Aarhus Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden in Aarhus, Denmark. It is located north of the Old Town open-air village museum and was founded in 1875. Nowadays it covers an area of 21.5 hectares (53 acres), with 5 hectares (12 acres) for the Old Town.
The park was originally created primarily as a botanical and academic study-ground in relation to the University and provides an attraction of interest to those who wish to inspect the thousands of plant species on display here. All are labelled in both Latin and Danish. The landscape is quite varied and includes a large greenhouse center; originally from 1970 by C. F. Møller Architects, but with a newly added tropical hothouse. The gardens have an open-air amphitheatre, two small lakes, a children’s playground and the large lawns is popular with picnics, gatherings and events of all kinds year round.
There have been a heavy renovation of the greenhouses in recent years and a large tropical dome have been added, amongst other facilities. The project was budgeted at kr 65 million and realized in a cooperation between Aarhus Municipality, Aarhus University and Realdania, with C. F. Møller Architects as architectural designers. The Greenhouses have been closed for the public since 2011, but reopened April-September 2014.
Budget cuts, change of status and the future
Aarhus municipality have found large parts of the botanical gardens too expensive in upkeep and manpower for several years. It was decided to stop the upkeep of the large rose gardens and the arboretum at one point and thereby end the parks status as a botanical garden, but civil protests postponed the city councils decisions for some years. In 2011 a group of citizens founded the ngo organization "Friends of The Botanical Gardens" and by 2012, they are now in charge of the daily chores of maintaining the rose gardens and arboretum, working for free. Aarhus University also took over part of the responsibility from Aarhus Municipality, through the Science Museums (in particular the Steno Museum) which operates the greenhouses.
The gardens (including the greenhouses) are changing its status and function from a scientific study ground to public outreach and education.