Unique Urban Parks | Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

By Dian Hasan | December 23, 2009

The hallmark of any great city is its urban park! Commonly located at the center of its core, urban parks play a significant role in providing traffic-choked cities with much-needed green lungs. As well as recreation, sporting and cultural venues for residents and visitors alike.

Here’s a look at some of the larger urban parks from across the world, as seen in through the lens of Google Earth.

JARDIM BOTÂNICO (BOTANICAL GARDENS), RIO DE JANEIRO (140 hectares)

Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro was founded on June 13, 1808 by Dom João VI, who then was prince regent of United Kingdom of Brazil and Portugal. It is one of the great tropical botanical gardens of the world.

Jardim Botânico is conveniently located in the heart of the South Side, minutes away from Ipanema and Copacabana. Spend an afternoon leisurely walking along the gardens, ponds and well-manicured lanes. Cariocas themselves do this every now and then to recharge the energies, and get in closer contact with nature. Einstein and Queen Elizabeth of England are among famous international visitors to the park, that was also a favorite of Tom Jobim.

The Botanical Garden was originally created to adapt to the Brazilian climate plants like nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon that were imported from the Western Indies. It was open for public visitation in 1822 during the reign of Dom Pedro I, Dom João VI’s son. In 1937 it was listed as part of the Brazilian Historical Heritage, and in 1992, UNESCO named it a biosphere reserve.

The gardens have several special areas featuring plants of specific Brazilian regions such as the Amazon. The most well-known symbol of the park are the royal palms, some dating back to the period of Dom João VI!

Walk among cocoa and rubber trees, breathe in the pungent aroma of the abricó-de-macaco trees, and watch out for the falling fruit – they are the size of a football! The greenhouses with bromeliads and orchids are very popular. There is also a sensorial garden, a Japanese garden, and many other special areas to visit.

The park is dotted with sculptures and fountains. The central fountain surrounded by royal palm trees is made of wrought iron, and was brought in England and brought to the park from Lapa in 1905. On the same year they brought from Passeio Público (Downtown) the beautiful sculptures by Mestre Valentim, including the statues of Eco and Narciso and the tall-legged birds. They are now housed in their own special niche.

Source: Ideas Inspiring Innovation

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