Paris’s Jardin des Plantes: History, Diversity, Beauty

From Dinosaurs to Whales: Grande Galerie de l'Évolution

One of the best botanical gardens in the world may be found in Paris in the Jardin des Plantes, also known as the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, the English Botanic Garden, or the National Museum of Natural History.

It originally opened to the public in 1650, having been established in 1626 as a royal garden of medicinal plants. The garden flourished under G.-L.L. Buffon’s (1739-88) direction, drawing the likes of the Jussieu brothers, Georges Cuvier and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, pioneers in early French botany and zoology.

It funded explorations to far-flung locations in the early 19th century, resulting in the collection of numerous species of plants that had been unknown to Western science up until that point.

The 68 acres (28 hectares) of the original Jardin des Plantes are still in use today. There are six greenhouses for public viewing and twenty-two greenhouses for maintenance and cultivation.

Around 23,500 different plant species are being grown in these greenhouses and outdoor areas. Some of the plants you’ll find in this garden include cactus, grasses, bromeliads, orchids, ferns, aroids, alpine plants, iris, cannas, and conifers.

Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes

More than six million dried reference specimens are stored at the garden’s herbarium, making it one of the best in the world. In addition to the garden and museum, there is also a botanical library, a small zoo, a labyrinth, and a number of natural history displays.

One of Paris’s most stunning parks is the 5th arrondissement’s botanical garden, Jardin des Plantes.

One of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, it offers sightseers and Parisians alike a chance to breathe in some natural air right in the city. This is by far the most remarkable of the many beautiful parks and gardens in Paris.

This comprehensive reference to the Jardin des Plantes includes details on admission prices, tour schedules, and how to get there.

History of Jardin des plants

In 1626, work began on what would become the Jardin des Plantes. A private royal garden stocked with therapeutic plants was created this year on behalf of French King Louis XIII. A decade later, the garden was officially unveiled as the “Jardin du roi” to the general public.

A lot of people went there to take strolls and look at the wildlife. It was also utilized as a school for medical students to learn about anatomy, botany, and chemistry in the 1700s. As a result, it became a notable institution that made enormous progress in training the healthcare professionals of the future.

History of Jardin des plants
History of Jardin des plants

The previous royal institution managed to avoid destruction during the French Revolution (1789–1799). The now-renamed Jardin des Plantes fell under the authority of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle upon the establishment of the National Museum of Natural History in 1793. So, this exhibit has been around the longest of any in the Museum of Natural History.

A year after the revolution, on the east side, the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes opened to house the exotic creatures that had been abandoned by the nobles.

New structures were constructed throughout the 19th century to house the expanding scientific collections. As of now, the Jardin des Plantes has more visitors than any other French botanical park.

Jardin des plants’ open areas to the public

The Jardin des Plantes is home to six different public spaces.

  1. The 18th-century Ménagerie is one of the park’s most popular attractions. It’s one of the world’s oldest zoos and a great place to take the kids. Animals such as red pandas, kangaroos, flamingos, monkeys, and giant tortoises call this place home.
  2. Trees and plants from all over the world may be seen flourishing in the greenhouses. Desert cactus, palm trees, and other exotic species may all be found here.

    View of Jardin des Plantes
    View of Jardin des Plantes
  3. The evolution of life and biodiversity are depicted with the help of around 7,000 stuffed creatures and lifelike animal reproductions, including dinosaurs, huge squids, and whales, at the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, also known as the Gallery of Evolution. The Children’s Gallery (Galerie des Enfants) and the Virtual Reality Cabinet are also a part of this.
  4. About 650 skeletons are displayed in chronological order in the Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée, often known as the Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology Gallery. Extinct animal bones, such as those of dinosaurs, are displayed alongside skeletons of live creatures.
  5. Around 600 of the most stunning mineralogy and geology exhibits are on display at the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie’s exhibition “Trésors de la terre” (Treasures of the Earth). The highlight is a trove of enormous crystals. Royal and imperial collections of diamonds and precious stones, as well as a collection of meteorites, are on display.
  6. The world of herbariums and botany is celebrated at the Galerie de Botanique, often known as the Botanical Gallery. The great variety of flora is demonstrated by a wealth of examples.
Jardin des plants, Paris
Jardin des plants, Paris

How to get to Jardin des Plants?

The 5th arrondissement of Paris is home to the Jardin des Plantes, which can be found on the Left Bank of the Seine.

Traveling there through public transportation is simple. To reach there quickly and easily, take any of the five metro lines or the RER C to the “Gare d’Austerlitz” stop. The metro line 7 stops close to the Jardin des Plantes, and buses 24, 57, 61, 63, 67, 89, and 91 also stop there.


 The 400-year-old Jardin des Plantes is more than just a garden of science; it is also a tranquil oasis in the heart of Paris, a hub for cutting-edge botanical study, and a living testament to the city’s rich past.

Its goal is to collect and study groups of plants and to welcome visitors. Visitors may enjoy a varied and well-kept tour around the garden, full of hidden surprises around every corner, thanks to its plant and flower beds, amazing trees, statues, and paths.

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