If you're staying in Madrid long enough, chances are you'll end up at the Atocha Station at some point to go on a day-trip. Even if you aren't, I still think it's worth going inside to check out the city's biggest train station. The oldest part of the station dates back to 1892. It was in use for about 100 years, until the new terminal opened. Instead of destroying the old building, authorities smartly turned it into an indoor tropical garden, complete with palm trees, turtles and fishies! It's a pretty nice place to go for coffee on a rainy day :o)
On a different note, outside the station is where you'll find the glass cylinder that was erected as a memorial to the 191 victims of the March 11, 2004 attacks. It is a simple structure in which can be found the messages of condolences that were left at the station in the days following the tragedy.
Modern station of the fast reilway. In hall of glass and cast-iron there is a very nice palm-room. Every day many people go from there to work and school. They buy in planty of shops or sit in one of the many cafes.....
Unfortunately, last time Atocha became famous for terrorist attempt....
Atocha Station is very close to our hotel (Rafaelhoteles). It is the largest and the most used railway station in Madrid. I thought the actual outside building is quite impressive. The interior with large Palm trees and ferns almost feel and look like tropical garden.
Atocha Station is old railway station. It was inaugurated on 9 February 1851. Unfortunately it had major catastrophe during her career. It was largely destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1892. In 11 March 2004 it was target by al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell bombings.
Today the Atocha railway station is served by two Madrid Metro stations, Atocha and Atocha Renfe, primarily serving commuter trains, intercity and regional trains from the south, and the AVE high speed trains from Barcelona and Seville. The office open everyday from 6.30am to 9.00pm
Most people who travel on trains, or rent cars here in Madrid will at some point go through Atocha Staion. Regional trains such as the AVE, commuter trains (Cercanias) and Metro (Subway) trains all go through here. The old part of the station, near the AVE departure tracks has been converted into a nice tropical indoor garden which can be relaxing for the frazzled traveleer. There are birds and turtles and people asking you for money. There is also a restaurant at the other end which is fine if you are travelling but dont go to the station just to eat there.
Outside the station next to the Repsol Gas station currently under construction is a monument to remember the victims of the bombings on March 11,2004. It is set to be finished by the two year anniversary March 2006. One of the 4 trains that were bombed that day was at Atocha Cercania section (Commuter trains) and another of the 4 was approaching but was about 500 meters south of the station. and there is also a computer memorial inside the station, near the Cercania trains where you can read peoples to their friends and loved ones.
The Estacion de Atocha is one of the main train stations of Madrid. The beautiful old station building (1888- 1892) is constructed in metal, glass, and polished stone and houses a kind of winter garden with an indoor tropical garden.
The Atocha train station, is amazingly so, worth a visit even if you are not taking a train. First built in 1851, the station was rebuilt in iron in 1892 and its architecture is superb.
Inside, you will find a 4000 square meter tropical garden with 7000 different plants and trees. It even has palm trees for God's sake!
There's definitely nothing I can miss from Miami then is there? ;-)
I enjoyed visiting the main train station in Madrid which also happened to be a botantical gardens. I can't comment on the trains themselves but if you are in the area it is worth a stop and have a look!!
The main one where this picture was taken is Estacion de Atocha. There are logs of shops and cafes here at the station adn you can catch all the national high speed trains.
It stads on the site of the old city gates and was apparently opened in 1851. Destroyed by fire in 1892, the reconstructed and refurbished in 1992.
I recognised this building on sight as where we had caught a train to Alicante in September 1993.We only had an hour in Madrid travelling from the airport to the rail station, our first experience of Spain.
This time several days in Madrid and to my surprise our hotel was only a 5 minute walk from this now refurbished building. We had to go inside to see what had gone on. Trains are still operating from here, however that is about all that has not changed. It is a very modern place with shops, cafes and restaurants, nice resting areas with palms etc etc.
Well worth visiting.
Atocha Station is a magnificent crystal and iron building; inside there is a palm-tree garden. If you have to take a train, go there; if you have not, go in the same way.
between hell and heaven...
I get off at Atocha,
I do stay in Madrid..."
La estación de Atocha es un magnífico edificio de hierro y cristal; dentro de él, hay un jardín con palmeras. Si tienes que tomar un tren, ve allí; si no, ve también.
"...a mitad de camino
entre el infierno y el cielo...
Yo me bajo en Atocha,
yo me quedo en Madrid..."
Atocha is the rail complex in central Madrid that houses the Cercanias hub for trains to the nearby suburbs and region as well as the Puerta de Atocha for the AVE trains to the rest of Spain. The Madrid subway stops Atocha and Atocha Renfe are here as well.
The most striking feature, and it is indeed quite lovely as you come in to the cavern- like station, is the very nice arrangement of trees and vegetation. It's like a mini park and certainly makes it very relaxing. There is a good selection of shops to spend your time while you wait for your train.
services available are:
travel agents/tour operators
There is a very understated memorial to the victims of the terrorist bombing on March 11, 2004.
Atocha station is one of the main train stations in Madrid. It is a building unique for its construction with metal and glass and also a characteristic interior with a wonderful green house and tropical garden. It is a very busy station with lots of shops and cafes. One can catch trains to Portugal and Madrid suburbs from there.
I knew Renfe Atocha station was going to be impressive...I know the original 1892 station had been cleaned up, enclosed within the newer building as a concourse, with a huge tropical garden created inside it (makes things a bit steamy and humid in summer, I imagine!).
It is an impressive piece of architecture and is most definitely worth a visit even if you don't intend to take a train anywhere.
Don't miss a couple of sculptures. There's a man-with-a-map on the mezzanine floor of the moving walkways which take you up from one level to another. And, almost directly beneath the walkways, a rather good sculpture of luggage by Eduardo Urcolu, 'El Viajero' 1991. Both are well worth a look...as is the station.
I loved this District unfortunately I have only been during the day as I have later found out that it has a great night life.
The Athoca District is great for shopping perhaps much better than other places such as Gran Via since the street is narrow and more quiet yet with a great selection of shops.
This district also offers nice coffee shops and restaurants.
I will definetely check out the night life in this district next time I visit Madrid.
Please check the directions below to find out how close is this district to the centre of Madrid and how to reach it.
Don't just stare at the plant life, admire the wrought iron work, too. It is executed with all the grace and surety that the 19thC engineers brought to their work and it still pleases today!
There's a good restaurant in the station - the Samarkanda - and on a hot day you are not forced to eat in heat, for they have a delightfully air-conditioned salon that overlooks the side of the garden.
Most of the rail stations of the world are quite utilitarian in that they are there to allow passengers to board and exit trains, to buy tickets, to eat in cafes, even to shop and bank. Madrid's Atocha rail station is all of the above and more.
The former main station building was taken out of service after a modern addition was completed to allow for high speed trains to use the complex. That old station was converted into a gallery of shops, bars, cafes and the main concourse converted into a huge indoor garden complete with "mist" watering system. A very attractive area to wait for the trains and loll around in a spectacular indoor setting.
The world looked in horror at the terrible events of 11th March 2004 when the Madrid train bombings occured at and close to Atocha station - killing 191 people and wounding 1,755