The Strasbourg railway station: a strategic construction symbolising German authority
The spectacular glass frontage covering the entire historical facade of the station brought it into line with modern needs, while keeping its outstanding architectural qualities.
The station was built in 1883 and was one of the first strategic public buildings built by the German Reichsland authorities. Designed by Berlin architect J.Eduard Jacobstahl, its horseshoe shape remained faithful to neo-Renaissance influences.
True to the prevailing ideology, the station's iconography magnified Alsace and Lorraine, while establishing the link between the old Reich of the Hohenstaufen and the new order established by Wilhelm I of Hohenzollern. The intention was clearly visible in the two great gold-framed murals in the departure hall, which showed Fredrick Barbarossa visiting Haguenau in 1164 and Wilhelm I during his stay in Strasbourg in 1877. The murals were removed when the city returned under French rule, and the only remnants of the original interior decoration are the two statues of Trade and Agriculture, along with the allegorical bas-reliefs outside the station representing Alsace and Lorraine, sculpted by O.Geyer of Berlin.
The modern station has also kept the Imperial Suite leading to the platforms, which represent a rare example of interior decoration of the Wilhelmian period, and also the neo-Gothic double canopy along the platforms.
The TGV high-speed train makes Strasbourg an international transport hub
The large-scale conversion work carried out to bring the station into line with the requirements of the TGV high-speed train line were completed in 2007 and also provided a multimodal transport hub (train-tram-bus-bicycle). The immense convex glass frontage , designed by architect J.M. Dutilleul, provided the space and facilities needed by a modern major mainline station.