Enjoy the most fantastic trip, the one provided by the Spanish railways through its territory and discover its wonderful stations.
This week we are going to allow ourselves to enjoy a trip through the oldest bulls skin in Europe, a trip between railways, discovering the most beautiful and inspiring train stations in Spain… Fancy it? Well read on, you won’t regret it.
We started from a very special place, where the Spanish Constitution of 1812 was conceived… yes, you guessed it, we are in the province of Cádiz, more specifically in the municipality of Jerez de la Frontera, where in 1854 the first railway station was built from Andalusia, a 103-meter-long ship that was used, above all, to transport the (very famous) Jerez wine. Its current appearance is due to the project by Aníbal González in 1928, a Mudejar palace covered with abundant tiles, exposed bricks and bars, of course, we could not start in a better place.
We continue our journey, counterclockwise, and we stop in the Mediterranean, in the old station of Almería. Located near the modern intermodal station that has left it unused and its 1892 design by the French company ‘Compagnie de Fives-Lille’ is truly spectacular, with a central body of metal frame and stained glass windows of beautiful dimensions, all product of the modern shine industrial of the time, fused with the characteristic French model. This building is a monument that deserves to be cataloged as BIC (Well of Cultural Interest).
We now travel to Murcia, to the historic city of Cartagena, where at the beginning of the last century (in 1906) the station in front of us was built (figuratively, of course). A modernist building whose elegance is obvious and that looks at you smiling with its semicircular arches and triangular pediments. The two-story edificio U ’shaped building, as usual in terminal stations, is crowned with a clock and the word Cartagena, so as not to get lost.
Tucked into the Mediterranean, we arrived at the Estación del Norte, in Valencia, where another imposing modernist building, this time from 1917, welcomes us with open arms. The Estació del Nord, built by the Compañía de Hierro del Norte de Españ, is a building listed as BIC in 1983 whose main roof is in the shape of an arch, which you can not fail to admire, as well as its glazed ceramics, trencadis and the rest of materials that make up the station (wood, metal and marble mainly). A beautiful stop, without a doubt.
We now come to Barcelona, to the Estación de Francia, Estació de França, another terminal station opened in 1929 by King Alfonso XIII. This monumental construction has a large metal structure and a lot of luxurious ornamentation inside. Bronze and marble are the most used materials to highlight the modernist style that prevails in the building (as in the rest of the city). When you walk through its lobby you will not be able to stop uploading the odd photo to Instagram, I assure you.
We continue to breathe French air, this time, next to the border of the French country, with the wonderful Canfranc International Station, inaugurated in 1928, also declared BIC in 2002, and, although it no longer operates with France, it is an essential element if We want to appreciate the French palatial architecture in Spain. On our rail journey it is a must stop, even more after discovering that the Ingennus group is preparing a project to transform the station into a five-star hotel with 100 rooms.
We stop at the other end of the country, in Bilbao, where we can rest in the always cozy La Concordia Station. Built in 1902 with the canons of the time (see Belle époque), it has a huge rose window and a beautiful façade, part of the history of the Nervión river, although the nearby station of Abando has taken its prominence, it is still an essential transit place , even more so since it was reformed in 2007, modernizing its rear facade by opening glazed viewpoints and enhancing the passage of pedestrians and travelers.
We are going to visit one of the most exquisite train stations in Puebla de Sanabria, Zamora, exquisite for its size and architecture, warm for its fireplace, and for the preparation based on stone ashlars. Its slate roof teaches us that traditional architecture is always liked, in addition to being durable, or, as it is said now, sustainable. It was opened in 1958 to communicate Madrid and Galicia through Zamora.
We are already in Madrid, the penultimate stop of this tour, of course, we are heading to Atocha, the most popular railway station in the capital, a pure work of art, where the brick meets iron giving way to a tropical garden that will leave us gaping, surprise is part of the charm of this season. The most fortunate are the regular users of the AVE, given that it was remodeled in 1992 to make way for this means of transport, led by the popular architect Rafael Moneo, who recently commissioned his third intervention.
And as the last stop on this tour, we arrived at the monumental Toledo Station, a building built in 1919, which was renovated in 2005 so that the AVE could pass through there. It has been declared a BIC since 1991, it was the work of the architect (and count) Narciso Clavería, who gave the building that Neo-Mudejar style for which it stands out. It is a highly attractive building, made up of three sections, where the central one is more voluminous and the west end boasts a banked clock tower. Thus ends our railway route, now it’s time to make it happen… Are you signed up?