Visiting Verviers, Belgium and its monumental central railroad station: where the means is the artistic message

Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
Verviers central station
Verviers central station | Source
Verviers central station
Verviers central station | Source
The Hautes Fagnes area in eastern Belgium
The Hautes Fagnes area in eastern Belgium | Source

Not only a place you go through; worth seeing in its own right

The central railroad station of Verviers (French: gare de Verviers-Central), executed in stone, evokes a variety of impressions. These include the ornateness of its interior and of its external frontage, with its multiple tower features. But the most striking impression must be its sheer monumentality.

Some architectural features

Building of the current central station's structure began in 1925, under the leadership of architect Emile Burguet, who was also a prominent municipal official in Verviers. It was completed in 1930.

The spacious inner hall is noted for striking sculptures of railroad workers. Its ticket windows are made of marble. A very large, ornate clock complements the ticket window area.

Geographical considerations

Verviers is situated in the Walloon region of Belgium, in Liège province. It may be wondered why Verviers, which is not even the largest town in Liège province, has such a huge building for a station. Well, it is good to bear in mind geography. (Not to say a little psychology, too, maybe.) Verviers is the most sizeable town in Belgium before one leaves, or arrives in, Belgium, from the border with Germany. Thus, its central railroad station must inevitably act as something of a showcase.

The rail service from the station links Verviers westward with Liège, Brussels and Belgian coast. Eastward it links with Aachen, Germany.

Also worth seeing

In Verviers itself, other noted structures include the law courts, the Ortmans fountain and the city hall.

Liège , Belgium (distance: 33 kilometres); its visitor attractions include the 'Perron' in the Market Square, the former Palace of the Prince-Bishops and a number of noted, ancient churches.

Eupen, Belgium (distance: 15 kilometres) is the capital of Belgium's German-speaking community; noted buildings include the Sankt-Nikolaus-Kirche, with its striking twin towers.

Vaals , The Netherlands (distance: 29 kilometres) is located near an international tripoint (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany) at the wooded Vaalserberg, which is a visitor attraction.

Aachen , Germany (distance: 47 kilometres), with historic memories of Charlemagne, its noted structures include the city hall and cathedral.

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How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York (JFK) to Brussels Airport, where car hire is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Verviers : 120 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company SNCB maintains a service from Brussels to Verviers . Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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