To plant a garden is a task that takes commitment, love and the ability to wait. For a garden to completely grow, 20 to 25 years are necessary. The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra is definitely one of the most iconic gardens in Portugal. The tropical greenhouse, dating back to 1859, has recently reopened its doors. A magical place within this true paradise at the heart of the historical city of Coimbra.
The architect João Mendes Ribeiro is responsible for the renovation of the tropical greenhouse building, an astonishing work that took a long time to be accomplished, because the original building was highly damaged. The renewal works took in consideration that the tropical greenhouse of the Botanical Garden is above all a scientific greenhouse and every detail matters. There were several challenges to face, namely: the maintenance of the original building, a living example of the iron architecture in Portugal; the glass windows were extremely fragile and therefore, the architect João Mendes Ribeiro, worked in partnership with Covina, a glass national producer, to assure that the glass was safe and temperature-resistant; the shading of the whole building; the shutters are fully electric depending on temperature and humidity, key factors for the preservation of this amazing tropical greenhouse.
In 2017, the renovation works of the tropical greenhouse were awarded the National Urban Rehabilitation prize in the category Best Intervention with Social Impact.
The tropical greenhouse houses mostly tropical and subtropical plants. It is divided in 3 sections, where we find a great diversity of species, such as: orchids, carnivorous plants, tropical trees and ferns.