Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus (botanical garden) was founded in 1638 as the Hortus Medicus, a medicinal herb garden. Herbs were of vital importance at that time, used as essential ingredients in medicines. Doctors and pharmacists conducted research on medicinal plants at the Hortus and the pharmacists took their exams there.
In 1646, Johannes Snippendaal was appointed superintendent of the Hortus and catalogued their entire plant collection in that same year. He described 796 different plant species, most of them medicinal, but also some extraordinary ornamental plants. His work became the first complete catalogue of the Hortus Medicus.
In 2007, the Hortus completed a unique project. They translated Snippendaal’s catalogue and designed a garden filled with the plants listed there. The plants in the Snippendaal Garden are the exact same ones that were cultivated in the Hortus Medicus in 1646.