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Central Railway Station
The history of Amsterdam's Central Railway Station building (Amsterdam Centraal) dates back to 1877 when the constructions began. It was built on three artifical islands as well as on 8687 wooden piles.
The impressive Neo-Renaissance building was designed by the Dutch architects Pierre Cuypers and A. L. van Gendt. The front facade is decorated with the coat of arms of the Netherlands, Amsterdam and cities to which train connections exist, such as Madrid, Vienna and St. Petersburg.
Amsterdam's Central Railway Station stands near the northern end of the busy Damrak street. The backside of the building faces the lake IJ.
- Budget Travel
Central Station is a beautiful huge building in neo renaissance style built on three artificial islands. When you come out of the station onto the big square you will see water and boats everywhere. For me, this was my first contact with Amsterdam. I was ready to discover "Venice of the North".
The largest majority of Amsterdam's 4 million visitors and 16 million day trippers arrive through this red brick neo-Renaissance building located on the shores of the IJ. It serves as a hub for ferries northbound, the majority of Amsterdam's tram lines, the commuter oriented metro train service, and trains throughout the Netherlands and beyond ( over 50 international trains per day ). Conveniently located across the Stationplein is the GVB office where chipcards up to one week duration can be purchasesd ( open only during business hours and on weekends only after 1000 as we learned the hard way ). It was built between 1881-9. The functional aspects were handled by AL van Gendt, an engineer/architect with extensive train experience and the architect Pierre Cuypers, more involved with aesthetics ( also architect for Rijkmuseum ). The cast iron roof is from England. The station is supported by over 8000 piliings sunk into three artificial islands and cannot be fully imaged from the ground with even a wide angle lens.
The original site of the station was quite controversial in late 19th Century Amsterdam. The local government wanted the station more centrally located but the government in The Hague insisited on this site, wisely avoiding disrupting the center district by lots of train tracks and noise.
The hallways of the station offer all the necessary business establishments including a travelex office selling chipcards up to 3 days duration but are understandably a bit dingy after so many years and with extensive reconstruction coinciding with construction of a new north south train line. When finished, the concourses will resemble a modern day airport, light and airy, as seen on available sketches, and be more oriented toward the waterfront. The original site placement decision will certainly turn out to have been correct. One can only get an idea of how beautiful the station must have been by checking out the tiled ceilings through accumulated grime.
Central Station Exterior
Leaving the Central Station after a long trip, one is unlikely to appreciate the beauty of the building. Turn around on the way out to the tram or GVB station and have a look.
The facade is largely light red ( more expensive ) brick separated by vertical lines of stone, typical of late 19th Century Dutch architecture. It features large towers and reliefs as well as multiple coats of arms. At the time, many in largely Protestant Amsterdam were upset by the ornate decorations, likening them to a church ( Cuypers was a Catholic ). The towers are famous for two clocks, one a real clock and the other a disguised weathervane with the dial moving with the prevailing winds.
In the center the coat of arms of The Netherlands as it appeared in the 19th and early 20th Centuries with the lions facing forward and crowned. The more modern coat of arms has the lions facing. Below is the coat of arms of Amsterdam flanked by coats of arms for 14 European nations. The main entrances are flanked by classic reliefs, vertically stacked triptychs.
Amsterdam CS - map.
The architecture of Amsterdam CS is remarkable as well as its location along the water. The works on the square are now nearly finished and travelers, trams, busses, metro, taxis, all are dancing their ballet on what is the central transportation point of Amsterdam.
I added here a map of the station and square. You can see in front of the station exits the locations of the trams. The metro is to be reached by stairs (no escalator) but there is one elevator near the GVB tickets and info offices. The bus stops are somewhat further. Taxis are standing on the right of the exit.
The busiest station of the Netherlands has still no waiting room for the Thalys train travelers, at least I did not find one. So that if you are early to catch your train to Brussels you have to wait standing. Brussels has a special waiting room for the Thalys trains.
Step off the train, enter Amsterdam!
If you pull in to Amsterdam by train, or of course take the train from the airport, you arrive at the Centraal Station, a wonderful piece of architecture in of itself. Step out of the station, and behold: Amsterdam! Right away you will notice the hustle and bustle of this unique and beautiful city. You also will take in the magnificent St. Nicolaas Kerk, an exquisite baroque church just on the other side of the square. Look around, snap some photos, and start your journey. It's only just the beginning!!!
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
The Amsterdam Centraal Station is built between 1882 and 1889. In 1876 architect P.J.H. Cuypers got the assignment to design it. A.L. van Gendt helped him with his experience in railroad design. The station was built on 3 specially made islands in the harbour. The building is 306 meter long and 30 meter deep.
The facade is dominated by two towers. Both have a clock and when we visited during the meeting in march somebody noticed that one clock was running in the wrong direction. it was going from 6 to 3. But when we got closer it turned out to be the wind direction that was shifting from south to east.
