Brera Botanical Garden
The Secret Garden
Hidden behind the Southern walls of Palazzo Brera you will find the Botanical Garden, a green romantic oasis nestling between the buildings in the centre of Milan. A historical garden, recognized as an official Museum.
The garden has a long history, originating from the 14th century when it served as a place for meditation and plant cultivation by the Humiliati priests, and later the Jesuits. In the second half of the 18th century, by order of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Palazzo Brera became the reference point for art and science in Milan, and as part of this project the garden was designated the Botanical Garden of Brera in 1775. Since then it has been serving as a place for the teaching of pharmacy and medicine using the medicinal species that were grown in the garden. In 1935, it was annexed to the University of Milan, which still manages it today.
A view of the Brera Botanical Garden of the University of Milan, with part of the flowerbeds and one of the two historical elliptical ponds. The background shows the historical Brera Palace
Vista dell’Orto Botanico di Brera dell’Università degli Studi di Milano, con alcune aiuole e una delle due storiche vasche ellittiche. Sullo sfondo il Palazzo di Brera.
In 2001 the garden reopened its doors after a long phase of restoration. Curiously it still maintains its original layout, marked by the two exceptionally beautiful elliptical ponds, the tranquil arboretum, and narrow but lush flowerbeds, that host important genera like Salvia, Hydrangea, Paeonia and thematic collections (medicinal, Mediterranean, plants for dyeing, textile fibers and paper, ….). In 2018, the historical Arboretum was requalified.
As a living open-air museum it offers visitors exciting surprises throughout every season, which are truly worth discovering.
Welcome to the Botanical Gardens of the University of Milan – Conservation – Education – Research –
The Botanical Garden of Brera Museum provides a unique experience to discover the beauty of the world of plants in the centre of Milan. We seek to create awareness for the central role plants play in our society and for our ecosystems.
The Botanical Garden of Brera intends to let its visitors experience the world of plant sciences. Discoveries of the past and research in the future to understand how plants function, how we can reach a sustainable use of plants for our needs and to preserve biodiversity.
Martin Kater (director), Antonella Testa (curator), Cristina Puricelli (curator and coordinator of educational activities), Paola Caccia (gardener and cooordinator of events), Anna Bruna Merlo (office activities support), Isabelle Bovier (reception), Manuel Bellarosa (head gardener), Enrico Fantella (gardener), Andrea Stucchi (gardener)