Botanika Bremen presents a world of nature to discover on the outskirts of the city. As my hotel in Bremen was downtown, I had to ride the light rail for about 20 minutes. Then I walked 10 more minutes in a residential neighborhood. It was very cold, which could be seen in the frozen leaves on the grass. It was still autumn when I went to this botanical garden in the middle of Rhododendron-Park.
Luckily Botanika Bremen is in a big glass house. I took off my gloves and went to buy my ticket. I was still cold despite the heating. The girl who assited me told me that the night before had been the first frost of the year. She handed me a passport with a map of the places that I should complete on my visit. It detailed all areas of the world to be visited, including Japan, New Guinea, Borneo, Tibet, China, Bhutan, Myanmar, India and Nepal.
Botanika Bremen, a 3.2-hectare science center in Rhododendron-Park, was inaugurated in 2003. This 46-hectare park has one of the largest collections of rhododendron and azaleas in the world. It has more than 1,000 species. If you want to see them blooming it is advisable to visit between April and June. May is the best month, since most bloom with colors ranging from shades of yellow to violet and red.
Entering the park has no cost but you must pay if you want to go to the botanical garden. The park was private at the beginning in 1,905, then in 1,935 it became municipal. Its location was moved to another larger site and work continued until 1,950 when it was completed.
Botanika Bremen is the largest nature center in Germany. It has more than 6,500 varieties of plants between native and exotic. Between 1,000 to 2,000 of the species are native to Germany. 200 from Bremen and Lower Saxony are on the list of endangered species.
The botanical garden is managed by a non-profit foundation that receives funds from the city of Bremen. You can visit every day only that the schedule varies on weekends and holidays. There are regular special exhibitions and some seasonal, such as Easter.
When you enter you must select a tea to drink it in the Chinese pavilion where they have glasses and hot water.
The first room is Japanese where you will see a pond full of colorful koi fish. Spend a while watching them swim and throw bubbles. You can feed them if you go at 11:30 a.m. or 3 p.m.
The room is a Zen garden with bonsais and a square of sand that had been combed with designs. In autumn the Japanese garden cannot be fully appreciated since the plants were all green. In February, azaleas and camellias bloom for a couple of weeks, filling the site with colors. Botanika Bremen claims to have the largest Buddha statue outside of Asia.
Follow your tour in Borneo with a replica of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malaysia. Look for the rhododendron taxifolium plant that is probably extinct. Another environment is that of the Himalayas in the middle of rocky mountains. You will find an altar in a cave with a number four that is important in Buddhism. It represents the four states of the heart: love, compassion, joy, understanding and equanimity.
You will go through a waterfall that has a platform to see it in perspective. The colorful Tibetan prayer flags soar from the waterfall to the platform. On the way you will see drawings on the rocks of things like tigers or masks.
The Botanika Bremen discovery center shares knowledge about the importance of biodiversity. After seeing plants you will go through some doors to reach a spiral structure of 8,611 square feet (800 square meters). This learning zone has 80 interactive exhibits and panels with explanatory texts.
Have you ever wondered how it feels to fly inside a carnivorous plant? Or have you wanted to walk through a meadow full of sweet smell? You will be able to live these experiences. Also learn about medicinal plants and which are not suitable for human consumption.
In this place you will also find some animals like poisonous frogs and a chameleon. In addition to a marine aquarium with several species of coral reefs.
At the exit of Botanika Bremen is a garden with 230 varieties of roses. In addition to other edible and aromatic herbs. Sadly, almost everything was half dead, but not completely. I walked through Rhododendron-Park to find the bus stop that would take me to Universum Bremen.