Mars mission: strange abandoned greenhouses in Germany

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The Mission to Mars greenhouse complex, also known as the Cosmic Greenhouse, appears to be something out of a science fiction film, perhaps a futuristic community erected by some mysterious beings. Nature is taking over these magnificent and strange buildings, creating an unsettling yet tranquil scene.

The complex is in western Germany, although the exact location is difficult to ascertain because it is rarely released to preserve it from vandals.

A monastery used to own the property. It was sold to an institute committed to assisting the long-term jobless in 1985. On the newly acquired lands, the institution constructed the greenhouse and horticulture nursery complex in 1987. The structure became a part of a reintegration program that provided jobless people with commercial gardening training, allowing them to eventually find paid work.

©Eric Heumann

The complex has 24 greenhouse pods, each of which is a dome-like structure built of pentagonal and hexagonal glass panels. The walls of each dome are lined with tables for plant pots, and in certain cases, an additional hexagonal table is added in the center.

There was a heating system and an automated sprinkling system in place to provide and maintain ideal conditions for the plants, particularly during the winter months.

©Eric Heumann
©Eric Heumann

The Mars mission was abandoned in about 2005, although it was not totally abandoned and left to its own fate. Local residents continue to maintain the facility, keeping it from becoming fully overgrown.

The grounds were sold to the city in 2010 and became public property, which implies they might be refurbished in the future, however, there are presently no plans for the complex.


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