Schmuckgarten in den 30er-Jahren © BGUW

Schmuckgarten in den 30er-Jahren – Wasserbecken © BGUW

In 1754 Archduchess (Empress) Maria Theresia of Austria founded a Pharmaceutical Garden in baroque style for the Medical Faculty of Vienna University. Already at its present location in Vienna's third district, this formed the basis for today's Botanical Garden attached to the Faculty Center (Institute of) Botany at the Faculty of Life Sciences.

After several changes, the Botanical Garden now presents a synthesis between a 19th century landscape garden and a display of plants in systematic and plant-geographical arrangement. Several smaller areas in the garden are devoted to specific topics, such as useful plants, succulents, alpine floras, vegetation types of Austria, plant genetics and evolution etc.

Today, the Garden covers an area of ca. 8 ha.

The greenhouses (ca. 1.500 m2), originally built between 1890 - 1893, were severely damaged during World War II, and are now renovated or rebuilt. Because of space problems, most of the greenhouses are used for scientific purposes only and are not open to the public. However, a permanent "rainforest-exhibition" for visitors has been established in one greenhouse.