Buenos Aires Botanical Garden
Everywhere you look there are cats ... quite happy with their life!
From Wikipedia -
The Buenos Aires Botanical Garden (whose official name in Spanish is Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires) is located in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The garden is triangular in shape, and is bounded by Sante Fé Avenue, Las Heras Avenue and República Árabe Siria Street. Palermo Park, the Buenos Aires Zoo and the Japanese Garden are all nearby.
The garden, which was declared a national monument in 1996, has a total area of 69,772 m2, and holds around 5,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs, as well as a number of sculptures, monuments and 5 winter-houses.
Designed by French-born Argentine architect and landscape designer Carlos Thays, the garden was inaugurated on September 7, 1898. Thays and his family lived in an English style mansion, located within the gardens, between 1892 and 1898, when he served as director of parks and walks in the city. The mansion, built in 1881, is currently the main building of the complex.
In recent years a large community of cats has established itself within the garden, encouraged by neighbours who leave food out for them. Attempts to remove the cats have so far proved unsuccessful but thanks to the dedication of volunteers in the local community who formed a voluntary committee, a humane resolution became possible, cats are allowed to live out their lives and no new cats are allowed in the garden while the current population receives care and free veterinary services from Instituto de Zoonosis Luis Pasteur.
The park has three distinct landscape gardening styles; the symmetric, the mixed and the picturesque, recreated in the Roman, French and Oriental gardens.
This holds species of tree that the first century Roman botanist Pliny the Younger had in his villa in the Apennine mountains, such as cypresses, poplars, and laurels.
This has a symmetric French style of the 17th and 18th century.
In other areas the plants are ordered by origin; from Asia can be seen Ginkgo biloba; from Oceania Acacias, Eucalyptus and Casuarinas; from Europe oaks, hazelnut trees and olmos; from Africa brackens, palms, and gomeros.
There are also other plantae from the Americas, such as sequoias from United States and Chorisia speciosa (Palo Borracho), also called Floss silk tree from Brazil and Argentina. An abundant collection of flora from Argentina and the Southern Cone is present. In other sections plant species are systematically ordered by theretaxonomic qualification.
Within the garden is the Municipal Gardening School Cristóbal María Hicken, which is linked to the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Buenos Aires. The garden also contains 33 artistic works including sculptures, busts and monuments. Among these are Los primeros Fríos by the Catalan sculptor Blay y Fábregas, Sagunto by Querol y Subirats, Figura de mujer by Lola Mora, and Saturnalia made in bronze by Ernesto Biondi.
Other attractions include the five winter-houses, the biggest of which is in Art Nouveau style and received recognition in the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. It has a length of 35 meters, a width of 8, contains 2500 tropical plants and is considered to be the only winter-house in that style still conserved in the world.
There is also a monument entitled Indicador Meteorológico (Weather Indicator), designed by José Markovich, and presented by the Austro-Hungarian Empire community for the Exposición Internacional del Centenario (1910).
The Botanic Library has 1,000 books and 10,000 publications from all parts of the world, which are freely available to visitors. The park also contains a Botanical Museum.
The botanical garden is also the "Human Society of Buenos Aires", which is to say that it is one place in Buenos Aires where Argentines abandon their cats and old ladies then feed them. The cats of the Jardin Botanico often give the impression of being "kept" or "household" cats, in that they do not seem to be stray or abandoned cats and many are incredibly friendly. The trees of the Jardin Botánico are full of abandoned cats, and this is often the first thing that foreigners notice about the gardens.