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Islands of Brissago


The Islands of Brissago are situated at latitude 56° 08′ N and longitude 08° 44′ E. The larger island (San Pancrazio) covers an area of 25,568 m², and the smaller (Sant’ Apollinaire) an area of 8,186 m².The former rises to a height of 6.5 m above the average level of the lake, which is 193.5 m above sea level, and the latter to a height of6.9 meters. Immersed in the waters of Lake Maggiore, which accumulate heat during the summer and return it to the atmosphere in the winter, the Islands enjoy a subtropical climate.

In 1885, the Baron and Baroness Richard and Antoinette Fleming de St. Léger purchased the Islands of Brissago, which were home to the remains of a convent. After restoring the convent the St. Légers initiated the creation of the garden. They brought good soil and dung to the Isola Grande, built paths and planted subtropical plant species. In 1927 the Baroness sold the property to Max Emden. Emden was not really a botany and gardening enthusiast; his main interest was cultivating the art of good living. However, we have him to thank for the creation of the palatial residence that overlooks the lake from the highest point of the Isola Grande. Max Emden stayed on the islands until 1940. In 1949 the Cantonal Government, the municipalities of Ascona, Brissago and Ronco, the Swiss League for the protection of the national heritage (Swiss Heimatschutz), and the nature conservation league (Pro Natura) joined forces and purchased the Islands and the house. On Palm Sunday morning, 2 April 1950, the Botanical garden of Brissago was opened to the public. Today, over 1,700 species from all over the world thrive in the gardens.

Isole di Brissago (CH)

Dipartimento del Territorio

6614 Brissago (CH)



Opening hours Season 2022:

From April 2nd to November 6th

Adults: CHF 10.-
Children (up to 16 years): free admission.
Guided tours on reservation.

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