We pass four beautiful bridges on the grounds of the Hortus Botanicus of Leiden University. Some of them are only open during the 100 Bridges Run.
Until recently, they were nameless: a small challenge presented itself when we compiled the list of 100 bridges. Fortunately, the management of the Hortus came to the rescue. From now on, the four bridges over the 5th Binnenvestgracht have official names: the Sterrewacht Bridge, the Draaibrug (revolving bridge), the Clusius Bridge and the Zion Bridge.
The Hortus botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands and was founded in 1590 by Carolus Clusius. The garden has been open to the public from the start, which was an exception especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We walk past the Observatory, through the fern garden, past the pond at the entrance, the Winter Garden and the Clusius Garden.
Here Carolus Clusius grew the first large tulip collections in Europe, and Philipp Franz von Siebold introduced about 700 hitherto unknown plants from Japan and China. Visitors can go here for a relaxing walk; researchers from all over the world come here to research the renowned Hortus collection.