The other one was the clock........
You can see a picture of the entire building at our transportation tips.
Established since 1975, the Dutch Rock & Pop Institute (a.k.a. Nationaal Pop Instituut) is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Culture to promote Dutch music at home and abroad. Apart from pop and rock, it also promotes hiphop, urban, dance, crossover, roots and world music. In Holland all these musical styles can be classified in the overall term ‘popmuziek’ (pop music).
Mediatheek Business hours:
Mo - Fr: 10 AM - 5PM
Admission: free entrance
- Arts and Culture
Buildings: Central (Train) Station
This “palace for transport of civilians” was the first station in The Netherlands that was constructed under architectural supervision. Before that engineers of the railways took this task. Amsterdam wanted however to create an amazing place for those who came and visited the town. Well, this has worked out very well, as the building until today makes many turn around when walking into town after arriving by train in our capitol. In 1876 it was constructed by the plans of P.J.H. Cuijpers (see also the “Rijksmuseum”) and is an example of old-Dutch styles (combined neo-styles of late gothic and early renaissance).
Buildings - Details Central (Train) Station
The building is 306 meters long and has on the backside a direct connection with water of the “IJ”. From the exit / entrance one immediately is in the centre of town. A walk over the Damrak brings you on the Dam-square. The palace of transport for the Amsterdam civilians also had a royal crown. The most right wing (cornerbuilding) is the royal waiting house. One still can see the wide doors that were made to make entrance of carriages and later cars possible.
When you arrive in Amsterdam by train, first thing you'll see is Centraal Station. Centraal Station's inauguration in 1889 was controversial since it separated Amsterdam from the sea and represented Amsterdam's will towards industrialization. This neo-renaissance building alludes to Amsterdam's past in sea and commerce.
This is a bustling square always full of people, both locals and visitors arriving by train. Besides train, there is also tram and bus in this square, and loads of bicycles and boats.
The central station
The main train station in Amsterdam, Centraal Station, was built in 1889. It's not just a place worth to visit for travelling, it's also have a lot to show about the history of Amsterdam. When building the station they made a special waiting room for the royal family.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Amsterdam Centraal is the central train station of Amsterdam. It is also one of the main railway hubs of the Netherlands and is used by 250,000 passengers a day, excluding transferring passengers. In addition, it's also the starting point of Amsterdam Metro lines 51, 53, and 54.
Amsterdam Centraal's building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and A. L. van Gendt. It first opened in 1889 and features a roof span of approximately 40 metres fabricated in cast iron by Andrew Handyside of Derby, England.
The building of Amsterdam Centraal is situated on three man-made islands, themselves resting on 8,687 wooden piles which have been driven deep into the muddy and sandy soil.
Central Railway Station - Estación central
Amsterdam Centraal is the central station of Amsterdam. It is one of the main railway nodes of the Netherlands and is used by approximately 150,000 passengers a day. The station building was opened in 1889. It features a roof span of approximately 40 metres fabricated in cast iron. The station is currently under reconstruction so it was a pity not to see this beautiful building without all the working tools in front of them.
The building of Amsterdam Centraal is situated on three man-made islands, themselves resting on 8,687 wooden poles which have been driven deep into the muddy and sandy soil.
Amsterdam centraal es la estación central de Ámsterdam, uno de los principales nudos ferroviarios de Países Bajos, usado por aproximadamente 150.000 personas al día. El edificio de la estación abrió en 1889. Tiene un techo de unos 40 metros fabricado en acero. La estación está ahora restaurándose, fue una pena no poder ver este bonito edificio en todo su esplendor, sino con todas las máquinas delante.
El edificio de Amsterdam Centraal está sobre tres islas artificiales construidas por el hombre, descansando sobre 8687 pilares de madera que han sido introducidos profundamente en el embarrado y arenoso suelo.
- Arts and Culture
Visitors are most likely to arrive at Centraal Station, the city's primary transportation hub and a train station that was built in the late 19th century on three artificial islands made of wood pilings. This is the perfect example of using both Gothic and Renaissance revival styles, it was designed by P. J. H. Cuypers, and AL van Gendt.
Even if you arrive by plane, the best way into town from Schiphol is to take advantage of the inexpensive 20-minute train trip to Centraal Station. As you exit the station, you walk directly into what was medieval Amsterdam. The basic design of the city is centered in this area. This central zone is surrounded by the semi-circle of concentric rings known as the Canal Ring. Just beyond the Canal Ring is the Museum Quarter, home to some of the country's most significant national galleries.
Although most tourists don't pay any atention to this building it's one of the most beautiful buildings in Amsterdam.
Don't forget to check it out when you come to Amsterdam.
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Amsterdam Travel Guide
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