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Se dire adieu en France : les plus belles gares

Say goodbye in France: the most beautiful stations

Published June 7, 2013, in France

Holidays are departures, and departures takes planning! Do not miss your or your heartbreaking farewell happy reunion, and choose the best stations to take out your handkerchief.

1. Gare de Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin)

Auf Wiedersehen! Bye ! Trains listings here are set out in French and German. But that’s not the only surprise: in 2007, for the TGV (and the increased number of travelers), SNCF placed the sandstone building of Berlin style , inaugurated by Kaiser Wilhelm I er in 1883, under a globe of 2000 m 2 of glass and metal. If this extension has attracted various criticisms, at night, when the old station pierces through the glass, the effect is magical.

With SNCF Grand Voyageur card, the former imperial rooms are available: wood paneling, parquet floors inlaid coffered ceiling, etc.

Photo: Alexandre Prévot

2. Gare de Metz (Moselle)

We just as much to admire than to take the train. The Metz station is located in the heart of the imperial area, which it bears architectural mark. Built under Emperor Wilhelm II, it measures 300 m long by 200 m wide, making it one of the largest stations in France. Originally, it had daily power transfer 20,000 German soldiers. Romanesque Revival style, built in pink granite, it is decorated with capitals, sculptures, statues and stained glass. According to legend, some roof tiles would hide Graoully scales, the dragon terrorized Metz in the time of the early Christians.

Include in your visit the surrounding buildings, also built during the imperial period.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/gare-de-metz.jpg

Sculptures, Metz station. LaurPhil

3. Gare de Trouville-Deauville (Calvados)

One station for two antagonistic sisters: one can imagine the idyll, in 1930, came from a workers enjoy paid leave Trouville and heir to an aristocratic family deceives his boredom on the boards of Deauville . They met is somewhere on the beach and they exchange a last kiss here in this recently inaugurated train station in 1931 and who gets a Norman traditional architectural form, halfway between the cottage — to its sloping roof, its proportions and cement imitations of wood sides — and the house — for its symmetrical shape and geometric control of the plane. It’s time the train starts …

Inside the station, classified as historical monuments, is dominated by two frescoes plans Deauville-Trouville, signed Louis Houpin.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/gare-trouville.jpg

Gare de Trouville-Deauville, romaryka

4. Station Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales)

Hold on to the car, that’s the main railway station of Roussillon, the Perpignan train station , without further cachet of being a prewar station, elevated to a «cosmic center of the universe» by Salvador Dalí. The Catalan painter would have drawn his «most great ideas,» while his wife, Gala, recorded at the counter of the master paintings before shipment to wealthy US clients. Far from dalinesques delusions, know that in winter, when the cold breath of the north wind sweeps docks, there are brief farewell. Suitable for breach.

On site, helmet ears, listen to the song by Charles Trenet: At the station of Perpignan.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/gare-perpignan_0.jpg

Ceiling Perpignan station,  SevenMilesSnake

5. Train station of La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime)

The station of La Rochelle City , opened in 1922, holds the Oceanographic Museum with its frescoes dealing of marine fauna, the Cordouan Lighthouse with its bell tower, and architectural reference to the emblematic monuments of the city. Eclectic, the building, designed in 1910 by Pierre Esquié, is among the most elegant railway buildings. Listed in the inventory of historical monuments in 1984, the station saved his canopy zinc and tempered glass repair a calamitous polycarbonate. Fortunately, because the station is open under a veil of ocean light. Already we sense there the sea air and the regrets of departure.

TGV, La Rochelle is only three hours from Paris: direct path for a weekend getaway!

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/gare-larochelle.jpg

Gare de La Rochelle City,  Med PhotoBlog

6. Gare de Chamonix (Haute-Savoie)

Created in 1901 to allow easier access to the station, the Chamonix Station has a high mountain iconic architecture, including its windows with pointed roofs wood. Its location at the foot of mighty mountains, add a dramatic side-rending farewell. And next destination, you can choose to spin to Switzerland — Mont Blanc Express takes you to Martigny — to join Saint-Gervais or you fly even higher, towards the sea ice because the station is right next to that of the Montenvers train.

The train station is on the line Saint-Gervais-Vallorcine-Martigny (Switzerland), served by trains TER Rhône-Alpes.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/gare-chamonix_0.jpg

Gare de Chamonix. Benjamin Dumas www.benontherun.com

7. Gare de Niolon (Bouches-du-Rhône)

A deserted quay, an immensely blue sky and the sound of cicadas singing in the shadow of the hills. A small building retro paces at the foot of a limestone chain bright white. On the horizon, a sparkling sea … The little Niolon station on the Blue Coast , particularly well looked after her appearance. Clinging to the side of the chain of Estaque , it overlooks the Mediterranean 40 m high. It is reached by the small regional train (TER) joining Marseille in Miramas. No less than 23 tunnels and 18 viaducts of strung along the line, begun in 1908. Then at the stop «Niolon» on file plunge in the creeks!

The route of the line, really beautiful, worth seeing. About 8 daily round trips.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/gare-niolon_0.jpg

Gare de Niolon.  Jacqueline Poggi

8. Gare de Lens (Pas-de-Calais)

Both glazed porches host Traveller lobby of the wheels, and the clock tower, a chimney. Built in 1926 by Urbain Cassan in the Art Deco style, the Lens station — now a historic monument — in the shape of a steam locomotive. At the time, the capital of the mining area was still one of the most active industrial centers of France, as evidenced by the mosaic mural inside the station. Thanks to the two temples, sports and culture, as are the Felix-Bollaert stadium and the Louvre-Lens (opening in December 2012), rail traffic is rising again.

A circuit «from the mine to the Louvre,» or the story of an amazing conversion, is organized by the tourist office ( www.tourisme-lenslievin.fr ).

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/gare-lens_0.jpg

Gare de Lens, the clock. William Bavaria

9. The Blue Train, Gare de Lyon (Paris)

For grand reunion or farewell that throws the Blue Train is unsurpassable. Finished in 1900 on the occasion of the World Expo, the restaurant at the Gare de Lyon is awash in a gilt decoration certainly responsible, but unique to Paris . Some 41 paintings there are the destinations previously served by the station, whether Marseille, Orange, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Mont Blanc. Side dish, dishes, typical of traditional breweries are nothing fantastic, and the note is a little salty, but what a treat for the eyes! Note: the tables overlooking the docks offer a better view than those facing the street.

Info www.le-train-bleu.com . If you do not want to miss your train, TGV menu to lunch in 45 minutes.

image: http://www.lonelyplanet.fr/sites/default/files/le-train-bleu.jpg

In front of the Train Bleu at Gare de Lyon. Damien Dd || ||

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