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The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world. Today, it has more than 6,000 plants. Located in the Plantage (Plantation) district on the edge of the hectic centre of Amsterdam, the bustle of the city seems to disappear completely behind the Hortus' 300-year-old gates.

Medicinal Garden
Originally, the Hortus was a medicinal herb garden, founded in 1638 by the Amsterdam City Council. At the time, herbs were of vital importance as the basis of medicines and the city had just experienced a plague epidemic. Doctors and pharmacists trained in the preparation of prescriptions at the Hortus.

Exotic Collection
Thanks to the ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the Hortus expanded quickly in the 17th and 18th Centuries. The VOC ships not only brought herbs and spices to Amsterdam, but also exotic ornamental plants. In fact, some of the Hortus' stars date from that time, for instance a 300-year-old Eastern Cape giant cycad.

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http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/placestogo/hortus-botanicus-amsterdam


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