• 1885-1927
  • The St. Légers' Islands
  • Richard and Antoinette Fleming St. Léger bought the Brissago Islands and the baroness restored a ruined convent to create a private residence. She then began work on the garden, bringing in soil, constructing boulevards and, as was the fashion at the time, planting rare and exotic species like eucalyptuses and palms.
  • 1928-1940
  • Max Emden's Islands
  • Due to financial constraints, the baroness was forced to sell the Brissago Islands to Max Emden.

    He replaced the house on Isola Grande with a luxurious palace (now Villa Emden) built with the finest materials: from the pure-white Carrara marble in the Hall of Mirrors and on the staircases to the Florentine inlaid floor in the Red Hall.

    Despite not being particularly keen on botany, Emden decided to retain the baroness’ garden design.

  • 1949-2019
  • The Islands open to the public
  • Max Emden’s heirs sold the Brissago Islands to the Republic and Canton of Ticino, the municipalities of Ascona, Brissago and Ronco sopra Ascona, and two associations: the Swiss Heritage Society and Pro Natura.

    Their aim was to conserve and spread the word about the islands’ natural beauty for cultural and scientific purposes, and to attract tourists. The Botanical Park of the Canton of Ticino, as it was then known, opened to the public on 2 April 1950.

  • 2020 - today
  • The Canton’s Botanical garden
  • The Canton of Ticino became the sole owner of the Brissago Islands.

    This restructuring ensured the preservation and further enhancement of their natural, scientific and historic heritage and beautiful scenery.