greenhouses are distinctive buildings as their walls are made of transparent materials, usually glass. This increases the temperature inside and protects the plants that grow inside from cold weather.
The size of these structures ranges from small sheds that fit in your backyard to enormous structures that house thousands of plants.
Many of these large-scale structures are popular tourist attractions that display exotic plants, and in this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most famous greenhouses from all around the world.
1. Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, Singapore
In most countries, conservatories are built to increase the temperature inside. In tropical countries, this doesn’t apply because, well, it’s already hot outside. This is the case for the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest Dome inside the Gardens by the Bay nature park located in the Central Region of Singapore, as these two greenhouses are actually cooled.
The Flower Dome is the slightly larger of the two amazing greenhouses and is the largest conservatory in the world. It covers a total area of 1.2 hectares (3.0 acres) and replicates the dry Mediterranean climate. The Cloud Forest Dome is slightly smaller at 0.8 hectares (2.0 acres) but a bit taller than the Flower Dome. The temperature inside this greenhouse resembles the cool and moist climate of tropical areas at an elevation between 1,000 (3,300 feet) and 3,000 meters (9,800 feet).
Official website: Gardens by the Bay
2. Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
The Eden Project is one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Cornwall, South West England. The park features multiple greenhouses and was constructed inside a reclaimed China clay pit in the early 2000s. The domes of the adjoining domes are home to thousands of species of plants.
The natural biome of these plants is recreated inside the domes which means that plants from all across the world can be found here. The largest dome simulates the conditions of tropical rainforests and is considered to be the largest indoor tropical rainforest in the world. The smaller dome replicated a Mediterranean environment and features plants growing in these areas such as olive trees and grapevines. The collection of greenhouses are surrounded by an amazing botanical garden as well.
Official website: The Eden Project
3. Palmenhaus Schönbrunn, Vienna
The Palmenhaus Schönbrunn is one of the attractions located within the compound of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, the capital of Austria. This astounding palace is not only one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vienna but in the entire country. It was the former summer residence of the Habsburg rulers and multiple similar structures were built on the palace grounds.
The current version is an enormous greenhouse that was completed between 1891 and 1892 during the reign of Franz Joseph I of Austria. The enormous building is 111 meters (364 feet) long, 28 meters (91 feet) wide, and features an astounding 45,000 glass tiles. The main attraction inside the greenhouse is an olive tree that was donated by Spain in 1974 and that is reportedly over 3 and a half centuries old.
Official website: Palm House Schönbrunn
4. Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a huge conservatory located inside a botanical garden on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois. It’s part of the Lincoln Park community area on the North Side of the city. This amazing greenhouse was built during the Victorian era in the late-19th century and completed in 1893.
The greenhouse was built on the location of an earlier structure that was established in the 1870s. It features 4 large rooms that house exotic plants from all over the world. The greenhouse in combination with the formal garden that faces it, which is one of the oldest public gardens in Chicago, has been one of the most popular attractions in the highly urbanized metropolitan area of Chicago for numerous decades.
Official website: Lincoln Park Conservatory
5. Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco
The Conservatory of Flowers is located in one of the most popular parks in the city of San Francisco in California, the Golden Gate Park. This is another historic greenhouse in the United States and is even older than its counterpart in Chicago as it was completed in the year 1879, making it the oldest building in the park today.
It was also one of the first major conservatories to be built in the country and is the oldest surviving wooden conservatory in the United States. Because of its extensive history, it has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is both a California and San Francisco Designated Landmark. The structure needed a serious facelift, though in the late 20th century, a project that cost $25 million to complete between 1999 and 2003.
Official website: Conservatory of Flowers
6. Royal Greenhouses of Laeken, Brussels
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken are an enormous complex of greenhouses that are situated in the park of the Royal Palace of Laeken, a northern suburb of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The greenhouses recreate multiple climates, including tropical, subtropical, and cold environments, and house a huge number of plant species. The entire complex covers an area of 2.5 hectares (270,000 square feet).
This historic complex was constructed between 1874 and 1895 and the final structure to be completed was the domes greenhouse referred to as the “Iron Church.” This building was originally meant to become a Royal Chapel but was turned into a greenhouse anyway. The greenhouse isn’t usually open for visitors, except for a couple of weeks during April and May, a time when most flowers bloom. Other times of the year this attraction is reserved especially for heads of state.
Official website: Royal Greenhouses in Laeken