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The Botanical Gardens are part of the University of Palermo. They constitutes the most significant scientific and educational facility housed within the Department of Botanical Sciences at the University.
The origin of the gardens dates back to 1779, when the Accademia dei Regi Studi was created. The new Academy was established in the old bastion of the Porta Carini with a small plot of land around to accommodate a small botanical garden to be used for the cultivation of "simple" medicinal plants useful to teaching.
first Garden proved inadequate to the needs of the time and in 1786 it
was decided to place it in a more appropriate location in
Vigna del Gallo, in the plane of S. Erasmus. Then
the new Garden was born to help with the development of botanical science in the
interests of Medicine and Agriculture and with the intention
of providing further decoration to the City.
The construction of the main buildings of the Garden, in neoclassical style, was begun in 1789 and completed in 1795. It consists of a central building, the Gymnasium, and two lateral bodies, and the Tepidarium Calidarium, designed by French architect Leon Dufourny and implemented with the collaboration of talented local architects like Peter Trombetta, Domenico Marabitti and Venanzio Marvuglia.
The decorative elements are due to several artists. The current extension of the Garden, about 10 hectares, was reached in 1892 after two successive enlargements.