Visiting the historic, former railroad station at Kampen, The Netherlands: a century of use

Flag of The Netherlands
Flag of The Netherlands | Source
Kampen at sunset: the station building in 2012
Kampen at sunset: the station building in 2012 | Source
Front side of the railroad station, Kampen, in 2011
Front side of the railroad station, Kampen, in 2011 | Source
Map location of Kampen, Overijssel.
Map location of Kampen, Overijssel. | Source

Towered monument which witnessed the passage of time, people and goods

I was struck by the well established nature of this railroad station at Kampen, The Netherlands. In 2012, the building closed, after a century of use: it is now a national monument.

The edifice was built in 1912, the responsibility of architect K. J. Kamphuis. The 1912 structure was itself a replacement of a building dating from 1868, which served a line linking Kampen with Zwolle and Utrecht.

Upon the closure of this building in 2012, it was replaced by the new railroad station of Kampen South (Dutch: Kampen-Zuid ).

Executed in brick, features include symmetrical towers at the entrance, with elliptical arch motifs and overhanging eaves; these eaves are stylistically complemented by an overhanging porch. The lines of a further tower are in keeping with the symmetrically placed entrance towers. Interestingly, the building incorporates what was originally the stationmaster's residence.

It is interesting to reflect that much of the rail infrastructure of The Netherlands was already in place before World War One (during which the country was neutral), and that at its closure in 2012 the appearance of this railroad station was essentially as it was in 1912. The building's national monument status in The Netherlands dates from 1999.

The original 1865 railroad was operated by the Nederlandsche Centraal-Spoorweg-Maatschappij (Dutch Central Railroad Company); until the 2012 closure, the operating railroad was NS - Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railroad).

Kampen is a city in the Overijssel province of The Netherlands. The former station is located at Stationsplein 1 , near a prominent bridge over the IJssel river, known (appropriately) as the IJsselbrug . The city is near the boundary of Overijssel with the Dutch province of Flevoland and Drenthe province is not a great distance away.

The city of Kampen used to be a significant port (although through land reclamation schemes for which The Netherlands has been famous it is no longer located near the open sea). Kampen was numbered among the ports of the Hanseatic League.

January 14, 2013

Also worth seeing

In Kampen itself, noted structures include three Medieval gates, and the Bovenkerk .

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How to get there: Airlines flying to Amsterdam-Schipol Airport from New York include Delta Airlines and KLM. The Dutch railroad company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) maintains rail services between Amsterdam and Kampen . (distance, Amsterdam-Kampen: 105 kilometres). There is car rental availability at Amsterdam airport. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice.

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

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