The Peloponnese Railway Station
The Peloponnese Railway Station is one of Athens’ most important architectural monuments. Although it’s been over ten years since it was last used as a terminal, its interior retains its grandeur in full.
The station's construction began in 1884 and was completed five years later. It was designed by a group of French engineers selected by Charilaos Trikoupis, the Prime Minister, headed by Alfred Rondel. The three characteristic domes were added later, in 1912-13, by Ernst Ziller – and it was at that time when the building took on its present form.
The station is modelled after the «Chemins de fer Orientaux» in Constantinople, though it lacks the latter’s pronouncedly Oriental character. It quotes Neoclassicisal traits, yet also features Art Nouveau elements, such as the large ledges and imposing domes. The ground floor of the two storey building houses the ticket vendors, lounges and baggage areas. The second storey features the office of the stationmaster and the offices of the personnel.
Listed as a heritage site since 1985, the station stands out for its dark red ceiling with plaster decoration; the crystal chandeliers that remained unaffected by time; as well as the colored stained glasses. One of its most impressive elements is the roof, with the three domes constructed of metal sheets and a wooden base.
The lounges are dominated by large marble fireplaces and mosaic floors with geometric motifs, reminiscent of mansions of the period between the two World Wars. Details, such as the iron door knobs decorated with wings, the eternal symbol of Hermes, indicate the special attention given to the decorative features of a building meant to host and service thousands of passengers.
An architectural jewel for the city of Athens, the Station is to be renovated and turned into a cultural venue dedicated to arts and entertainment.