Botanical Garden of the Ruhr University Bochum

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The Botanical Garden of the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) is located in the middle of the Kalwes , a wooded area in the Bochum - Querenburg district . To the north it borders directly on the Ruhr University Bochum . To the south of the gently sloping garden area lie the Lottental and Kemnader See .


The desert house from the outside
In the desert house
Grass tree Xanthorrhoea johnsonii in the savannah house
Cussonia paniculata in the savannah house
Part of the cactus collection
Desert landscape in the open air

The Botanical Garden serves the Biological Faculty of the Ruhr University, founded in 1962, for study and research purposes. One of the scientific focal points is research into the evolution of flowering plants from conifers. The preparatory work began in 1966. In 1967 Karl Esser was appointed founding director of the Botanical Garden, and in 1968 the garden officially began operations. Since then it has been continuously expanded and expanded. It has been open to the public since 1971. The tropical house was completed in 1976, the desert house in 1988 to mark its 20th anniversary, the Chinese garden in 1990 and the savanna house in 2000. The garden has been headed by Thomas Stützel , Professor of the Department of Evolution and Biodiversity of Plants at the RUB , since 1992 .


The fenced area of ​​the botanical garden covers a total of 130,000 m². The area of ​​the greenhouses is around 3,500 m². One of the special features is the Chinese garden, which was built entirely by Chinese specialists in the South Chinese style. The number of species in the Botanical Garden was given as 15,000 in 2011.

Other special features are areas for

The following special collections are worth mentioning:

Greenhouses, terraces, forest areas and meadows are embedded in the natural environment and offer many animals an extended habitat .


The four greenhouses are connected by a central entrance hall, which has display boards and an information table.

Tropical house

The tropical house with a height of 17 meters and a size of 713 m² gives the visitor the impression of being in the middle of a jungle . In addition to a small stream, it contains large trees , herbs , banana trees , coffee bushes and other useful plants from the tropical rainforests . In addition, a stately titan arum finds its place on a corner of the swimming plant pool during the summer . Tropical ostrich quails roam freely on the ground .

Desert house

In the desert house , plants from dry tropical and subtropical regions of Madagascar , Africa and America are found in geographically ordered areas. Here one can see the similar development of growth forms ( convergence ) in plants from different kinship groups as a result of the influence of comparable climatic conditions. In addition to many succulents, there are also plenty of herbaceous plants in the accompanying vegetation. In addition to rarities, huge, tree-shaped succulents are also shown, which are otherwise only known as miniature versions of the windowsill.

Savanna houses

The two most recently completed savanna houses , which are located between the tropical and desert houses, show hard foliage bushes from South Africa and Australia with their accompanying vegetation. In addition to many types of eucalyptus , there are special botanical treasures u. a. Australian grass trees ( Xanthorrhoea ) and a tree-shaped Cussonia can be seen.

Non-public greenhouses

The corridor leading from the tropical house connects the non-public growing greenhouses. The corridor itself is open to the public and houses various palms and cycads as well as showcases with orchids , bromeliads and succulents .

Outdoor facilities

The geobotanical department occupies the southern part of the botanical garden . This is an area with typically European biotopes , such as various forest communities and representatives of the heather and coastal vegetation . These are supplemented by meadows , steppes , moors and forest tree species. A stream with ponds connects other plant communities in Central Europe. A large part of the geobotanical department is made up of the areas of North America and Asia, in which the hardy trees of these regions are shown. The Vegetation History Department provides information on the development of vegetation since the Tertiary .

Around the desert house, and especially on its south side, an approximately 400 m² steppe and desert landscape is reproduced in summer , with succulents held as tub plants being embedded in the sandy soil in summer. Other areas that should be mentioned are the Alpinum , divided according to geographical criteria , poisonous and useful plant beds, a morphology department and various borders with ornamental plants .

The Chinese garden

Cornus kousa var. Chinensis in the Chinese forest
On the way through the garden
South China architecture in the Chinese Garden


The Chinese garden in Bochum with the name Qian Yuan ( Chinese  潛 園 , Pinyin Qiányúan  - "Qian's garden") is designed as a garden in the garden on the lower slope of the Botanical Garden and is completely surrounded by a wall. Access is via step plates in an entrance basin ; the facility itself covers 1000 m², with a pond taking up half of this area. The Tongji University Shanghai donated this example of Chinese garden art to the Ruhr University as a token of friendship. Chinese architects and craftsmen designed it in 1986 from original components that were transported by sea. During the construction, 600 tons of rock were piled up into rock formations under the guidance of Chinese specialists and provided with wall passages, terraces and pavilions .

In 2001, Chinese skilled workers completely renovated the garden in four months, as structural timber in particular was threatened with decay due to a fungal attack and the roof tiles showed frost damage, so the facility had to be temporarily closed. The garden was reopened on October 18, 2001.


