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The Old Hortus

These old botanical gardens are a hidden pearl in the inner city. You will find them behind the University Museum.


The history of the gardens, intended for research and education, goes back to 1639. Initially, these gardens were located at nearby Sonnenborgh, but were moved in 1723 to this location because of insufficient space. After World War Two the botanical gardens were moved to Science Park Utrecht (de Uithof), but fortunately the location on Lange Nieuwstraat was preserved, mostly thanks to a foundation of friends of the Old Hortus and the University Museum moving to this location.

What will you find here?

Within the Hortus you will find several gardens, such as the Regius garden (intended to grow and research medicinal plants and herbs) and a cottage garden. In the renovated greenhouses you will find a variety of plants. The most famous inhabitants of the Old Hortus are probably the Ginkgo Biloba or Japanese Nut Tree, sometimes called Temple Tree, (about 250 years old and possibly the first Ginkgo in Europe) and the Victoria Amazonica, a huge waterlily with a cross section of 5 to 6 feet that blooms at night.  The website of the Hortus offers an overview of plants and trees you may find there.

Address: Lange Nieuwstraat 106 Utrecht

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Typical for The Old Hortus:

Nature History Quiet spot in the city

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