The idea of a botanical garden in Barcelona certainly is not new. As early as the XVI century, the first garden of this type emerged near the Royal Square. Originally, it was not designed for scientific study and looked more like an ordinary city park. Everything changed in the following century, when Catalan botanist Jaime Salvador i Pedrol gathered in one place rare samples of Mediterranean flora, heralding the new era of the city botanical garden.
The prototype of the modern, most important “green zone” in Barcelona was built in the 1930’s on the mountain, Montjuïc, although it enjoyed a relatively short existence. In the late 1980’s, construction began for the Olympic Games of 1992. During the large-scale construction process, many plant species were damaged, and the garden territory was partially destroyed. As a result, the Catalonian authorities decided it would make sense to create a brand new botanical garden in Barcelona, Spain.
The botanical garden of Barcelona is nestled on the slope of Montjuïc between the National Museum of Arts of Catalonia (MNAC) and the Olympic stadium. Throughout the park’s territory, the altitude fluctuates from 100 to 140 meters. Long before this space was transformed into the botanical garden, it functioned as a city dumpsite. Tens of thousands of rare plants now grow on the vast territory that occupies 14 hectares. The garden space is designed as a colossal green amphitheater with intricate routes and panoramic views. Furthermore, the garden’s design concept encompasses several major natural zones. The enormous initiative to turn the urban dumpsite into the one of the biggest and most impressive botanical gardens in Europe was made possible by the efforts of the project’s committee, which consisted of the two architects Charles Ferrater and Jose Luis Canoss, the landscape designer Beth Figueras, the biologist Joan Pedrola, and the gardener Artur Bossi. Work on the project began in 1991, but the garden opened to the public only in the spring of 1999.
When working on the botanical garden of Barcelona, Spain, the project group followed two main requirements strictly. First, the group decided to shape the zones in accordance with the closest natural landscape prototypes for their specific regions. Second, the architects worked with the original landscape as much as they could. Thus, excavation works were minimized drastically. The results yield unique, meandering lanes, authentic terraces, and panoramic platforms with small waterfalls and an oasis in a very natural atmosphere, as well as a beautiful emphasis on the distinctive features of the local landscape. When strolling in the garden, it is almost impossible to notice the changes in elevation since the altitude changes very gradually.
The botanical garden of Barcelona, Spain is divided into several zones: the Australian, Californian, South-African, Mediterranean, and South American zones. Each of these areas features the plants typical of its zone. Hence, in the Australian zone, you are sure to see cypresses and junipers, while the Californian zone features pines and chaparral. The Mediterranean zone consists of four mini-zones: the Western and Eastern Mediterranean regions, Northern Africa, and the Canary Islands.
The botanical garden of Barcelona is open to the public all year round, and it would be false to assume there is nothing to look at in the winter. All the species have been selected and arranged in such a way that at any time of the year guests will observe green vegetation and plants in full blossom.
How to get to the botanical garden
You can reach the garden by metro (lines L1, L3, and L8). The final destination is Plaza España. After exiting the metro, one option is to walk up Montjuïc through the neighborhood until you reach the entrance to the garden. Alternatively, you can take bus #13 to the station Jardí Botànic. The exact address is Carrer del Doctor Font i Quer, 2. The ideal trip could combine a visit to the botanical garden of Barcelona with a walk around the Spanish village or a visit to the National Museum of Arts of Catalonia (MNAC), each of which lies very close to the garden.
The entrance fee for the botanical garden of Barcelona is the same all year long at 3.50 euros. From October to March, you can visit the botanical garden of Barcelona, Spain 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 17:00. From April to September, it is open from 10:00 a.m. to 19:00. Entrance is free of charge on the first Sunday of every month and every Sunday after 15:00.
The specialists of INEEDSpain service center are always ready to help you with the organization of a tourist or business trip. We will be more than happy to guide you through the most interesting and unusual landmarks of the city and turn your visit to Spain into one of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences of your life.