The mainline railway station in the southeast part of Limoges was one place I managed to visit while I was in the city.
It was a great shame that mum hurt herself at the very beginning of our adventure and as a result, she could not accompany me on foot to see this ornate station.
The station was less than 10 minutes walk from the hotel. A park which separated the station from the city centre seemed to be a small oasis to local people and I could see students and office workers here and there, enjoying a little “me-time” on the benches and the grass.
The first Gare de Limoges-Bénédictins, which was built of wood, was opened in 1860. The present station was designed by a French architect Roger Gonthier in 1917 and the building was listed as a monument historique in 1975.
The style of the building was distinctively Beaux-Arts. Opulent decors adorned the various parts of the exterior of the station.
Bénédictins, the part of the name of the station was due to the presence of a Benedictine monastery nearby which was closed during the French Revolution.
I entered the station, expecting the interior to be as ornate as the outside. However, I wasn’t so lucky.
Apart from the entrance and the ceilings, nothing was very notable.
The vastness of the ceiling somehow emphasised the emptiness of the interior.
After all, it was a working railway station, not a museum or a theatre. A business-like interior was more appropriate, I supposed.
A dome above the passenger concourse was constructed with a metallic framework covered in copper.
Limoges is a part of the Orléans-Montauban railway. There is the intercity services from Paris to the city which typically takes a little less than 4 hours.
A sight of railway tracks disappearing into the distance always made me feel nostalgic, and the sight I saw from Rampe des Bénédictins bore the same effect.
Before we leave the city tomorrow, I shall bring mum here by car so she can see the famous station from outside, I thought.
So she won’t feel too missed out…