Monday, May 13, 2013

Attention To Detail

The exterior of the station
Maybe it is the fact I'm living in the land of concrete block construction (a.k.a. Albanian) or the fact that  the country is filled with the trademark lack of architectural detail that identifies buildings built during the Communist Era but during my travels throughout the rest of Europe, I repeatedly find myself in awe of the amazing architecture and attention to detail that is prevalent throughout the Continent.  My most recent moments of awe occurred during my trip to Spain.  With her grand boulevards, sweeping arches, and gold gilded buildings, Madrid was impressive.  I was most struck however, during our day trip to Toledo and the impressive attention to detail that I saw at the Toledo train station.

The original station was designed by architect Narciso Clavería y de Palacios and built in 1858. The current station was rebuilt on the same site and opening in 1920.  With the introduction of high speed rail to Toledo, the station was renovated yet again in the mid 2000s but care was taken to preserve the smallest of the original details.  It comes as no surprise to me that this building is listed as a Property of Cultural Interest and is considered to be a protected monument.  From the outside to the inside of the building, no detail is left untouched.

Inside details on a grand scale

Details, details.........

An old ticket window (everything is now automated)

Even the floor tiles are fancy

While the entire city of Toledo was beautiful it was our stepping off and departure point that impressed me the most.  High speed trains pass through Toledo today but for me just the mention of train travel evokes grand images traveling in luxury and class.  That class was missing amid Madrid's chaotic transit station but I felt it in Toledo.  Yes I thoroughly enjoyed my brief visit to Toledo but first and last impressions count for a lot and sure enough this little train station has left a lasting memory.

The walls that weren't detailed wood were tiled

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