The 17 Most Beautiful Train Stations In The World

The 17 Most Beautiful Train Stations In The World

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From lavish Beaux-Arts stations to ultra-modern masterpieces, here are the most beautiful railway stations around the world.

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    The ultra-modern entrance to the Kanazawa Station was unveiled in 2005 to mixed reviews, but it has become a much-admired site since. Initially, many felt the modern architecture didn’t represent the historic town, which was miraculously unharmed during WWII and has preserved the former samurai quarters and geisha district. The station's hand-drum-shaped wooden Tsuzumi Gate and glass and steel Motenashi dome have come to stand for the fusion of modern technology with traditional forms. 
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    Train and subway stations in Moscow are surprisingly ornate, and Kazansky Railway Station is no exception. It is the western terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Moscow’s largest train station. Designed by Alexey Shchusev—architect to Tsars and Stalin alike—it was started in 1913 and completed in 1940. Various styles compete for attention—Art Nouveau, details drawn from the Kremlin, and a Rococo interior.
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    Created at the end of the 19th century as the main hub for the newly founded São Paulo railway, the Estação da Luz was actually built in Glasgow, disassembled, and then reassembled in São Paulo. At the time, coffee was shipped by railroad, making the station an important throughway for commerce. Though the station was neglected for many years, it was restored in the 1990s and is an important connection for the suburban rail system and the subway.
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    The picturesque Dunedin Railway Station earned its architect George Troup the nickname "Gingerbread George" and a knighthood from the king. Built in 1906 in a Flemish Renaissance style, the distinctive patterns were created by dark basalt from Kokonga combined with white Oamaru stone. Pink granite accents the design, and a terracotta roof contains shingles from Marseilles. Rounding out the striking décor, stained glass windows of steaming locomotives filter light onto the mosaic floors.
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    The palatial Haydarpasa Terminal is perched on the banks of the Bosphorus in the Kadıköy neighborhood. The site was chosen for the terminus of the Baghdad Railway and the Hejaz Railway in 1904, and the neo-classical building was completed in 1909. The station looks European for a reason—the Anatolian Railway brought on German architects Otto Ritter and Helmut Conu, who employed German and Italian stonemasons to sculpt the impressive building.
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    Commissioned for the World Exposition of 1900, the Gare de Lyon exemplifies the architecture of its time, with its large clock tower, stone façade, glass and iron ceiling, and Beaux-Arts details. Le Train Bleu, the station's opulent restaurant, has been serving guests, including Salvador Dalí, Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, and Jean Cocteau, since 1901. The Gare de Lyon—located in the 12th arrondissement—is the terminus for the Paris-Marseille line.
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    The construction of Amsterdam's huge Centraal Station marked the end of the city's seafaring past, as it blocked the view of the waterfront. Engineers had to create three artificial islands and ram 8,600 wooden piles under the foundation to support it. The station was completed in 1889, supplying the main transit hub for the city of canals. 
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    A masterpiece of Beaux-Arts architecture, Union Station set the precedent for Washington D.C.'s major monuments, including the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Federal Triangle, the Supreme Court Building, and the National Gallery of Art. It even served as a model for Milan's train station. Daniel H. Burnham—principal architect of the World’s Fair in Chicago—modeled the station on the Baths of Caracalla and Diocletian and the monumental Arch of Rome. 
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    Originally known as Victoria Terminus, it was designed by British architect Frederick William Stevens to honor Queen Victoria, Empress of India. The imposing Victorian Gothic Revival station took 10 years to build and was completed in 1888. A fusion of Western and Eastern styles, it was inspired by St. Pancras as well as Indian palace architecture. Indian craftsmen aided in the construction and sculpted elements to represent the two cultures. 
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    The 13,000-square-foot station was built with modern (at the time) amenities such as gas heating and lighting. Visitors often admire the stained glass windows on the stone and brick façade. Trains coming into the station pass by Topkapi Palace, one of the world's most spectacular palaces. Though the old entrance is no longer used, trains still pass through the station.
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    A lush tropical garden grows in the main concourse of the Estación de Atocha in Madrid. It was Madrid's first and largest train station, originally inaugurated in 1851. When a fire destroyed the first building, a glorious, wrought iron station designed by Alberto de Palacio Elissagne, with help from Gustave Eiffel, replaced it. In 1992, a more modern terminal was built adjacent, replacing it as a transit hub. 
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    Mughal, Moorish Revival, and Indo-Saracenic elements co-exist in the station designed under British colonial rule and completed in 1910. It was originally the city's main railway hub for the Federated Malayan States Railways and the Malayan Railway, though Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station has occupied that role since 2001. Today, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station serves commuter trains.
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