Orto Botanico di Brera

The Garden

Welcome to Brera Botanical Garden, a quiet green corner in the centre of Milan

The Brera Botanical Garden is an historic garden founded in 1775 by Maria Theresa of Austria. Previously this area had been cultivated by the Jesuit Fathers who, since the end of the 1500s, lived in the adjacent Brera Mansion. With the suppression of the religious order the mansion and its grounds became part of the Habsburg state, and the Palatine schools were transferred here. Together with the other institutions founded within the mansion (the Astronomical Observatory, the Braidense Library, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery and the Lombard Institute of Sciences and Letters) a vast centre of higher learning and research was created.

From the outset, the botanical garden has had a strong educational role, although during the Napoleonic era, with the introduction of exotic species, it was characterised more by ornamental plantings. From then on the garden suffered ups and downs until 1935 when it was annexed to the Università degli Studi di Milano, which still manages it.

Today the garden preserves its original historic layout. Three areas are separated by two elliptical ponds: the first two areas are occupied by a series of flowerbeds; the third is the arboretum, where centuries-old trees tower.

Thanks to the restoration of the botanical garden in 2001 each day scholars and the public are welcomed, including those with disabilities.

Since 2005 it has been recognised by the Lombardy Region as a museum institution.

The two historical Ginkgo biloba L of the Brera Botanical Garden
The two historical Ginkgo biloba L of the Brera Botanical Garden

Flowerbeds of the Brera Botanical Garden, a drone view
Flowerbeds of the Brera Botanical Garden, a drone view