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The World's Most Beautiful Train Stations

July 07, 2020

These 15 historic and design-forward train stations are as beautiful as any concert hall or museum. Take a photographic tour.

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Photo: Steve Larese

Historic Spaces for the Modern Age

Train stations still capture the romance and excitment of rail travel and feature some of the most stunning design you are apt to see. From historic marvels to modern masterpieces (such as Belgium's Liège-Guillemins railway station, pictured), train stations uniquely showcase civic pride and local culture. Here are just a few of our favorite, most unique, design-forward train stations from around the globe.

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Photo: Steve Larese

Denver Union Station, Colorado

Called Denver's living room, Denver Union Station in the Mile High City's LoDo neighborhood was built in 1914 in the Beaux-Arts architectural style that blends French neoclassical, Gothic and Renaissance elements. The busy station services Amtrak, FasTracks light rail, RTD buses and the free 16th Street Mall and Downtown Denver Circular shuttles. Inside, the elegant Crawford Hotel caters to passengers and locals alike. When contemplating beautifully designed American train stations, New York's Grand Central Terminal and Chicago's Union Station are just a couple of the United States's other architectural gems.

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Photo: Eurail/Alison Wright

Toledo Railway Station, Spain

Spain's Toledo Railway Station was completed in 1920 in the Spanish Neo-Mudéjar/Moorish Revival style popularized by its designer, Narciso Claveria y de Palacios. The building incorporates many Moorish architectural features such as rounded and scalloped archways above doorways and ornate wood carving that incorporate Moorish stars. The high ceiling is reminiscent of Catholic missions with milled-lumber vigas spanning across and supporting a flat roof inlaid with dark, geometrically carved panels. Wrought-iron chandeliers with scrolled details illuminate the space when sunlight isn't streaming though its starburst stained glass windows. Outside, the station resembles a Moorish castle with a brickwork clock tower that incorporates more Moorish stars and Arabesque designs built into its façade. Toledo is credited with being a city where Muslim, Christian and Jewish populations lived together peacefully throughout the Middle Ages, and Claveria y de Palacios wanted to celebrate this harmony through his design.

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Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Germany

Just a 10-minute walk from the Reichstag, the light-filled Berlin Hauptbahnhof (central station) opened in 2006 and is the largest railway intersection in Europe at 100,000 square meters. Its modern 1,000-foot arched-glass design mirrors that of the Reichstag’s glass dome, and both point to Germany's optimistic future as both were damaged by war and divided by ideologies. The arch connects two twin buildings, and looks like a glass cross from above. The 1,300-foot long station incorporates a photovoltaic system in the glass roof that creates 330 kilowatts of electricity to help power the facility. In addition, natural light floods the station's five levels down to its two underground metro platforms. Berlin Hauptbahnhof is built on the site of Berlin's 1871 Lehrter Bahnhof station that was largely destroyed during World War II and later saw its East-West lines severed by the Cold War division of Germany. Soon after Germany's reunification in late 1989, the city began planning a modern station that would once again provide service to the entire nation. Hamburg-based architectural firm Gerkan, Marg and Partners won the design competition for the new station overlooking the Spree River in 1993, and construction began in 1996, taking a decade to complete.

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