The Atocha train station is Madrid‘s central railway station serving metro, local and long distance trains. It is a huge architectural marvel featuring a large indoor botanical garden in the lobby.
The lush green lobby is lit by natural light coming from the glass ceiling, and is home to a large variety of exotic plants and some pond animals as well, which make it a very pleasant place to spend your time in while waiting for the train. It combines the classical facade with modern architectural features. It houses restaurants, shops and other facilities that make waiting for a train more pleasant.
Atocha is Madrid’s oldest and biggest railway station, inaugurated on 9 February 1851 under the name Estación de Mediodía. After the building was largely destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1892.
The station is Madrid’s main hub for the commuter trains (Cercanías), intercity and regional trains from the south, and the AVE high speed trains from Barcelona, Zaragoza, Seville and Valencia. It served 88.000.000 passengers in 2013.
Here’s some photos of Atocha’s amazing interior.
Learn more about Atocha railway station at Wikipedia.