Many most beautiful train stations in Spain belong to a time when the railway was the main means of transportation. This strength, which coincides approximately with the last third of the XNUMXth century and the first half of the XNUMXth, made it necessary to build large buildings for passengers and convoys.
But those responsible for these constructions were not satisfied with making them functional. It was a time when, in addition, they sought to leave own artistic label. As a result, the most beautiful train stations in Spain have remained, which are true architectural wonders without losing its functional value. We are going to show you some of them.
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We begin our tour at one of the stations most emblematic of Spain, which, moreover, today is only used for commuter services. However, it was built to be the last stop on the line that would unite Madrid with France through Aragon and Somport tunnel, at almost two thousand meters of altitude.
It was inaugurated in 1928 and has large dimensions. As a border station, it had to house rail yards of two different gauges, goods hangars, and accommodation for workers and their families. But it also had to have customs, police stations, post offices and other services.
Therefore, the construction has 241 meters in length and rectangular plan divided into five bodies. Responds to the style of the French palace architecture from the XNUMXth century with a predominance of classical forms, but also with elements of industrial architecture such as iron and concrete. And, as a tribute to the houses in the area, it has a slate roof.
Undoubtedly, Canfranc is one of the most beautiful train stations in Spain, so much so that it has been the scene of some novels and movies (there is even a legend that some scenes of Doctor Zhivago). It is currently being rehabilitated to house the Aragon Railway Museum and to give it hotel and tourist use. It is also planned to build houses and green areas.
It is a marvel of neomudejar architecture It was inaugurated in 1919. For this reason, it has also been declared a site of cultural interest and restored a few years ago. Its design is due to the architect Narciso Claveria, who forgot about the functional to create an authentic work of art.
It covers almost thirteen thousand square meters and consists of a central body and two lower lateral wings. The façade is adorned with lobed arches and battlements. In fact, the whole set is profusely decorated with Mudejar arches, tile mosaics, latticework and other elements of the rich Toledo goldsmith.
But perhaps its great symbol is the clock tower, which protrudes from the body of the building and also has Mudejar grillwork. Currently, this beautiful station serves the high-speed line La Sagra-Toledo, which belongs to the one from Madrid to Seville. Without a doubt, this building is a worthy representative to receive you if you are going to discover the monumental wonders of the so-called "City of Three Cultures".
Valencia North Station
Valencia has several railway stations, but the most beautiful is the one on Játiva street, next to the bullring and very close to the Town Hall. is the old North station or Valencia-Term station and was built at the beginning of the 1917th century to be inaugurated in XNUMX.
The construction has fifteen thousand square meters and was designed by the architect Demetrius Ribes. However, their large metal canopy, which is almost twenty-five meters high, is due to Enrique Grasset. respond to modernist style and features neo-Gothic and pre-rationalist influences from the great Austrian architect Otto Wagner. It is divided into two parts: on the one hand, the passenger building with a U-shaped plan and, on the other, the large hangar whose roof is supported by articulated steel arches.
Likewise, the main façade is of the type horizontalist and it has three bodies that stand out and are adorned with towers. In its ornamentation, the colors of the coat of arms of Valencia are recreated and, above all, typical motifs of the Levantine orchard such as oranges and orange blossoms. For her they were used glazed ceramics, mosaics, marble and glassAs well as trencadis so dear to Catalan and Valencian modernism. As you know, it consists of combining small tiles of different colors joined with mortar (in fact, trencadis could be translated as "chopped").
France, Barcelona also has one of the most beautiful stations in Spain
In our tour of the most beautiful train stations in Spain, we now come to Barcelona, more specifically to the district of Old City, to know the france station. It was inaugurated in 1929 on the occasion of the Universal exposition organized that year by Barcelona. At the time, it incorporated technical advances such as electrical interlocks, hydraulic buffers and underground corridors to move merchandise.
But more interesting is from the architectural point of view. The urban project was carried out by Eduardo Marystany, who devised a U-shaped structure with a double hangar and a curved entrance to the tracks. It also had two pavilions on the side of the street joined at its central part. This building for travelers was designed by Pedro Muguruza, who raised a too sober decoration. Therefore, he was commissioned to improve this to Raymond Duran y pelayo martinez.
The dimensions of the station of France are impressive. Building wraps the tracks in a U shape and the hangars that we have mentioned are covered by canopies 195 meters long by 29 meters high. Also, the main lobby has three large domes. In short, it is one of the most impressive stations in Spain.
The Zamora also stands out for its dimensions, since the main façade has 90 meters in length. But, above all, it is one of the most beautiful stations in Spain due to its neoplateresque style. Its construction began in 1927, although it would not be inaugurated until 1958. The work was entrusted to Marcelino Enriquez on land located in the neighborhood of Las Viñas.
For the building it was used golden stone of Villamayor, which contributed to beautify it even more. The façade has three sections and as many floors, with four square towers. Likewise, the central defender stands out from the wings for his terrace with a triangular pediment adorned with two shields and a clock. a pretty cresting Inspired by the Monterrey de Salamanca palace, it completes the ornamentation. And the ground floor has Renaissance arches forming galleries.
You probably know that the call Royal Site of Aranjuez it is a monumental marvel. What you may not know is that its architectural jewels begin at the railway station itself. In fact, the small city was essential at the beginning of this means of transport in Spanish territory.
The second railway line that was created in our country was the one that linked Madrid with Aranjuez. Before, the one that connected Barcelona with Mataro. However, as a curiosity, we will tell you that the first train that existed within the Spanish nation was built in Cuba. Specifically, he connected Havana with the city of Güines in 1837.
But, going back to Aranjuez stationIt is not about the primitive. The one you can see today was built between 1922 and 1927 and is, like the one in Toledo, of neo-mudejar style. It consists of a taller rectangular nave in its center. The outer part of this was decorated with a gable in turn adorned with three arches and stained glass windows. Above the building rises a clock tower.
The façade also stands out for the exposed red brick that was used for its construction. It was placed on a long stone plinth and decorated with tiling. Inside, too, there are various mosaics decorative created by Italian Mario Maragliano. For their part, the platforms are covered by canopies supported on iron columns.
We end our tour of the most beautiful train stations in Spain in this one of Bilbao, which is wonderful modernist. It is also the oldest of those that we have mentioned, since it was inaugurated in 1902 to receive the trains that came from Santander. The work was due to the engineer Valentin Gorbena and the architect Severino Achucarro.
It stands out in it its central façade adorned with brightly colored tiles and ceramics that contrast with the iron of its structure. But, above all, it will catch your attention the rose window from its top. As for its internal part, its wrought iron capitals and arches. But, above all, you will be surprised by the waiting space, which is configured as a viewpoint over the historic center of the city. This is quite a rarity in railway architecture and makes this beautiful station a unique place.
In conclusion, we have shown you some of the most beautiful train stations in Spain. But, inevitably, we have left others in the pipeline. For example, that of Atocha in Madrid, which currently even has a tropical garden; that of Almería, with its French style and its windows; that of Jerez de la Frontera, which combines Renaissance, Mudejar and regionalist elements, or the humblest station of Puebla de Sanabria. as Zamora, with his popular style. Dare to meet them.