Antwerpen-Centraal (Antwerp Central) is the name of the main train station in the Belgian city of Antwerp. The station is operated by the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS).
The original station building was constructed between 1895 and 1905 as a replacement for the original terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp Railway. The stone clad terminus buildings, with a vast dome above the waiting room hall were designed by Louis Delacenserie. The viaduct into the station is also a notable structure designed by local architect Jan Van Asperen. A plaque on the north wall bears the name Middenstatie.
The station is now widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium, although the extraordinary eclecticism of the influences on Delacenserie’s design had led to a difficulty in assigning it to a particular architectural style. In W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz an ability to appreciate the full range of the styles that might have influenced Delacensiere is used to demonstrate the brilliance of the fictional architectural historian who is the novel’s protagonist.
In 2009 the American magazine Newsweek judged Antwerpen-Centraal the world’s fourth greatest train station. In 2014 the British-American magazine Mashable awarded Antwerpen-Centraal the first place for the most beautiful railway station in the world.
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