Antwerp Central Station: The Railway Cathedral

The Beauty of the Railway Cathedral

One of the many things I love about Europe is the rail system. Traveling through Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, I was able to get anywhere I wanted to go by train or other public transportation with very few delays. I enjoy the ride itself and looking out the window at the countryside and cities along the way. I also appreciate the interesting architecture and design of the old stations, particularly that of the central station in Antwerp, Belgium, nicknamed the Railway Cathedral. I felt that I had stepped into the middle of a European film noir.

"Known as The Railway Cathedral, Antwerp Central Station is a beautiful work of architecture"

Antwerp Central Station, The Railway Cathedral

As I got off the train and looked up to the top level of the station, I was really taken in by its beauty.

Antwerp is also a very busy station and people were rushing to catch their connections.

I took a few minutes before catching my train to Rotterdam to buy a warm Belgian waffle with chocolate melted on top. I didn’t want to leave Belgium without having that delicious experience.

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52 thoughts on “Antwerp Central Station: The Railway Cathedral

  1. Laurel

    I love how many train stations are architectural master pieces. I love the light in this one, I can see why it’s called the “railway cathedral.”

    1. Cathy Post author

      I think it’s so wonderful that so much attention was taken to designing beautiful stations — really give you a sense of the romance of travel.

  2. Sabrina

    Nice pics! I’m with you. I like the older railway stations in Europe. There are some pretty ones in Paris too. Have you seen them? I especially like the gare de lest.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Me, too. It’s such fun to travel by train in Europe. Wish we could get around more areas in the U.S. like that!

  3. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista

    These are beautiful pictures! I love the grand rail stations they have in Europe. They are architectural marvels and very impressive.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Michael! You said it that they don’t make ’em like they used to. Love the character of these old stations.

  4. Colleen

    Those photos are beautiful! Its amazing….there are so many unique train stations all over the world. They are full of so much beauty and history. I could spend hours and hours in some of them just getting lost and discovering everything they have to offer.
    I’m pretty sure I can smell those Belgian waffles now…..yum!

    1. Cathy Post author

      The warm chocolate waffle was a treat I’d like to repeat! I know what you mean about spending time in some of these stations. Wish I could have done that in Antwerp. It’s interesting just watching all the people.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Hmmm… maybe I’ll do a little experimenting with the B&W. Glad you like the photo. No, it’s not just you — I think the European train stations are absolutely captivating.

  5. Senaf

    I certainly agree on the railroad travel in Europe. it is the best way to see Europe. We took the railroad to Paris and we past Belgium. If we had more time, we would have gotten off and taken the time to see Belgium, but we only had time to spend the weekend in Paris. When (not if) I get back to Europe I will plan out my trip on the railroad and see more of the countryside and take more than a weekend.

    1. Cathy Post author

      I’d like to spend more time exploring different cities by train, too. Seems like there’s never enough time, doesn’t it?

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Jools. I hadn’t heard about how special the Antwerp station — so it was a very nice surprise when I saw it first-hand.

  6. jamie - cloud people adventures

    great photos! agree with you about the european railway stations. there is definitely something special about them. i kept thinking i was in an oldschool movie or something!

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Jamie – I know, some of these stations can really make you feel as though you’re transported to a different time. I love that about them.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks — you’re so right. I do love Grand Central Station in NYC and many others in the U.S., but they’re still quite different than those in Europe.

  7. Jim

    Glad they have kept the old railway buildings in many European cities. They truly are amazing examples of older architecture…if you remember to look up! Nice!

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