SAO PAULO – Santos Municipal Orchidarium reopens its gates to the public on Tuesday (June 5), at 10 am, after being closed for three years. According to the city, the park just completed its largest renovation since its inauguration 66 years ago.
Santos Municipal Orchidarium
The Santos Municipal Orchidarium and Zoological Park reproduces Brazil’s Atlantic Coast environment, with about four thousand one hundred species of orchids, most of them in the trees, flowering all year-long. Also present are about 450 animals representing 70 species, many circulating freely.
There is also an area specifically designed to attract butterflies. Construction workers renovated and expanded all the animal enclosures, offering better viewing to the public and making possible the housing of more animals. During the reforms, the park area increased from about 5.5 to almost 6 acres by removing a street that ran along one side of the park.
The park also has new space for environmental educational activities, including an auditorium for lectures and regular courses. Before the renovations, about 200 thousand people visited the park each year, making it the second most popular attraction in Santos, the Municipal Aquarium ranks first.
The city, along with the state of São Paulo and the Federal Government all contributed to the U.S. $5.5 million dollar cost of the renovations. The Development Council of the Metropolitan Region of Santos also contributed to the funds for the Orchidarium.
Santos Municipal Orchidarium History
Inaugurated on November 11, 1945, to show the orchids of Julius Concepcion, regarded as the first Brazilian orchidphile, the park received trees to support the flowers. Later, botanists introduced species from around the world to the park, forming a natural forest.
A lover of flowers, Julius Concepcion lived at the beginning of the last century in a mansion in the neighborhood of Boqueirão, where he grew about 90 thousand orchids on trees and lath slats. The park opened to the public after his death, and in 1932, became the first public attraction in Santos.
The Concepcion estate subdivided the land, which made up the largest outdoor orchidarium in the world at the time. The estate sold its biological heritage to the city for a symbolic amount to form the Santos Municipal Orchidarium. The state of São Paulo donated the area where the park is today to the city in 1914.