The Exposition is held in the Netherlands every 10 years.

In 2012 this horticultural expo. was held in Venlo, Netherlands. Venlo is located southeast of Amsterdam near the German and Belgian borders.

This was the sixth Floriade (each in a different location) and was held from April 5 to October 7, 2012.  Floriade 2012 was opened by Queen Beatrix and had around 2 million visitors. The exposition’s theme and slogan was “Be part of the theatre in nature; get closer to the quality of life”.

The Floriade Park covered a total of 66 hectares, including 22 hectares of forest, two and a half acres of buildings and four acres of water. Organisers of the festival planted 1,700 trees, 20,000 shrubs, 200,000 perennials, 65,000 water plants, one and a half million bulbs and 95,000 annuals. There were 60 charging stations for electric cars in the parking lot of the Floriade. The park consisted of five themed areas, separated by woodland. Each area had its own decor, program and activities.  More than 100 exhibitors paid tribute to horticulture. The Floriade was a global spectacle in which many dozens of countries participated with cultural programmes of music, dance, literature, theatre and visual art from all over the world. It took five years to create, at a price tag of 43.5 million Euros. (and our visit would be for just a few hours)

Villa Flora was one of the biggest crowd pullers at the Floriade. The fully energy-neutral building is a symbol of sustainability, innovation and the green economy.


Villa Flora was part of Venlo Green Park/Floriade 2012 horticultural exhibition. The building serves as a greenhouse/landscape building and is a landmark for sustainability.

Villa Flora was at the centre of Floriade 2012. The ground floor was used as the Floriade 2012 inner exhibition. After Floriade Villa Flora  is an office building (4000 m2) and exhibition space (6000 m2). The sun is the driving force. There is an optimum use of solar energy. No external energy is used. The building is CO2 neutral and energy self-sufficient. Because of the sloping roof, the building resembles a greenhouse. The concrete frame of the building can be dismantled and reused. This enables fast construction time and ensures also an easy integration of all techniques which have to be applied. The building can therefore easily adapt to new developments in the field of sustainability. The building reuses organic waste in a sustainable loop. There is no discharge of waste water, rainwater will be recycled. By anaerobic digestion of organic waste into biogas and by means of a micro turbine the building provides itself with electricity. CO2 exhaust fumes will be used as a fertilizer for the plants in the greenhouse. A healthy indoor environment has been created and green plants and separation panels improve acoustic values.

OUR DAY – We left our Amsterdam accommodation just after 8 o’clock, took the tram to the central train station and then a 2 hour train journey (with one transfer) to Venlo arriving at 11:15. This was our first day of travel using our Eurail Pass.  After purchasing tickets for the shuttle bus we were on our way to the Expo site where we had a wonderful day. The 30m high by 1100m cable car (longest in the Netherlands) gave us a bird’s eye view of the whole area.

Start with the shuttle bus and follow the Slideshow as we walk the pathways and ride the amazing cable car to view a portion of this wonderful Expo.

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