There are basically two stylistic manifestations in horticulture in China. The North Chinese or Imperial style refers to extensive systems using valuable materials such as marble or roof tiles glazed in different colors. The Chinese garden at the Ruhr University in Bochum, on the other hand, is the only garden in Germany that was designed in the South Chinese style. This style stands for simple materials such as natural stone , wood , monochrome bricks as well as for restrained color design and is preferred by high-ranking officials, scholars and artists. It is based on house gardens in southern China and is intended to create the impression that the landscape elements such as water, rocks, elevations and the nature of the terrain were already given and present by nature. This is why these simple materials and restrained colors (white, black, brown, gray and dark red) were also used in Bochum.

The principle of the garden follows the philosophy that the tranquility and movement of nature are architecturally woven into a whole: the water in a calm form as a pond or fountain, moving as a spring or waterfall. Wall corridors run through the entire complex and lead to small pavilions, the curved roof surfaces of which are covered with handcrafted tiles.


Even outside the Chinese stone walls, the visitor should be meditatively attuned to the simplicity of the southern Chinese design art . This is achieved architecturally through artistically designed, partly round, but also perforated wall openings, which, as a connection between inside and outside, are intended to indicate the specialty of the “garden within the garden”.

On large stepping stone slabs over an access basin, the visitor enters the small entrance hall through a wooden double door. On the left, a winding corridor leads into the garden - over a small bridge to the spacious main hall. From there, the visitor has a view of a large part of the garden. A few stone steps lead down from the main hall to the water pavilion.

A smaller walkway branches off from the rear part of the main hall, leading the visitor past four large-scale garden depictions (floor plans and perspective depictions) in the form of stone relief works to an ancient fountain. With seasonal flowers, the illusion of village still life is to be created.

The next picture on the way - rugged rocks and a hut with a low thatched roof right on the water - is reminiscent of an old ferry station. After you have passed some towering rocks with a few mountain paths, the path suddenly seems to end in front of a rock wall and yet continues into a dark spring cave. Then the visitor steps back into the light. On the Wandelweg, he finally comes to the small island pavilion with a hexagonal floor plan, from where the view once again encompasses the entire garden.

Meaning of the name

The garden name Qian's Garden goes back to Tao Qian (365–427 AD), a well-known writer whose account of the peach blossom spring has enjoyed great popularity in China for centuries. In this story, a fisherman gets lost in a dream land called "Peach Blossom Land". There the people lead a harmonious and carefree life in a wonderful environment. Tao Qian describes his hope for an ideal society and the longing for a harmonious life in harmony with nature in this way. In keeping with this philosophy, the architects of Qian Yuan in Bochum built the garden.


On the night of March 24, 2015, only about a year after the extensive restoration of the garden, unknown perpetrators destroyed large parts of the Chinese Garden. Many elements were torn out and thrown into the central pond. Shortly after the campaign, many university students and friends of the garden were ready to donate, so that the reopening could take place on May 16, 2015 with the first public tour of the year.

See also


  • Karl Esser, Annette Höggemeier, Hans-Jürgen Rathke: Garden Guide for the Botanical Garden of the Ruhr University Bochum , 1988. 56 S. Bochum. ISBN 978-3-592-86064-1 .
  • Annette Höggemeier, Bernd Kirchner: Botanical Garden of the Ruhr University Bochum. Concept and topics of the open air in 75 panels . Ruhr University Bochum, 2004. 82 S. Bochum.
  • Arno Caspelherr, Stephanie Moser: The Chinese Garden Qianyuan in the Botanical Garden of the Ruhr University Bochum - The Chinese Garden Qianyuan at Ruhr University Bochum , foreword: Martin Woesler, photos: Eberhard Koch, translation: Johanna Franke u. Yi Song, European University Press, 2004. Bochum. ISBN 978-3-89966-012-8
  • Veit Dörken, Annette Höggemeier: Botanical Garden of the Ruhr University Bochum. Botanical-dendrological forays . 150 p. Ruhr University Bochum, 2009. Bochum.
  • Karl Esser: Ruhr University Bochum. The botanical garden. Planning and construction 1964–1989 . 104 p. Ruhr University Bochum, 2015. Bochum. ISBN 978-3-00-048892-4

Web links

Commons : Botanical Garden of the Ruhr University Bochum  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b 40 Years of the Botanical Garden, accessed on July 9, 2015
  2. Size and division of the Bochum Botanical Garden. Retrieved November 1, 2014 .
  3. ↑ The decline of the Chinese Garden triggers regret in WAZ Bochum, January 28, 2000
  4. Appeal for donations for the Chinese Garden ( memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) at

Coordinates: 51 ° 26 ′ 31 ″  N , 7 ° 16 ′ 3 ″  E