Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Madrid: Estación Atocha

Before traveling to Granada for a week-long meeting in May 2009, I spent a few days visiting the Spanish capital city of Madrid.

I spent a busy afternoon in Madrid visiting two important art museums: Museo Nacional del Prado, and Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Later that evening, I changed gears and made my way to Estación de Madrid Atocha, which is the largest train station in Madrid.

I’m drawn to trains and to train stations. Like planes and airports, the terminals are places where I think about starting a journey, not ending one. Where shall I go next? A high-speed express train to Barcelona, or destinations in southern Spain?

At 830pm, there were many people rushing in and out of the station – many in and out of the Metro, and some of them rushing to catch their trains to Córdoba and Sevilla.

The initial terminal began operation in 1851. After fire destroyed most of the building, reconstruction was completed and the second terminal was opened in 1892. After renovations in 1992, the ‘old’ terminal became a large entry hall/mall with cafés, seating, and tropical gardens. There’s an interesting parallel with the landside-airside division of airport terminals, as the ‘old’ Atocha appears to be the landside counterpart to the ‘new’ railside terminal.

Overall, Atocha station is much larger now, and consists of the Madrid Atocha Cercanías and Madrid Puerta de Atocha stations for Spanish national railways, and the Atocha Renfe station for the Madrid underground metro-transit system.

Additional information:

Estación Atocha, Atocha, Madrid, Spain, España,

Building facade and entrance, old Atocha terminal.

Departures area, Estación Atocha, Atocha, Madrid, Spain, España,

Departures area into the ‘new’ terminal. “¿A Córdoba o Sevilla hoy noche?”

Estación Atocha, Atocha, Madrid, Spain, España,

Jardín Tropical de Atocha (tropical garden): never in a hurry, do the turtles have it right?

Estación Atocha, Atocha, Madrid, Spain, España,

Atocha: inside the old terminal.

I made the four photos above on 9 May 2009 with a Canon EOS450D (Rebel XSi). This post is published originally on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

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