Curitiba's trademark and the favourite attraction of many visitors, the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden), is a huge green area of about 250,000 square meters. It was created in 1991 in the style of French gardens.
Flowers line the pathways to the Botanical Garden as visitors enter the gates toward the greenhouse. Each hedge is constructed carefully, and successfully channels the gardens of Versailles’s backyard. The greenhouse itself is the highlight of the gardens, set gracefully against the backdrop of Curitiba’s skyline.
The greenhouse is not impressive in size. It is only a hair over 450 square meters. However, its design is so arresting it steals the eye of any visitor who explores the garden.
An art nouveau construction, it employs metal and glass to sculpt its three peaks into a solitary monument dedicated to the beauty of nature. White metal wraps around the entire structure, carving out an intricate design across the greenhouse and truly setting the building apart from the rest of the similarly striking gardens.
The two-storey greenhouse resembles a castle and was inspired by the 19th century crystal palace in London. Inside is a collection of tropical flora and a water fountain. Most of these botanic species can be found in nature excursions around the state parks of Parana, but the building is the most important thing here. Outside are fountains and flower gardens and even a cafe.
The forest is filled with paths for jogging and walking and there is also a lake. Worth visiting is the Museu Botanico with its remarkable collection of rare Brazilian plants, a library and a space for exhibitions. Gardens are open daily 6am-8pm and the museum Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.
Also, it houses a very interesting exhibit space named Espaco Cultural Frans Krajcberg. Inaugurated in October 2003, it is named after the Polish plastic artist. The space holds 114 large-scale sculptures and three carvings in relief made out of trunks of trees, donated by the artist to the city. Krajcberg, one of the artists most engaged in the environmental preservation issue, chose Curitiba for its ecological consciousness. Beside the artistic exposition, Krajcberg Space is a place of meeting, reflection and free exchange of ideas. The works are the starting point for reflection about man's relation to nature, about art and environment.
Works are divided in groups and classified by the artist by material characteristics of palms, upward trees, lianas, mangroves, burns, sticks and barks. Krajcberg extracts the material for his creations from nature. Calcined trunks of wood, extracted directly from places of depredation, are the ones which most identify his work, although the concern with the environment has always been part of his artistic accomplishments.
Among the works in the collection are sculptures, photographs, videos, texts and publications which are the base for educational actions. The program, in charge of Curitiba Cultural Foundation, involves besides the permanent exposition of Krajcberg's works, a video festival, debates, seminars and other actions that aim at environmental education and discussion about visual arts.
It is open Tue-Sun 9am-12am and 1pm-6pm.
SOURCE: Atlas Obscura