Jardim Botânico da Ajuda is the oldest botanical garden in Portugal, laid out on two levels in 1768 as a part of Ajuda Palace in Lisbon. King Dom José I entrusted construction of the garden to the Marquis de Pombal (he took a big part in the reconstruction of Lisbon after the tragic earthquake in 1755).
1,600 plants from all continents grow here. The oldest tree is the 400 year old dragoeiro or dragon tree (yes, much older than the garden).
In the center of the botanical garden of Ajuda you will find the Fonte das 40 Bicas (Fountain of 40 nozzles) also known as Fonte das Serpentes – Snakes Fountain; thanks to carvings depicting mainly these reptiles. Among the sculptures, we can also find ducks, frogs and seahorses and various mythological figures. Interestingly, the fountain was dedicated to Our Lady of Ajuda (Nossa Senhora da Ajuda) because, accordingly to legend, there were apparitions in the area.
Curiosity: Jardim dos Aromas (Garden of aromas) full of herbs was created especially for the blind, the badges describing fragrant plants are also written in Braille.
Jardim Botânico da Ajuda
Calçada da Ajuda s/n, 1300-011 Lisboa, Portugal