Basel’s Botanical Garden Has a New Tropical House

The botanical garden of the University of Basel is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Founded in 1589 by Caspar Bauhin, it has been located next to the Spalentor in the historical part of the city of Basel since 1898. Today, more than 7,500 different plant species from all the important habitats on earth thrive in the garden—almost three times as many species as occur wild in Central Europe! The plants can be viewed in various show houses and outdoor facilities all year round.

The existing tropical house, which housed one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world—the tropical ecosystem—had to be dismantled in autumn of 2019 due to significant age-related defects. After a nearly 4-year wait, it has been newly rebuilt and will be operational starting in May of this year. It has been built on the foundations of the old tropical house, so that the three-aisled structure has remained. However, the new buildings are taller and more suitable for tropical plants.

Also, a completely new walk-in cloud forest house was built for tropical mountain plants—the first cloud forest house in Europe that is open to the general public. The new visitor foyer has a large front facade and can be used flexibly for events inside. The entrance area of the garden between Spalentor and Tropenhaus was also redesigned.

There will be a special open day on May 27 from 10:00-16:00, where the public is invited, free of charge, to experience the new tropical house for themselves. A series of information posts will allow visitors to gain deeper insight into the new building and the tropical flora. In addition, a small pub with exotic refreshments invites you to linger in the garden.

The Botanical Gardens are open daily, including weekends and holidays. They offer lunchtime and evening tours on various topics to interested parties in the warmer months (in German); check their website for the schedule. Dogs are not allowed; admission is free.

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