In the middle of snowy Germany, a former aircraft hangar serves as a sunny escape from the cold. Inside the mammoth building – which is tall enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty – is a Caribbean-influenced resort, Tropical Islands
Besides a beach, a rainforest and a lagoon, Tropical Islands has seven spa zones inspired by various regions of the world, 13 bars and restaurants, and a golf course. There are also 200 rooms, plus an area on the beach for camping. On their website, the complex claims to be “Europe’s largest tropical holiday world.”
Located about 37 miles south of Berlin, Tropical Islands has a maximum capacity of 6,000 visitors per day. The hangar is the largest freestanding hall in the world, originally designed to protect large airships from the elements. It was purchased by the Malaysian corporation Tanjong in 2003, and officially opened its doors less than a year later.
The flora inside Tropical Islands makes up the biggest indoor rainforest in the world. It it home to around 50,000 plants representing 600 different species, some of which are rare.
Although the resort first opened in 2004, these photographs were taken just last week and were first brought to our attention by USA Today. Click through the gallery to see more.
Editor’s note: A former version of this story mistakenly referred to the hangar as Soviet owned. Although the land was owned by the Soviet Army from 1945 until 1992, Cargolifter AG bought the former military airfield to construct airships, but the company went bankrupt in 2002.
[Photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
While Europe isn’t typically known for it’s tropical rainforests, a visit to the Tropical Islands in Germany can show you that they do indeed exist on the continent. In fact, the world’s largest indoor rainforest is located right outside of Berlin in the town of Krausnick.
Located inside of a giant, 22,000 square foot dome, the indoor tropical resort is about the size of eight football fields and wins the title of the world’s largest indoor rainforest, as well as the biggest tropical sauna and spa complex in Europe. The complex is also home to more than 29,000 plants while cocktatiels, parrots, and budgerigars provide animal life for the space.
There are many other features to this tropical paradise, as well. Visitors can relax on a man-made beach, swim in the “ocean”, go mini-golfing, or partake in some overnight camping. For those who want a short break from the natural side of things, restaurants, bars, and shops are also located in the rainforest resort.
Green travelers will be happy to know that Tropical Islands is also eco-friendly, recycling swimming pool water to feed the plants as well as using natural UV light that seeps through the dome’s massive panels. Rain showers also occur naturally inside the dome, forming from the humidity found inside the structure.
For more information, visit the Tropical Islands website.