From the outside, Porto's central Sao Bento station is a grand old Neoclassical building. From the inside it is a beautiful example of local blue azulejo tiling. The vestibule just inside the main entrance is covered with blue tiles, from the floor to the top of its high ceiling. The tiles form pictures which retell the dramatic history of the city, including its reconquest from the Moors.
Sao Bento was built in 1916 as the terminus for all rail lines coming into Porto, but is not such an important station any more. Campanhã handles all the high-speed intercity trains, and the hub of Porto's metro is north of Sao Bento at Trinidade. There might be more tourists than passengers these days, but it's still a busy station, though. All trains leaving here go through Campanhã, and continue on to major local cities like Braga.
Sao Bento railway station is one of the most unique railway stations in the world because of the huge amount of ceramic teils you have at the station walls.
The walls are decorated with motives from the portugese history and is a perfect excample that train stations do not always have to be boring concrete.
It was built in the beginning of the 20th century on the site of the former Convent of S. Bento de Avé-Maria. The hall has twenty thousand tiles illustrating historical events, painted by Jorge Colaço (1.864-1.942).
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There are several excellent tile works of art on the walls of the Bento Station. Over 20,000 tiles reflect transportation in Portugal and date from 1916. Prior to the station there was a convent. The train station is regularly used, but the tile work is great, you almost forget you are in a station.
Fabulous. The walls inside the grand entrance hall are completely covered with blue tiles showing scenes from history and country life in intricate detail. In its way I found it as impressive as Sao Carmo Church. There's a shop outside, on the other side of the road opposite the station, that looks as if it just sells fluffy animals and footballs, but in fact you can also get a Portuguese SIM card there.
Go and see the old railwaystation,even if you aren´t going to go anywhere.We left here to Guimaraes and then after seeing the city we went by bus to Braga,and again,came back to Porto.I can also recommend that higly.
Buses from Guimaraes to Porto are very quick,but doesn´t go very often,so it´s good to know when they are leaving.We allmost missed one,and should have waited two hours,but nice lady from bus-station ran to bus and asked the driver to wait for us.Locals are so helpful!!!
About trainstation.Guidebooks told about the tiles.They have been a hard work,but actually we don´t find them beautyful.But since I´m also a art-metalsmith,I loved the old clock,and the beatuful molded metal frames of it.
Railway station as a tourist attraction? Why not? Especially, when it is such a railway station as Sao Bento.
It was completed in 1916 on the site of Sao Bento da Ava Maria monastery. In 1930 its inner walls were covered with azulejos decorated by Jorge Colaco. The big panels depict various historic events like Jao I's arrival in Porto or the conquest of Ceuta. There are also other scenes showing rural festivities or various means of transport.
At the time we visited Sao Bento the tiles were covered for conservation purposes by a thin material that looked like gauze. Although we couldn't take in the whole beauty of the decorations, they still looked impressive.
I wonder if there are any cases of missing a train when a passanger admires the azulejos and forgets about the world around.
Portugal is renowned for it's 'azulejos'... hand painted ceramic tiles... and there's no finer example than in the main hall of the São Bento Railway Station in the city centre. The tiles form huge, finely detailed murals and it's worth taking some time to examine the scenes properly.
The exterior of the building is also rather grand but when I was there, construction for the new metro was taking place right outside and rather spoilt the view.
Why go to the São Bento station? Or why go to a train station for sightseeing at all?
Well, you will not regret your visit to this azulejo-filled station, the terminus of all the commuter train network of Porto. But first, admire the beautiful building itself, built strictly in an European style. Next, go inside, and be ready for not closing your mouth! Look at the top oof the ceiling and all four sides. Do you see those amazing azulejo paintings? They depict important scenes in the history of Portugal and the city of Porto itself. Each painting is pretty grandiose in terms of its size, and its artistic value also very high.
Then look to your front to the platforms. The trains on each track, then the tunnel to Campanhã at the end of the lines. Also the departure/arrival screens, for some reason, add the aesthetics of the station, with the "Porto" and "Minho" engravings on the ceiling wall, as well as a big, dark-green clock above them. You will see not only the Porto area citizens who use the stations for their work or whatever purpose, but also the tourists that come to see the same stuff as you do - and taking a lot of photos!
It was built in the beginning of the 20th century on the site of the former Convent of S. Bento de Avé-Maria, thus obtaining its name. The vestibule is adorned with twenty thousand tiles illustrating historical events, painted by Jorge Colaço (1864-1942). It is one of the most important artistic initiatives of the turn of the century and was designed by the architect Marques da Silva.
The railways celebrated their inaugural journey on 28th October 1856. Following a period at the beginning of the century when several various public and private companies co-existed, the Companhia dos Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (Portuguese railway company) came into existence in 1951, to become, in 1975, CP as it is known today.
It was built in the early years of the 20th century in the place where once the São Bento convent, hence its name.
The architect was Marqués da Silva and most of the azulejo-work was by Jorge Colaço.
There are represented scenes concerning remarkable moments in the portuguese histoy, but also other kind of secenes (ethnographic, local culture and landscapes and also the history of transportation until the aparition of the railway).
The tiles of Porto's churches are all noteworthy, but the most magnificent are surprisingly found in one of the city's main train stations (the building in the center of this picture). They are found in the entrance hall and depict the history of transportation.