Photo: Places of Interest: Madrid's Atocha Railway Station is Also Indoor Botanical Garden
Built in 1851, Madrid, Spain’s Atocha railway station is easily one of the world’s most beautiful and unique stations in the world.
While Atocha is Madrid’s largest railway station it has additional features that set it above all the rest.
When stepping inside Atocha, one is greeted by a surprising site – more than 7,000 plants calling 4,000 square meters of the station home.
The original Atocha train station building was mostly destroyed by fire in the early 1890s. Alberto de Palacio Elissagne was the architect responsible for the old building’s new design, which incorporated a style that was predominantly of wrought iron. Gustave Eiffel, better known for the tower bearing his name in Paris, also collaborated on the project.
In 1992, Atocha added a nightclub and a number of café’s. The station also has a pond, which 22 species of fish and turtles call home.
The 7,200 plants are made up of 260 species and include subtropical and tropical plants from India, Austrailia, and Asia.
A large banana tree, dubbed “The Traveler’s Tree”, sits at the entrance to the path into the urban jungle. It is said that if a visitor stops in front of the tree and makes a wish that wish will come true.