There were tulip festivals and it was a crime punishable by exile to buy or sell tulips outside the capital. The flowers were introduced into Western Europe and the Netherlands in the late 16th century, probably by Carolus Clusius, who was a biologist from Vienna. In the s, Clusius became the director of the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, the oldest botanical garden of Europe, founded in He was hired by the University of Leiden to research medicinal plants.
While doing so, his friend in Turkey, Ogier Ghiselain de Busbecq, the ambassador of Constantinople present day Istanbul , had seen the beautiful tulip flowers growing in the palace gardens, and so sent a few to Clusius for his garden in Leiden. This was the start of the bulb fields in the Netherlands that can be seen today.
In the beginning of the 17th century, the tulip was starting to be used as a garden decoration instead of the former medicinal purposes. It soon gained major popularity as a trading product, especially in Holland. The interest for the flowers was huge and bulbs were sold for unbelievable high prices.
Botanists started to hybridize the flower and they soon found ways of making even more decorative and tempting specimens. Hybrids and mutations of the flower were seen as rarities and a sign of high status see our full list of 15 different tulip divisions. In the months of late to early there was a complete "Tulipomania" in the Netherlands.
Some examples could cost more than a house in Amsterdam at this time. There was an inevitable crash in prices in , when people came to their senses and stopped purchasing the bulbs at such high prices. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, interest in the tulip remained, but the Dutch became the true connoisseurs and stockists.
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In the 17th century the overgrown interest and high popularity of Tulips brought a sort of "Tulipmania" in Holland. Especially in bulbs were highly praised and prices gone up day by day reaching extraordinary numbers.
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Bulbs were sold by weight, usually while they were still in the ground. Some examples could cost more than a house at this time.
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The Dutch government unsuccessfully tried to outlaw this commerce but couldn't do anything to stop it, the trade was all about access and demand. But the end of the game came quick: Over-supply led to lower prices and dealers went bankrupt and many people lost their savings because of the trade, and the tulip market crashed.
There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever | History | Smithsonian
Also in the Turkish history tulips played an interesting role. This period is also expressed as an era of peace and enjoyment. Tulips became and important style of life within the arts , folklore and the daily life. Clusius managed at that time the gardens of the Emperor of Austria. In this botanical garden the first tulips were planted in the Netherlands in The tulips were very scarce and therefore very expensive.
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Unfortunately, some of his beautiful collection was subsequently stolen. In the 17th century the tulip craze also known as tulip mania burst. There was a lot of demand for tulips and they became more and more expensive. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble. A single tulip bulb at one point had the value of an Amsterdam canalhouse. It could not continue to go well and in the tulip craze stopped just as quickly as it had begun.