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Former Nazi Zeppelin Hangar Is Now a Tropical Island Resort

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BRAND, GERMANY - JANUARY 8: Visitors flock to the Tropical Islands Resort, including "South Sea" (L) and a laguna (R), complete with tropical tress, white sand and Polynesian restaurants, January 8, 2005 in Brand, Germany. The indoor resort is housed in a building originally intended as a hangar for airships, though that project went bust and Malaysian businessman Colin Au bought the building and turned it into a tropical getaway located about 40 miles south of Berlin. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 

A huge aircraft hangar in Brandenburg, Germany, has been turned into the Tropical Islands resort, an indoor tropical paradise that contains the world’s largest indoor beach.

The company Tropical Islands opened it in 2004, and the resort was built inside the massive Brand-Briesen hangar, which was originally used to build zeppelins during World War II. A geometric dome was added to the hangar in 1996, and Malaysian investment company Tanjong bought the hangar outright in 2003, opening the resort a year later.

(Tropical Island Holding GmbH)
(Tropical Island Holding GmbH)

 

Architect Jürgen Grothe, who designed Tropical Islands, told Quartz that Tanjong’s idea to build tropical-style resorts in decidedly nontropical Europe was made out of generosity. “People or families who can’t afford to travel to the tropics should have the chance to spend some time in a tropical atmosphere,” he said.

KRAUSNICK, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 15: Visitors lounge at the "South Sea" beach at the Tropical Islands indoor resort on February 15, 2013 in Krausnick, Germany. Located on the site of a former Soviet military air base, the resort occupies a hangar built originally to house airships designed to haul long-distance cargo. Tropical Islands opened to the public in 2004 and offers visitors a tropical getaway complete with exotic flora and fauna, a beach, lagoon, restaurants, water slide, evening shows, sauna, adventure park and overnights stays ranging from rudimentary to luxury. The hangar, which is 360 metres long, 210 metres wide and 107 metres high, is tall enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 

The resort can hold up to 6,000 people, who can lounge on the artificial white sand beaches, enjoy one of the resort’s many spas and saunas, wander through the 50,000-plant forest, or even fly a hot air balloon. Accommodations include hotels, lodges, and campsites; many of which have Malaysian, Samoan, and Burmese themes.

KRAUSNICK, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 15: A couple from the east German city of Chemnitz lounge with their son at the "South Sea" beach at the Tropical Islands indoor resort on February 15, 2013 in Krausnick, Germany. Located on the site of a former Soviet military air base, the resort occupies a hangar built originally to house airships designed to haul long-distance cargo. Tropical Islands opened to the public in 2004 and offers visitors a tropical getaway complete with exotic flora and fauna, a beach, lagoon, restaurants, water slide, evening shows, sauna, adventure park and overnights stays ranging from rudimentary to luxury. The hangar, which is 360 metres long, 210 metres wide and 107 metres high, is tall enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The effect is not unlike Disney’s Epcot Center, and it’s relatively inexpensive to access ($46 American for a day pass).

For more information on the Tropical Islands resort, click here.