A New Look in Liege

Liege train station

Liege Train Station – like nothing I had seen before in Europe

The first time I passed through the Liege train station, I was stunned. I looked out my train window and saw curved iron beams, symmetry, and bright sunlight – unike any train station in Europe I had ever been to. However this was not a planned stop for me, so we pulled away as I was trying to snap Instagram photos out the window! A few days later I came across this article – the top 5 train stations in the world worth a stop – and Liege was listed as one of them!  Now I really had to stop on my next time through.

For me, a Eurail Pass was not just about the train; it was also about the train stations. Train stations in Europe evoke this old world feel offering gorgeous silhouettes lighting and open spaces. I always feel as if I have stepped back in time when I’m in a European train station – we really don’t have anything like it in the US. However the Liege, Belgium station was unusual – it was modern, sleek, and bright thanks to architect Santiago Calatrava.  He literally gave an ancient city a new look.  And I’m excited to say that Calatrava also designed a futuristic train station, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, at the rebuilt World Trade Center in New York City.

I made sure that as I passed through Liege again 2 months later this time I would get out to take some proper photos.

Liege train station

The station opened on September 18, 2009

Liege train station pictures

The station is one of the most important rail hubs in the country.

Liege train station

The open air ‘roof’

liege train station photos

The station is used by 36,000 people every day

liege train station

A view from the street level

Liege train station

Underneath the station

liege train station

A train on one of the tracks

escalator liege train station

It has 9 tracks and 5 platforms (three of 450 m and two of 350 m). All the tracks around the station have been modernized to allow high speed arrival and departure.

Liege train station

The sky view

This wasn’t the first time I had been mesmerized by Calatrava’s architecture – I was introduced to him in Valencia, Spain.

Your Comments

9 Comments so far

  1. Living in Spain, we hear about Calatrava all the time – in fact, he designed two bridges in my base of Seville. Recently, though, he’s come under fire for his design in the Ysios Winery in Vanguardia, in wine country. Apparently the roof is leaking, and the group that owns the bodega want him to pay up for damages – to the tune of 2 million euros!

  2. Samantha says:

    I had no idea Liege’s station was listed among the top 5 to see in the world. I remember being really impressed with it the first time I went to Liege too. It’s a pretty nice city as well, they have these really good flat waffles.

  3. Maria says:

    Stunning! so glad you opted for B/W with this series. For me, that type of architecture is heavenly – wouldn’t mind hanging around there :-)

  4. I live in Valencia and I really like Calatrava’s architecture. It was a pleasure to read your post and see your photos. I hope one day I’ll get there, too.

  5. So beautiful and modern! Liege is one of the few cities I haven’t visited in Belgium and now I definitely regret not going!

  6. Nico says:

    I recommend Antwerp’s train stations. IT’s beautifuuul!

  7. I’m with Cat of Sunshine. Calatrava’s airport in Loiu (Bilbao) has undergone at least two fairly major reforms in the 5 years I have lived in Bilbao and the Zubizuri (white bridge) is also a really hot local topic, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zubizuri. Your photos are nonetheless gorgeous!

  8. Belgium was one of the coolest countries I’ve ever visited–not what I expected! Calatrava is a favorite of mine, we have a spectacular example of his work here in Toronto (Brookfield Place). Liege station definitely looks worth jumping off at. Great photos.

  9. Some beautiful photos here! I especially love the swooping photos of the open air roof – very cool angle. Thanks for sharing!


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