Arrival at Antwerp Central Station
The entrance to the waiting room from the railway tracks.
Antwerpen-Centraal (Antwerp Central) is the name of the main railway station in the Belgian city of Antwerp. The station is operated by the national railway company NMBS/SNCB.
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 and the vast (185 metres long and 44 metres high) iron and glass trainshed by Clement van Bogaert. The viaduct into the station is also a notable structure designed by local architect Jan Van Asperen.
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 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.