Jurassica Museum

Origins of the Botanical garden


Origins of the Botanical garden

École Centrale founded in Porrentruy



First attempt to create a scientific garden

Antoine Lémane, a master at the school, oversees the sowing of 240 species of plants obtained from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, following the family-based classification scheme introduced by Jussieu. This experiment is, however, short-lived: in 1803 the École Centrale is closed and the garden abandoned.


École Centrale becomes a religious school



Botanical garden created

The geologist and botanist Jules Thurmann, a natural sciences master at Porrentruy School, organises the seeding of a true Botanical garden, adopting the De Candolle system. This is the second botanical garden to be created in Switzerland after that founded in Basel in 1589 by Caspar Bauhin, the ‘father of botany’. Porrentruy finally has a leading scientific institution, although construction of the garden takes years to complete.


Today The garden continues to evolve

Major development work is overseen by the various figures who take over running the Botanical garden. This includes the construction and renovation of the greenhouses. Major collections of plant species are added, some donated by private individuals, creating larger and more attractive displays in the grounds of the Jesuit church, the greenhouses and the Museum grounds.

The key stages in the development of the garden and its main contributors are explained in more detail on the timeline on display in the entrance hall of the greenhouses at the Botanical garden.

The Jules Thurmann Foundation, founded in 2012, took over the running of the Botanical garden and Museum that year.

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