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Eden Project: A Rainforest in Europe

Tropical feelings arise in this covered green space in England
Colorful diversity: More than 100,000 plants attract visitors to the facility in the southwest of England
Colorful diversity: More than 100,000 plants attract visitors to the facility in the southwest of England
Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle   |   Published 15.06.22, 03:04 PM

Whether the Biblical Garden of Eden ever actually existed is uncertain, but it was supposed to have been a green paradise, a place in which humans lived in harmony with nature. Today this vision seems to have become a reality in the south of England, and can be found in the county of Cornwall: the present day Garden of Eden. It took six years to bring the Eden Project to life, to turn a wasteland where clay was mined in the past, into a fertile oasis. The Eden Project covers an area of 50 hectares, and features around 100,000 plants from all around the world. In this way, reproductions of biotopes from different climate zones of the Earth were created – the natural landscapes of the world in small format.

Sophisticated architecture for plants from all over the world

Two greenhouses in the form of geodesic domes cover part of the site, looking like large soap bubbles that have stuck to one another. Inside these domes stable climatic conditions are maintained, and the lush vegetation unfurls under the honeycombed hexagons of plastic foil. The free-standing structures are up to 50 meters high and 240 meters (787 ft.) wide, gigantic constructions that nonetheless seem surprisingly delicate. The larger of the two greenhouses is home to the largest covered rainforest in the world. Mangroves, rubber trees, ferns and banana plants grow here, in tropical temperatures on a 16,000-square-meter area of land. The result is a thick, jungle-like environment that visitors can explore.

Between palms, orchids and cocoa trees

That is exactly what reporter Hendrik Welling did. For the series "Europe to the Maxx" on DW's lifestyle and culture magazine "Euromaxx", he immersed himself into the green thicket, discovered exotic plants at close quarters and found out about the history of this extraordinary project. And he learned about the enormous importance of the rainforests around the globe for our climate. You can join him on his tour by watching our video!

Anyone who wishes to do so can learn about this precious biotope at Eden Project. The enclosure is, after all, not an amusement park, but an educational center and environmental organisation. The core idea is that only those who experience the beauty of nature and engage with it can also protect it – an issue that seems more urgent today than ever.


Service tips:

Address: Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL 24 2SG, England

Getting there: From London by train to St Austell, from there by 101 bus.

Opening hours: daily between 9:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. or 9:15 a.m. and 6 p.m., closed for gardening maintenance on selected days

Admission: Adults from 29,50 £, Children from 10 £

Special tip: Every summer concerts take place featuring renowned musicians from around the world, during which the Eden Project's greenhouse domes are illuminated atmospherically.

The accompanying book

Europe at its most extreme: The series "Europe to the Maxx" on DW's lifestyle and culture magazine Euromaxx makes Europe's superlatives experienceable — from extraordinary architecture to spectacular landscapes to unique cultural phenomena. Accompanying the series, the book 111 Extreme Places in Europe That You Shouldn't Miss was published in cooperation with Emons Verlag. It is an alternative travel guide, both informative and entertaining, for avid travelers, fans of Europe and anyone who likes to show off with unusual pub quiz trivia. Full of guaranteed record breakers!

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