Best train stations in Portugal: Lisbon

Hello there! I know I know… I shouldn’t make promises that I can’t keep. After three weeks of silence I’m finally back at doing something with World’s Architecture.

I already talked about this in my first post but doing a master’s dissertation is a lot harder that you could imagine, especially in the beginning, where you just don’t know where to start.  This is the reason why I haven’t posted anything for a while… And to be honest I’m still not sure what to do with World’s Architecture. I guess that’s normal when you start.

However I decided to give you some more information about Lisbon. After posting about the best views in the city and the day trip you can take to Belém, here are my favorite train stations in Lisbon. It’s very likely when you visit Lisbon to stumble across these stations.

Train stations might not seem the most appealing type of architecture to talk about. I get it, it’s the place where you catch the train to actually visit what you want to see.  But believe me, there are beautiful stations out there.

 

Rossio

José Luís Monteiro and Cottinelli Telmo

   

Integrated in one of the most iconic places of Lisbon, the Rossio, and part of the protected area of the Avenida da Liberdade. The Rossio Station was designed by the portuguese architect José Luís Monteiro at the end of the 19th century.

With a Manueline style – a Portuguese architecture style –  this station was classified as a Property of Public Interest in 1971.  This particular Portuguese style is easily found in other buildings in Portugal like the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém. If I had to describe Manueline  in a nutshell I would say it’s a late Gothic style that honors the Portuguese Discoveries, the Golden Age of Portugal. Basically you can see nautical elements in architecture like for example ropes, lots of ropes…

However what I think it makes this building so special is the way is still part of the Portuguese everyday life. People still use it everyday to get to work or to travel to Sintra. It’s not just a monument that you pay a fee to enter.

Another characteristic that makes me like even more this building is that the boarding platforms with a structure of iron and glass are about 30m above the main entrance. The complex of the station is composed by different levels, with intermediate floors, overcoming the big height difference between the Rossio and the Restauradores. This is one of the reasons that makes this station so unique and an exemple in Portugal

Renovation

In 1934, the portuguese architect Cottinelli Telmo won the contest for the renovation of the Rossio Station. At the time the station was still the main station in Lisbon and in Portugal. Although with time it became inadequate for this important function.

The interior was the main focus of this renovation. The relation between the interior with the exterior was not good. Considered to be poor for the main international station in Lisbon. This way, Cottinelli Telmo focused on the public areas like the main hall. The floors, the walls and the iron columns were covered in marble.

Unfortunately my camera corrupted most of my photos so I can’t show you how it looks in the interior. I think the use of the marble and the metal makes the station really well balanced. At least in the boarding platforms not so sure about the main entrance hall. I don’t now how many remodels the station has been trough but I’m guessing quite a few.

Now the Rossio Station is not the main international station in Lisbon  like it used to be but it’s still one of the most beautiful buildings in Lisbon!

 

Oriente Station

Santiago Calatrava

   

Designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and completed in 1998 for the Lisbon World Exposition, EXPO98. Oriente Station is now the main international station in Lisbon  and one of the most famous trains stations in Portugal. It’s easy to understand why.

First of all it’s much more that a train station. The station was not only the main component of the urban regeneration but also one of the most capable stations of all Europe. With the capacity to have high-speed trains, fast urban transportation, normal regional trains, a Metro station, a shopping center and a police station.

Located in the Olivais neighbourhood, an urban area of industrial and abandoned buildings fronting the Tejo River. One important aspect of the station is its link to the urban area in which it was constructed. The decision to elevate the rail line, for example, eliminated a physical barrier between the city and the Tejo River

 

Oriente station reminds me some of Santiago Calatrava’s earlier works such as Allen Lambert Galleria in Toronto. It’s funny to look at his work. You always find similarities in his buildings but Calatrava always manages to create something unique and special

The design of the glass and metal structure resembles the great railways stations of the past like the Pennsylvania Station in New York. However at the same time the structure also reminds me somehow of big tropical trees and plants, creating a new and quieter ambiance that distinguished itself from the past great stations. I think this shows why Calatrava is a great architect. He used the traditional structures but designed them with a new twist, making them more delicate and feminine.

I have to confess, one of my geek buck list things to do it’s visit all of the Calatrava’s stations. I just found them fascinating!

 

That’s it! Another post done. I will be traveling across Europe during the next 3 weeks so hopefully I will still be able to post something here. Do you have any suggestion? Leave them in the comments or in my social media. I’m going to Belgium, Germany and Czech Republic!

See you next time!

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