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The Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa) includes several green spaces in the city of Lisbon that are not only endowed with a rich historical heritage but also serve as valuable natural and scientific resources. The most noteworthy of these green spaces are the Jardim Botânico da Ajuda, Tapada da Ajuda and the Jardim Botânico de Lisboa. All these spaces are unique for scientific preservation and dissemination. In this sense, these institutions from ULisboa also contribute to sensitizing and educating society about the importance of nature conservation and biodiversity.
The Ajuda Botanical Garden (JBA) is Portugal's first Botanical Garden and has existed for over 240 years. This historical garden, with an area of 3.5 hectares, has exceptional features that allow visitors to gain a better understanding of the plant world. In addition to its vast botanic collection, seed conservation bank, aromatic plants' essential oil distiller, among other features, the JBA also offers visits and workshops on the preservation of biodiversity.
The Tapada da Ajuda is classified as a Place of Public Interest. With about 100 hectares, this park is managed by the School of Agriculture of ULisboa and has several green spaces, including a botanical reserve recognized worldwide due to its unique wild olive forest. Besides the beauty of its vegetation and the historical and architectural heritage that characterize Tapada da Ajuda, visitors may climb up to the viewpoint located in its northern part to enjoy a privileged view of Lisbon and the surrounding areas.
The Lisbon Botanical Garden (JBL) is classified as a national monument and is part of the historical centre of the Portuguese capital. Its 4 hectares are a treasure trove of plant specimens from different parts of the world, featuring cycads, gymnosperms, palm trees, tropical fig trees, and much much more. In terms of heritage, JBL is home to collections of natural objects, a xylotheque, a herbarium with more than 220,000 leaves, and also includes a seed bank with over 1200 species as well as a DNA bank with 1 to 5 samples of each endangered Portuguese flora species.
In JBL you can also visit the Butterfly Garden (the first greenhouse made for breeding butterflies of the Iberian fauna, open to the public).
The Tropical Botanical Garden (JBT) with its 7 hectares of exotic species, initially created to develop the study of the flora in the Portuguese colonies, is a green area of both scientific and recreational significance.
Located on a slight slope, the Garden includes promenades, lakes, green houses, experimental fields, an Eastern themed garden and plant patches of exotic species, and a herbarium.
On the North side of the Garden is the Calheta Palace, built as a summer home in the 17th century for D. João Gonçalves da Câmara, the 4th Count of Calheta. This Palace, and the adjacent land which is nowadays the JPT, were acquired in 1726 by D. João V, undergoing profound renovation. This is very close to where, in 1758, murder was attempted on D. José the 1st, culminating with the case of the Távora family, and some of the interrogations happened in the palace.
The JBT hosted the Colonial Section of the Portuguese World Exhibition of 1940, and some of the pavilions can still be seen today.