Antwerp Central Station, widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium, was built in the years 1895-1905. Its monumental interior, a mixture of towers, balconies, glass domes and classic columns, looks more like a cathedral than an ordinary railway station. The creator of this building was Louis Delacenserie, who became famous as a restorer of Gothic buildings in Bruges. This favorite architect of King Leopold II (whose initials L with their backs to each other placed in different parts of the building), created an innovative design, drawing inspiration from the Roman Pantheon and the railway station in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The station has been a protected monument since 1975
After ten years of construction, a beautiful main building was created, which is an eclectic mix of various architectural styles, and an impressive hall with platforms, designed by Clément van Bogaert, built of steel and glass. Not only its appearance, but also the dimensions 185 meters in length, 66 meters in width and 44 meters in height are impressive. Local architect Jan van Asparen designed a bridge, decorated with over 200 small towers, which runs parallel to the railroad tracks.
During World War II, this magnificent station, called by the residents a railway cathedral, suffered significantly as a result of bombing. The most damage was done by the V-2 rocket, which exploded nearby, destroying the glass roof of the hall with platforms and violating its steel structure. In the year 1986 a thorough renovation of the roof and the facade of the station was carried out. After the replacement of steel parts, the structure was painted burgundy.