Trauttmansdorff’s Biennial Special Botanical Exhibitions

Trauttmansdorff’s special botanical exhibitions: a unique approach

Every year, Trauttmansdorff and the Touriseum take turns organizing a special exhibition. One year, the Touriseum team approaches the history of tourism is approached in an original way; the next year, the Trauttmansdorff team does an exhibition with an intriguing botanical theme.



The Trauttmansdorff team itself conceptualizes its special botanical exhibitions, based upon several principles: presentation in three languages, interactivity and educating in a fun way. A varied side program of lectures, workshops and special tours provide additional content and convey interesting background knowledge. They also provide an opportunity to enjoy Trauttmansdorff’s outdoor venues.

Schlossgarten Restaurant offers special menus in accordance with the theme of each respective exhibition.

Since 2012, exhibitions include a special children's level, which presents the information in a simpler and more playful way. Educational programs are created expressly for schools, in accordance with the theme of the exhibition. There are guided tours of the exhibition offered, and the children enjoy handicrafts and experiments.

Previous Botanical Exhibitions:

2014, The Birds and the Bees: A Botanical Perspective

2014 special exhibition

From naughty and playful to mysterious, even mystic: The 2014 special exhibition clarifies how plants “do it” and what expectations we humans place on them.






The exhibition encompasses two different levels: upstairs covers how flowers seduce, deceive and work together as a team with fauna. Plants are surprisingly sophisticated when it comes to deploying colors, aromas and shapes in order to perpetuate their species. Botanists drew parallels to human sexuality long ago; these add some spice to the exhibition and will undoubtedly elicit a smile from visitors. The first-floor presentation is bright and colorful, leading exhibition-goers on a journey into the world of flowers, interwoven with the life cycle of plants.

The lower level carries visitors into mysterious and mystical realms: sometimes the black walls disclose the secret powers of plants; other times a veil of mysticism, a blurring, remains. Plants have a strong impact on the love lives of human beings: lust and longing, love and rejection – it seems there’s an herb grown for every purpose. But what truth is there in it? What is born merely from what we wish were true? And what merely stems from well-maintained everyday culture?

2012: Root, Bulb & Co. – A Hidden World of Wonders

Root, Bulb & Co.

This special exhibition about roots, bulbs, etc. as botanical phenomena was presented in a very entertaining way – designed to literally “get to the bottom of things”. Featuring fascinating images and exhibits, the exhibition related the amazing tricks and strategies that plants use as they root themselves deeply in order to survive. Another focus of the interactive exhibition was how humans make use of roots and tubers: different cultures utilize their possibilities and powers – ranging from the ordinary potato all the way to the magical mandrake.

The Botanical Underworld attraction opened in 2011, complementing the theme of the special exhibition: this 220-meter-long multimedia course hewn from solid rock carries visitors into a mysterious subterranean realm.

Click here to visit the virtual tour of the special exhibition!

2010: Heavenly Scents, Ungodly Stench!

Heavenly Scents

Why can we perceive some people’s odor, but not that of other people? Do flowers emit certain aromas in order to trick and deceive? This exhibit, a foray into the magical world of smell, answered these and many other questions. The exhibition also had a side program of events that included aroma tours, aroma menus, interactive lectures and workshops.

When the Botanical Garden of Bochum presented the exhibition in 2011, it received considerable media coverage and enjoyed a great deal of popularity; the exhibition also traveled to the Munich Botanical Garden in 2012.

2008: All About Palms!

All About Palms

During this exhibition, the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle was entirely dedicated to the “highest and noblest among plant forms” (Alexander von Humboldt). Palms have been cultivated at our latitudes for the past 130 years. The exhibition focused on one of the world’s most multifaceted ornamental and useful plants: the windmill palm. Topics ranged from its planting in Europe to unusual phenotypes to its many and varied uses. Of the 2,400 total species of palms in existence, around 100 were presented at various locations of the gardens.

2006: The Myth of the Ginkgo

The Myth of the Ginkgo

The first special exhibition conceptualized by Trauttmansdorff focused the spotlight on Ginkgo biloba, a robust tree that can live up to a thousand years. This primordial tree, which has a long tradition in Asia, has also achieved prominence in South Tyrol in recent years: Merano’s first ginkgo tree was planted 150 years ago.