The Botanic Garden of Brera is part of a large cultural complex housed in the nearby Brera Palace. It includes the Brera Art Gallery, the Astronomical Observatory, the “Braidense” Library and tha Academy of Fine Arts.
The surface of the botanic garden is only 5000 square meteres; still it is worth while visiting for its special charm of an ancient romantic garden rich in historical memories.
In the seventeeth century the Brera palace and garden belonged to the order of the Jesuites. The palace was a place of higher learning while the garden was used as an orchard and for growing medicinal plants.
When the Jesuites were suppressed by Pope Clemente XIV, the whole Brera complex became a property of the Austrian State. The Austrian government maintained the destination of the palace as a place of higher learning. The prestigious Platine Schools were transfered there and new cultural institutions were created, among them the School of Botany, Fulgezio Vitman, a Vallombrosan monk was charged to organize the new botanic garden and to teach officinal botany there. Vitman worked out the plans for transforming the ancien Jesuitic garden into a botanic garden with the advice of the famous architect Giuseppe Piermarini, well known for the Scala Theatre. The structure created by Vitman is conserved until present.
The garden is divided into three section: two of them have narrow flower-beds and a water basin at the center, the third is a plain lawn surrounded by trees. The greenhouse was built on the North side of the garden, facing South.
The main purpose of the garden was the cultivation of medicinal plants for teaching the students of pharmacy and medicine of Brera.
At the time of Napoleone the fashion of exotic species also reached our botanic garden that became a site of plesure open to the population. When the Austrians came back after the end of the Napoleonic Empire the Botanic Garden of Brera became a part of the S. Alessandro High School and the teaching of medicinale plants was conserved, even at a time when most botanic gardens of Lombardy were suppressed.
After the union of Italy into a single kingdom the Botanic Garden was aggregated to the School of Tecnology and in 1870 to the Agricultural School that used it for its experimental cultivations.
After many other events the Botanic Garden became a part of the University of Milano that is still managing it.
Among the many famous persons who lived and taught in the Brera Palace we only mention the poet Giuseppe Parini (1729-1799) whose windows overlooked the Botanic Garden.
ADMISSION IS FREE
Monday to Friday 9am - 12am and 3pm - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
CLOSED: 10th - 16th April and 23th April 1st May 2012