For most of us, railroad stations are associated with unappealing waiting halls, where we tediously wait for the arrival of the train, sipping on coffee or checking our smartphones. If we modernise that look, electronic devices might substitute and eradicate a significant portion of waiting time. However, the residents of Madrid are incredibly lucky: each of their journeys begins with the majestic railroad station of Atocha, which reminds the voyagers of a botanical garden. Here, on the 4000 square meter area, there is a genuine tropical park with a variety of astounding plants!
The botanical garden itself encompasses a great part of the train station, making every visitor aware of its presence. Sometimes, with the right amount of light applied to this scenery, a magnificent imitation of a jungle comes out! The botanical garden’s palms, apart from their variety of types, also vary in height with some reaching up to the roof. The garden also serves as a sanctuary for turtles, where two tiny lakes are found, inhabited by these reptile crawlers. Therefore, if you do have reserve time on your watch, make sure to go and visit this place! It is definitely unique in the world!
A bit of history
The railway station was built in 1851. Prior to the station, this place was occupied by one of the city gates of Madrid’s defensive wall systems – Atocha, in the honour of which the railway has gotten its name. The building of the railway had suffered an immense amount of damage in the fire of 1892, however it was restored and reconstructed several times. In 1991, this particular terminal was taken out of service in order to install a shopping centre for voyaging travellers. The tropical botanic garden was added in 1992, with the installation of a pond with a variety of turtles and fish as its population. Later on, trees from India, Africa and Australia were introduced to create the lush, green mini-jungle that decorates the station today.
Today, there are numerous cafes, shops, and night clubs, yet, there is also a whole unique botanic garden inside the station – providing it with a competitive advantage over other places of interest! In Atocha’s botanic garden, it is possible to procure around 7000 types of plants and two ponds, where there are around 22 varieties of turtles and fish. In the summer months, the railway station filled with sun rays, takes the form of tropical jungles, reminding and exciting the travellers with its mesmerising beauty. Finally, serving as one of the points of travelling in Madrid, Atocha reserves a special visit to the station, whether as a traveller or a simple visitor.