Places of meetings, separations or reunion, stations are the decor of many stories. If you often pass through, suitcase by hand, without really paying attention to the architecture, know that some are real works of art! Historic, original or at the forefront of modernity, Petit Smart takes you to a Europe tour of the most beautiful railway stations!
N°10 - Glavni Kolodvor, Zagreb - Croatia
Inaugurated in 1892, Zagreb station is the largest in Croatia. With its imposing palace-like appearance, it impresses with its neoclassical pediment and royal staircase. Most of its rails are hidden underground, which gives it a rare elegance. This luxury takes us back to the time when Zagreb was one of the stops on the Orient Express... Today, trains connect most major European cities such as Vienna, Budapest, Zurich or Belgrade.
N ° 9 - Central Stazione, Milan - Italy
Milan's second station, Milan's central stazione hosts an average of 120 million passengers per year. Inaugurated in 1931 to replace the old station that was no longer able to accommodate the growing number of passengers, Mussolini wanted to make it one of the symbols of fascist power. The result is an imposing and majestic building without a well defined architectural style. Today, we admire its arched ceilings and huge glass and steel arches covering the railway platforms.
No. 8 - Hauptbahnhof, Berlin - Germany
Inaugurated in 2006 after more than 11 years of construction, Berlin's Central Station is one of Germany's most important architectural projects. Built according to Meihnard von Gerkan's plans, it has a huge glass hall 321 metres long. Its two 46-metre towers are equipped with 6 panoramic elevators that allow the 300,000 passengers to move around every day. Europe's largest station, the Hauptbahnhof impresses with its size and modernity!
N ° 7 - Rautatieasema, Helsinki - Finland
In 1904, the architect Elie Saarinen won a competition for the creation of a new station. His first idea was to build a building corresponding to the canons of the national romantic style, but it was not counting on the opinion of the Finns who, unenthusiastic about the project, wanted a more modern construction. The Helsinki railway station and its clean style mark a real turning point in the country's architecture. Its granite facade with immense statues of men wearing light globes is like the building: sober and solemn.
N ° 6 - Limoges station - Benedictins, France
Inaugurated in 1929, Limoges station was built at the location of a former Benedictine monastery. Work of architect Roger Gonthier, she has the particularity of being built above the tracks. His dome and Campanile are splendid and have been listed in the inventory of historic monuments. Inside, there are sumptuous verses and allegorical moldings of certain areas served by traffic. The Benedictins train station is now one of Limoges' pride and a symbol of the region.
N°5 - St Pancras railway station, London - United Kingdom
Since 2007, Eurostar passengers have no longer stopped at London Waterloo station but in Saint-Pancras, where they can admire a splendid building! This historic station of Gothic architecture was built in the 19th century during the Victorian era. The contrast between the original buildings, made of red bricks, and the extension of the 21st century is striking!
N°4 - Estaciòn de Atocha, Madrid - Spain
Inaugurated in 1851, Atocha station was partially devastated by fire and rebuilt in 1890. In 2004, the tragic attacks made it infamous; today, it can be seen as a memorial to the victims. The interior of the station is surprising: in its centre is a green winter garden. This giant greenhouse, designed by Cesar Manrique, welcomes tropical plants, turtles and small birds all year round. A comforting place to escape the hustle and bustle of the Spanish capital
N°3 - Groningen CS, Groningen - Netherlands
Groningen is not the most visited city in the Netherlands, but it is an important rail link. Its station alone is worth a visit! Designed by architect Isaac Gosschalk, it was built in 1896 and completely restored in 1999. A true masterpiece, it features Gothic and Renaissance elements and above all a sumptuous glued paper ceiling! Don't hesitate to spend time in the shops of his gallery: more than shopping, you will discover splendid scenery and a historical map of the railways at Albert Heijn
N°2 - Estaçção Ferroviária de São Bento, Porto - Portugal
Put into service in 1896, the station opened its passenger building in 1916. José Marques da Silva, the architect, conceived it as a true masterpiece. It is said that the latter, obsessed with the artistic side of the station, neglected its practical side by forgetting the sales counters! The lost steps room, covered with azulejo, is splendid. The frescoes represent the great moments of Portuguese history and folklore scenes. A real little museum!
N°1 - Centraal Station, Antwerp - Belgium
Built between 1895 and 1905 at the request of King Leopold II, Antwerp station is worth a visit! All in stone, glass and metal, it looks like a cathedral with its 75 m dome designed by Louis de la Censerie. At the end of the 1950s, the station could boast the busiest traffic in Europe with more than 130 return trips per day. Renovated in 2009, it now hosts the Belgian TGV network and frequent connections to Amsterdam