The former Royal gardens are today more well-known as the Gardens of Viveros.
The huge grounds, adjacent to the even more expansive parks of the Turia riverbed, used to be the home to the royal palace, before it was bombed to pieces in 1810 during the Peninsular War against the occupying French. Today, it houses the Museum of Natural Sciences.
The park is extremely beautiful — especially contrasted with the more utilitarian parks of the Turia riverbed. Popular with Valencians and close to the University, the park can be extremely busy on a Sunday afternoon. It’s also the site of concerts over the summer and during Fallas.
Viveros is how the garden is most usually referred to nowadays. The word means “nursery” or “breeding ground”, and could refer to the growing of plants. There was also a zoo here, which might have contributed to the name. I’m pretty sure the zoo has been closed now in favor of the BioParc which recently opened further west.
A lot of what I’ve just said is conjecture, so I have 2 questions for our native Valencian readers:
- What is the reason for the name change to Viveros?
- What happened to the zoo? I can’t find any information online about it, and I sure didn’t see anything resembling a zoo on our recent walk in the gardens. A giant bird-cage, yes, but that doesn’t count.
And, is there anything else special about the Viveros Gardens that we should be looking out for? Feel free to leave comments, or post in our forums!