Confession: I’m not a huge art buff. I can appreciate aesthetics and I know a thing or two about periods in art history, but overall a painting is a painting is a painting in my eyes. This does not bode well when traveling with friends who can spend an entire day in a museum, which is what occurred when I was in Madrid this past month — by the time we had finished moseying through the Prado my poor little eyeballs didn’t want to look at another tableau for a good long while. And yet, we still had to make it to the Reina Sofia.

Dreading another museum, I followed my friends past the small square in front of the Caixa Forum gallery where I saw something that struck my interest more than Guernica: the vertical garden. Located on the main museum strip, this living wall is made out of 15,000 plants of 250 species that grow into a composition far cooler than anything I saw in the city’s famous museums:

madrid caixa forum living wall

As you can (hopefully) tell by the right panel in my expertly PicStitched photo, the living wall adds a nice element of juxtaposition to the industrial exterior of the Caixa Forum. But then again, that’s the point of a green wall: to shock the urban passerby with a sudden burst of upended nature.

Vertical gardens like this are bringing nature back into the urban environment all over the world. Click through below to check out some notable examples:

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Steven tried out for The Amazing Race one time and was denied. We're not saying this is why he started this site, but it may have been a contributing factor in his decision to explore the world online and share his travel inspiration with others.

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