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Santa Catalina Botanical Gardens, living nature to the full

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Santa Catalina Botanical Gardens, living nature to the full

At the Santa Catalina Botanical Gardens, just a few kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz, nature at its most verdant is entwined with the ancient ruins of a monastery, a palace and a church, built between the 13th and 14th centuries. In this picturesque haven of peace, visitors can savour aromas from all over the planet thanks to the botanical gardens around the ruins and the evergreen oaks.

The garden contains more than 1,200 botanical species, divided into three large areas. In the so-called Umbría, or shady area, you can see species associated with the Atlantic climate such as alders, birches, beeches, chestnuts and oaks, among others.

At the bottom of the valley, on the other hand, herbaceous species stand out, as well as plants typical of watery habitats (irises, lilies and so on) and rosaceae (roses, apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees and others). It is just here that visitors can go into the ruins of the monastery of Santa Catalina, built by Augustinian monks.

In the area known as Solana, the sunny part, there are different kinds of cactus, plants from the Canary Islands, eucalyptus, mimosas, holm oaks, carob trees and sloes.

The bright colours of the plants are also highlighted by the different striking tones of the butterflies living in the butterfly house. All the ruins together make up a place that is as mysterious as it is fascinating. The solidly-built limestone wells, the passage and the remains of the palace take visitors back to bygone days. However, not all the attractions can be seen in daylight. The views from the viewpoint in the gardens are so stunning that the garden has been listed as the first 'StarPark' in the world, accredited by the Starlight foundation, set up at the astrophysics institute of the Canary Islands with the backing of UNESCO, the World Tourism Organisation and the International Astronomical Union. From this vantage point, visitors can feel as if they are touching the sky and discover the fascinating world of astronomy. Moreover, on 10th August every year the Fiesta de la Luna (Full Moon Night) takes place, where visitors can enjoy a themed walk to the viewpoint.

Services: Guided visit
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Information of interest

Type of resources: Interesting buildings and structures
Monument type:

Jardín botánico

Address:   - 01191  Iruña Oka/Iruña de Oca
Phone: +34 688 897 048Phone: +34 688 897 048

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