MIAMI, United Stated. – In spite of the passage of time and the acute crisis that Cuba is facing, the National Botanical Garden of Cuba (JBNC, by its Spanish acronym) continues to be an oasis of biodiversity some 15.5 miles south of the city of Havana.
Construction of the Botanical Garden started in 1968, an initiative of then dictator Fidel Castro. The Castro regime charged the University of Havana with building it under the guidance of Dr. Johannes Bisse (Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany).
The park extends over 15.4 square miles of territory and is home to more than 4,000 plant species, including rare specimens and some in danger of extinction. Its flora includes plants that are original to South America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
However, one of its greatest attractions is the impressing collection of palm trees, considered to be one of the largest and diverse in the world.
JBNC is divided into several sections each dedicated to a specific geographic area. It also features a conservatory and an arboretum, which makes it possible to study botanical diversity in a controlled environment.
In 1989, the Japanese Garden was inaugurated, also called “the strolling garden” inside the Botanical Garden. That is the creation of Japanese landscape architect Yoshikuni Araki, and it is located in the Southeast Asia phyto-geographic zone, which is 0.02 square miles long.
Havana’s Botanical Garden is not only a place to conduct research or study; it is also an ideal place to stroll around and relax. Visitors can walk the garden’s various paths, enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them and listen to birds singing. Also, there are picnic areas and places where one can sit to enjoy the peacefulness of the garden.
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