Here are the most beautiful train stations that prove that art and engineering can get along very well.
Antwerpen – Centraal, Belgium
Built between 1895 and 1905, this true cathedral is, in part, the work of art of the architect Louis Delacenserie with an important contribution of Jan Van Asperen and Clément Van Bogaert.
The impressive dome, the viaduct and the whole aspect of the building are simply eclectic, so in 2009, Antwerpen train station was the fourth in a ranking made by Newsweek magazine. So, if you have some time between two trains you should visit the 30 diamond stores for window shopping if you don’t want to spend all your money there.
Liège – Guillemins, Belgium
When it comes to imagination, the Belgians are very good, another work of art created by them being the train station in Liège. Inaugurated in 1842, the building was modernized in 1882 and in 1905 for the World Expo that took place in Belgium. In the picture is the building opened in 2009, which is the work of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It is made of glass, steel and white concrete and it cost around 312 million Euros and its construction lasted 11 years.
Although the Japanese are a nation of traditionalists, their architecture manages to mix all sorts of futuristic elements with the wood that can be seen everywhere. The construction was finished in 2005 and is a beautiful and bizarre combination. An impressive dome made of 3,000 glass panels links the eastern side by the western side of the station, and the wooden gate at the entrance has a height of 14 meters. Kanazawa is the largest train station in Ishikswa Prefecture.
Resembling more to a theater designed by the Portuguese architect José Luís Monteiro between 1886 and 1887, the station was completed in 1890 and is considered to be one of the greatest engineering achievements of the nineteenth century, thanks to the efforts that have involved digging tunnels through Lisbon. The trains have access to the station through a tunnel of 2,600 meters, dug in the center of Lisbon. It is situated in one of the most important areas of the city and until 1957 was the largest passenger terminal in Portugal. The facade of the building that dominated the northwestern part of the market, where the train station is located, is made in a gorgeous Portuguese late Gothic style typical of the early sixteenth century.
Maputo CFM, Mozambique
Maputo Central Station was built in the early twentieth century and the tour guides will tell you that is the work of Gustave Eiffel, although he never went to Mozambique. Other sources assign the construction to the architects Alfredo Augusto Lisboa de Lima, Mario Veiga and Ferreira da Costa. Although still functional, there are just a few trains passing through the Maputo station, which is now transformed into a real museum. If you arrive on a weekend, do not miss Chez Rangel Jazz Café, which is the best place in town where you can listen to jazz.
São Bento, Portugal
São Bento railway station is the work of art of the architect José Marques da Silva and was inaugurated in 1916, being by far one of the most beautiful in the world. The French-inspired architecture, with the imposing facade and mansard-roofed is topped only by the famous interior with mosaic, with 20,000 pieces describing scenes of tumultuous history of Portugal and is the work of Jorge Colaço. The name of the station comes from the Benedictine monastery, which was built on the site and was burned in 1783.
You’ve probably loved reading Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”. Well, Sirkeci railway station is the terminus point of the journey of the famous Orient Express. Situated on the European side of the city, the train station was inaugurated on November 3, 1890 and is the work of the architect August Jachmund, who was a Prussian, sent to Istanbul by the German government to study the Ottoman architecture. The station has an area of 1,200 square meters and has benefited from the start by gas lighting and heating during winter. The Orient Express Restaurant was the meeting point for journalists, writers and other prominent personalities of the time between 1950 and 1960 and today is one of the tourist attractions in the city.
Kings Cross, England
The station was inaugurated on October 14, 1852 and took the name of the Londoner neighborhood within which was built, so named because of the monument of King George IV, which was demolished in 1845. Over the years, the railway terminal has undergone many changes, either due to incidents such as the 1973 IRA attack or the devastating fire of 1987, or for reasons of fluidizing the passenger traffic flows. The newest terminal was inaugurated on March 19, 2012 and was designed by the architect Joahn McAslan and resembles, according to the author, with an overturned waterfall. McAslan says that it is the station with the longest span in Europe. The semicircular building has a radius of 54 meters and has a roof made of 2,000 triangular panels, half of which is glass.
Dunedin, New Zealand
With a design that mimics a gingerbread house, Dunedin railway station was designed by the architect George Troup. It was built in the Flemish Renaissance style, from black basalt of Kokonga, with lit facade of Oamaru stone and with pink granite pillars. The southern part of the building is dominated by a tall clock tower of 37 meters, which is visible from the center of the city. The floor of the main hall is a mosaic made of 750,000 pieces. Above the balcony there is a frieze of porcelain on which are drawn locomotives and other symbols specific to the railways. The construction lasted two year, cost £40,000 and was inaugurated in 1906. Each Saturday morning at the train station there is a fair of local producers and every year in March, here is the most famous fashion show in New Zealand and the main platform becomes the longest runway in the world.