The Tropical Garden Museum was founded in 1912 in the outer reaches of the Palace of Belém on the initiative of Henry Navel. The aim was to promote the study of the flora found in the former Portuguese colonies. It is currently managed by the Institute for Scientific Research.
In these carefully tended gardens, broken up by lakes decorated by statues and discreet places of rest, there are many tropical and sub-tropical species, many of which are endangered. The highlight is the collection of Lauraceous, for the species common to the Azores and Madeira islands, and a lovely avenue of Washington palm trees.
In 1940, the Garden was integrated into the Exposition of the Portuguese World and promoted by Salazar as a way of showing off the species evocative of the then colonies.