The Hortus has been a place for education and research for more than 375 years. This means that the Hortus has been working on questions about the how and why of plants for 375 years. Not as an isolated issue, but in its own scientific, social and spatial context.
Over the centuries, botany has been studying the immeasurable variation of the plant kingdom, from global scale to cell and genetic level. The history of the Hortus is therefore a part of the history of science. The beautiful Hortus library, with some prestigious works of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, located at the University of Amsterdam University Library, is part of the scientific heritage.
But it’s not all about science. The Hortus is saturated with Amsterdam history. The establishment of the garden by the city council; the role of the East en West Indian Company in the development of the Hortus plant collections; the involvement of the city with the garden over the centuries: these are just a few of the countless lines between Amsterdam and the Hortus.
The Hortus houses beautiful greenhouses and buildings. The majority is an official national monument. The gate and the seed dome date back to the early 18th century. The Orangery was built in 1875, the Palmenkas and the Hugo de Vries building date from 1912 to 1915.
The Hortus is aware of its history and its heritage. Careful management should preserve the heritage for the future. And by being a modern botanical garden, the Hortus continues its history. The Hortus is living heritage.