere before I went to visit it.

Actually, I had more pleasure from visiting the Botanischer Garten in Halle earlier this year. I don't know if it has any particular connection with some of the learned men related to the 18th century 'secret capital of vampire theory'. This garden predates the one in Vienna, as it was founded in 1698. It contains several greenhouses that are open to the public, whereas most of the greenhouses in Vienna are only open to researchers. It's a very pleasant and relatively quiet place, at least when I visited it this summer.

The first two photos above are from Vienna, whereas the photos just above and below are from Halle.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...