I always like visiting railway stations, just to see the array of food options they have, and of course to check the design and heritage of the building. My first impressions of approaching this railway station were positive because it looks different and interesting, although I had to climb a lot of steps to get to it, which wasn’t ideal given the hot weather (I may have mentioned that it’s too hot). The tracks for the station are underneath the concourse, so the station itself is elevated to a higher level, and hence the steps.
The side view of the city’s railway station, which is an interesting mix of architectural styles and designs. The current building dates to the 1920s, although there has been a station on this site since 1856. It takes its name from the Benedictine monastery that was located here but which was seized and closed down during the French Revolution.
The large central dome of the railway station giving it an airy and bright feel.
A photo of the grand interior, and another from the 1920s when the railway station opened. I should have had the foresight to find the original photo first before taking my one, then I could have taken them from the wrong place. But I didn’t, so they’re from different angles.
The information board, with the various destinations which are served, including Paris. Personally I think the prices for walk-up fares are too expensive for local journeys, but there are cheaper fares for longer distance journeys if pre-booked.
The railway station is known for its Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs, and the tower is one of the city’s landmarks. However, this was badly damaged in 1998 when some maintenance work went a bit wrong and they set fire to it.
The clocks on the main tower were also reportedly set two minutes in advance for some considerable time, an aid to ensure that passengers had a little more time than they might have thought. A clever trick, but they no longer offer this service to passengers….
The name of the railway station is clearly visible in stone above the central arch of the frontage.
There were once different section for departing and arriving passengers, although these entrances are no longer used.
Some decorative elements to the architecture. It’s certainly a beautiful and grand building, although the main restaurant is currently being closed down and I’m not sure what’s replacing it. At the moment there are what appear to be endless vending machines across the concourse, although these are clearly well used.
There is insufficient seating for the number of passengers using the station, or certainly, there was when I’ve walked in. It’s not the most functional of railway stations in that regard, but the signage all looked clear. There is apparently still a tunnel underneath the concourse, although now blocked off at one end, which was used by the Germans during the Second World War.