From Havana to Santiago by Train …

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The building is made out of steel and reinforced concrete through the use of tiles and terra-cotta elements.

A railways station, treasure of our city

 

The Central Railways Station of the capital treasures one of the most outstanding architectural exponents of the 20th century. It is also a symbol of the technological advances of civil engineering in our country.

Almendares Bridge and the Fraternity Park have led this cycle of major engineering and landscape works. Now it’s the turn for a unique building in Latin America. Just walking on Egido or Arsenal streets one can rediscover a railway fortress declared National Monument last century.

Reportedly the railways station was preceded by another in 1849, which was followed by another more advanced in technology. Today’s building was preceded by another known as Villanueva, according to the title of Count Don Claudio Martínez de Pinillo, former Chairman of the Railways Managing Council.

The new station was opened in 1912 and is still in service. The structure stands out in the architectural complex of the area for its elegance, altitude and state of repair. The building is composed of four floors and is flanked by two towers marking it with verticality and at the same time, merging with the predominating horizontal axis.

The building is worked out with steel and reinforced concrete technique through the use of tile and terra-cotta elements. Its façade is also attractive due to the harmony established by the surrounding elements unifying it and the spaces with chromatic shades. The colours are not relevant features in the railways station; on the contrary, the bareness of the walls of solid aspect is bolstered by the ashlar applied in some areas, similar to the procedures observed in ancient renaissance works.

The monumental towers (38 meters) of the Railway station located in the grounds of the old Arsenal, having still today the coats of arms of Cuba and Havana and between them a clock, which was said to be illuminated in the evenings.

The railway station has experienced some restoration periods. After the triumph of the Revolution new ways of access and parking lots were opened. Later, in the 1980’s the building was completely restored.

Although still to be improved in many aspects of service to the public and the comfort of the facility, the Central Railways station of the capital treasures one of the most outstanding architectural exponents of the 20th century.

Translated by ESTI    

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