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Part 3: Arriving in Holland

The Story Of The Tulip   |   The First Tulips   |   The Sultan's Garden   |   Arriving In Holland   |   Tulip Mania!   |   Tulips Today   |   Conclusion

As trade and relations continued between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe, Tulips very slowly began to appear in the private gardens of the well connected. While one can only speculate as to when the very first Tulips truly appeared, the man most credited with bringing the storied flower to Holland is Carolus Clusius.

Amsterdam Tulip Museum Tulip Lovers Tulip Fanatics Print Of Dutch Botanist Carolus Clusius

A botanist and professor, Clusius likely first received bulbs from a Flemish ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. He planted Tulips at the Vienna Imperial Botanical Gardens in 1573, and in 1592 published the first major work on the flower, noting variations in shape and color.

In 1593, he was appointed director of Leiden University's newly established 'Hortus Botanicus' (Botanical Garden), and proceeded that year to plant a variety of Tulips both there as well as his private home. The blooms in 1594 are considered the first time Tulips officially flowered in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam Tulip Museum Tulip Lovers Tulip Fanatics Botanical Garden At Leiden Carolus Clusius

Hundreds of bulbs would be stolen from Clusius' gardens in the coming years as the Dutch found themselves infatuated with the colorful flower. It rapidly ingrained into Dutch culture, appearing in art, literature, and even on the ceramic tiles used to decorate homes.  

Amsterdam Tulip Museum Tulip Lovers Tulip Fanatics Ceramic Tulip Tile     Amsterdam Tulip Museum Tulip Lovers Tulip Fanatics Painting Rembrandt's Flora

The above image of a woman is Rembrandt's 'Flora', painted in 1634. It depicts his wife, Saskia, as the goddess of Spring and flowers, complete with a Tulip adorned head dress. This infatuation across the Netherlands would soon drive a frenzied market that has come to be known as tulipomania or "Tulip Mania".

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