Visiting the railroad station at Vlissingen, The Netherlands: neo-Baroque structure by Sybold van Ravesteyn

Flag of The Netherlands
Flag of The Netherlands | Source
Vlissingen Station, by architect Sybold van Ravesteyn
Vlissingen Station, by architect Sybold van Ravesteyn | Source
Vlissingen Station in about 1900
Vlissingen Station in about 1900 | Source
Map location of Vlissingen, The Netherlands
Map location of Vlissingen, The Netherlands | Source

Ecclesiastical, stylistic hints?

In a somewhat unusual neo-Baroque style, this building at Vlissingen, The Netherlands, dates from 1950. Its architect was Sybold van Ravesteyn (1889-1983)(1).

Features include a number of conspicuous, rounded gables.

The exterior of the building has a number of sculptures by Jo Uiterwaal (1897-1972), who worked in partnership with Sybold van Ravesteyn on a number of projects.

As a whole, the building exudes a sense of an ecclesiastical building, in my view, as if inspired by the the ornate frontages of large church buildings of Antwerp, and elsewhere.

The previous station building in Vlissingen, destroyed in World War Two, was built in 1894 in Neo-Renaissance style. The railroad came to Vlissingen in 1872 and for some decades in the late 19th century both the port of Vlissingen and the city itself boasted separate stations; this arrangement, however, eventually became unsustainable. However, for many years after the closure of the City's separate railroad station, the one at the port was still known as Vlissingen Haven .

Vlissingen is in the Zeeland province of The Netherlands: very much a maritime province of a country already closely linked with the sea. The railroad station is located at Stationsplein 1-5 , Vlissingen. Many people arrive at the station as sea travellers, whether by ferry from from Breskens, The Netherlands, south of the Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde ) estuary, or from Sheerness, England, across the North Sea (Dutch: Noordzee ). However, at least for rail travel, this station. being a terminus, is most definitely one which the traveller goes to, rather than through; even though an onward journey may involve sea travel.

December 17, 2012

Note

(1) Other works by architect van Ravesteyn include various other railroad stations — in a wide variety of architectural styles — including Rotterdam's Central Station (Dutch: Centraal Station ). Interestingly, several of the station buildings which he designed have now been demolished; one may assume that this fate is likely to escape Vlissingen's railroad station because of the national monument (Dutch: Rijksmonument ) status which it has acquired. But despite the sorry history of some of the buildings for which he was responsible, the versatility of this architect's designs remains undoubted.

Also worth seeing

In Vlissingen itself, other attractions include the Sint-Jacobskerk , the tower of which dominates the city, and the state of Admiral de Ruyter, overlooking the Scheldt estuary.

Middelburg (distance: 7.5 kilometres); among its visitor attractions are the Lange Jan tower, and the 15th and 16th century Town Hall .

...

How to get there: Airlines flying to Amsterdam Airport from New York include Delta Airlines and KLM. The Dutch railroad company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) maintains rail services from Amsterdam to Vlissingen . There is car rental availability at Amsterdam airport. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

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

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