Thursday, May 31, 2012

the Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins, France

Work on this - often considered the most beautiful train station in all of Europe - lasted from 1924 and 1929 and the station was inaugurated on 2 July 1929.  Bénédictins station was designed by architect Roger Gonthier and one of its particularities is that it was built over the ten railway lines rather than next to them. A large 90 by 78 metre platform was built over the lines to support the station building.

The building is made of a concrete bone structure, filled in with limestone. The dome which covers the passenger concourse is made of a metallic framework, covered in copper.

The 60 metre tall clock tower in the southwest corner is a composed of twelve levels. It is mounted by a dome itself mounted by a five metre tall vase. Below these are four four metre wide clocks.

The station was listed on 15 January 1975 and work to restore the Great Hall ended in 1979. On 5 February 1998, a fire broke out under the station's dome. The city's population was upset and the dome was rebuilt to its original design.

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