Victoria House in Berlin Botanic Garden Re-opened
One of the world’s most important aquatic plant collections on display again after 12 years
№ 145/2018 from Jun 15, 2018
Along with hundreds of other tropical marsh and water plants, the popular giant water lily Victoria at the heart of the conservatory of the Botanic Garden of Freie Universität Berlin is again available for public viewing. After 12 long years, the Victoria House is back with one of the world’s most important aquatic plant collections.
The Victoria House was reopened on Friday, June 15, 2018, with a ceremony in the presence of over 600 invited guests from politics, business, academia, and culture.
“The Berlin Botanic Garden is one of the top attractions in our city and a world-class science institution, and we’re justifiably proud of that. The reopened Victoria House is in the truest sense of the word a hot tip and will undoubtedly inspire visitors. At the same time, it strengthens biodiversity research in Berlin, which is highly regarded anyway. I thank all those who have committed themselves to the reconstruction and reopening,” says Michael Müller, Berlin’s Governing Mayor and Senator for Science and Research.
The renovation of the conservatory and district heating network, which were completed in accordance with historic preservation guidelines as well as energy-efficient building principles, cost around 10 million euros, a sensible investment in the future. Thanks to the energy-efficient refurbishment of the Victoria House and the heating network, Berlin will reduce its production of carbon dioxide by 245 tons per year. “Energy-efficient renovation of buildings is a central pillar for effective climate protection. The energy demand, energy costs, and CO2 emissions at the Victoria House will decrease significantly. This puts the Botanic Garden in a much better position for the future,” says Regine Günther, Berlin Senator for the Environment, Transportation, and Climate Protection. The reconstruction was financed with funds from the State of Berlin and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Environmental Relief Program II as well as funds from Freie Universität Berlin.
The more than 100-year-old Victoria House has always attracted crowds of visitors. With over 30 degrees Celsius and air humidity of 85 percent, it is probably one of the most fascinating display greenhouses of the Berlin Botanic Garden. “From the giant water lily Victoria to the tiniest flowering plant of the world, the Victoria House conveys the diversity of aquatic plants,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Borsch, the director of the Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum in Berlin. At the ceremony, he presented honorary sponsorship of the giant water lily Victoria to the Berlin chef and businesswoman Sarah Wiener and expressed his pleasure over the prominent sponsor. The spectacular large floating leaves of the giant water lily Victoria, up to two meters in diameter, and its large blossoms, up to 30 centimeters, make every visit a special highlight.
As of June 16, 2018, the Victoria House will be open to the public again. At the grand re-opening weekend on June 16 and 17, 2018, there will be a special, one-time “1 Euro Victoria rate” for all visitors to the Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum. On Saturday, June 16, 2018, the gardens and museum will be open from 9 a.m. to midnight (admission ends at 10 p.m.). At the same time a special exhibition will open in the Botanic Museum Berlin: the Victoria Cabinet will show 166 years of Berlin’s Victoria history in 100 epochal pictures.
The Victoria Summer in 2018 – Public Events at a Glance
Victoria Grand Re-opening Weekend for the Public: June 16 and 17, 2018
- Saturday, June 16, 2018, 9 a.m. to midnight (admission ends at 10 p.m.)
- Sunday, June 17, 2018, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (admission ends at 7:15 p.m.)
- Special entrance fee on both days: “1 Euro Victoria Rate” (per person to visit the Victoria House in addition to the entire gardens and conservatories and the Victoria Cabinet / Museum).
Between June 23 and August 25, 2018, the Victoria Nights offer opportunities to visit the giant water lily Victoria, which blossoms at night, later in the evening. The gardens and conservatories will be open until midnight. Regular admission fees apply. Various aspects of the giant water lilies and other aquatic plants will be described by experts in the Victoria Talks. In the Victoria Cabinet in the Botanic Museum, 166 years of Victoria history in Berlin will be shown in 100 epochal pictures (during the Victoria Nights until midnight – otherwise daily until the end of August 2018, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
- Saturdays, June 23 – August 25, 2018, 9 a.m. to midnight (admission ends at 10 p.m.)
Exception: No Victoria Night on July 21, 2018.
- Regular admission fees: 6 euros, reduced 3 euros (includes the museum).
- Included in the ticket price:
- Visit to Victoria, including the entire gardens, conservatories, and museum
- Victoria Talks
- Victoria Cabinet - 166 Years in 100 Pictures in the Botanic Museum
- Victoria Lounge / The summer terrace in open. (Drinks and snacks are not included.)
Victoria Cabinet – 166 Years in 100 Pictures
- Exhibition in the Botanic Museum
- June 16, 2018, to August 31, 2018
- daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Regular admission to the museum: 2.50 €, reduced 1.50 €
(Admission to the gardens includes admission to the museum: 6 €, reduced 3 €.)
Program and Information:
The over 100-year-old Victoria House is a valuable architectural monument and one of the most important conservatories of the Berlin Botanical Garden. The renovation of the conservatory and heating network, which were completed in accordance with historic preservation guidelines as well as energy-efficient building principles, began in 2013. The building had been closed for structural reasons since 2006. The renovation was made possible with funds from the State of Berlin and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Environmental Relief Program II as well as funds from Freie Universität Berlin. In spite of additional repairs and delays due to due to construction defects, the costs of around 10 million euros remained within the prescribed limits. Thanks to the refurbishment of the Victoria House and the district heating system, in the future the Berlin Botanic Garden will use 930,000 kWh less primary energy, saving more than 245 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
In its pools the Victoria House displays rare tropical and subtropical marsh and aquatic plants, including tropical water lilies. The highlight is the namesake, the tropical giant water lily Victoria from South America. The fast-growing plants grow within a few months from pea-sized seeds to spectacular and giant floating leaf plants. In addition, the Victoria House displays a mangrove area, and a new visitor information system provides interesting information about the life of aquatic plants. In the basement of the Victoria House there are about 50 aquariums and paludariums, including 19 basins with such displays as a coral reef or a rice paddy.
Gesche Hohlstein, Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin,
Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8, 14195 Berlin
Tel. +49 30 838 50134, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum in Berlin is one of the three most important botanical gardens in the world and the largest in Germany. With a variety of 20,000 plant species on a 43-acre site, it displays the “world in a garden.” As a hub of international biodiversity research and a science institution with over 300 years of tradition, it employs more than 200 staff members in research and teaching. More than 400,000 visitors per year are an indication of the importance of the botanical garden as an important recreational and educational center in Germany’s capital. With the Botanical Museum, the institution has Germany’s only museum-based facility dedicated to the diversity and significance of the plant world as well as the depiction of the cultural and natural history of the plant world. Since 1995, the Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum have been part of Freie Universität Berlin.