19.12.08

Gare de Lyon

I have already posted about Gare Saint Lazare and Gare de l’Est. Gare de Lyon is another of the six remaining major Paris railway stations. This is where you leave for Lyon, Marseille, Nice... and also some Italian and Swiss destinations. (I showed this map in a previous presentation, indicating Genève as an example for Switzerland, but got a remark about Lausanne from Delphinium, so I have of course corrected it.) It’s also largely used for local traffic. Totally, some 83 million people pass here every year.

The present station was built for the World Exhibition of 1900 (as e.g. the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Alexandre III bridge). It then replaced a previous building from 1849 (destroyed in 1871 by fire, but rebuilt identically). It was the first Paris station to be reached by the just inaugurated metro line no. 1, also in 1900.

According to the fashion of those days, the station is largely decorated outside, including some tens of blazons of the destination cities. Especially remarkable is the Big Ben like 67 m (220 ft) high clock tower. The four dials have a diameter of 6,4 m (21 ft) and the roman numbers have the size of 1 m (40 inches).
Inside, you can find the usual imposing steel and glass ceilings. There are also some large fresco paintings, again illustrating the major destinations. You can also find the famous restaurant, Le Train Bleu, a nice place for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner... before your departure – see also top picture. This is also what Mr. Bean did on his way to Cannes (Mr. Bean’s Holiday). It’s today rather under the station that you wait for the departure, especially of the TGV (high-speed) trains (320 km = 200 miles/hour), offering some 24 departures per day to Lyon, 16 to Marseille... This was the first station to offer this service, in 1981. On this level you also find a commercial centre.

Further down, you will find the metro lines, including the garden-decorated station for the newest (driverless) line no. 14.


It's again time to wish you a nice weekend!


I got another reward, from Rhi / “Peanut Butter Bound” – a young lady from Tennessee who recently started a blog where she shows photos from other bloggers. An interesting idea. The award contains the word “scrap”, but I take it anyhow as an honour . ! :-)


35 comments:

Ruth said...

Trains are happy anyway, this station is very happy. Only Paris has so many beautiful structures. As my husband says, It isn't fair!

Bon weekend, Peter.

Shammickite said...

Such a huge contrast between those sleek fast aerodynamic trains and the complicated ornamentation of the station. The fusion of two eras. Lovely. I really like trains.

Therese said...

Quelle merveille Peter! Ah oui vraiment on en découvre avec tes blogs c'est vraiment super!
Mr Bean traveling incognito???
J'aime beaucoup les nez des tgv dans le décor.

richard said...

Wow - that's my kind of station! Le Train Bleu - magnifique! Airport terminals eat your heart out.

Thanks for another must-visit location Peter

Adam said...

"Le Train Bleu" also featured in Luc Besson's 'Nikita', but of course there it ended up as a scene for quite an explosive shoot 'em up!

The tower has an almost identical twin at Limoges station.

This is probably the station that I have used least in my time in Paris. It does have many nice features (as you admirably show), but most of the time you have to wait in quite a soul destroying concrete midway zone between the platforms and the Metro.

hpy said...

Congratulations for the scrap award. If I say that you surely deserve it, will you understand what I really mean?

delphinium said...

Ah Bean c'est ton copain? Il me semblait bien que tu avais quelques-unes de ces manies. Il te déteint dessus. :-)
Moi quand je suis dans les gares, je ne regarde pas forcément partout, je suis stressée car je me dis que je ne dois pas me tromper de train et de quai.

lyliane said...

Tiens j'étais là hier, ma soeur arrivait de Nice, nous sommes allées au Train bleu boire un café,en attendant le coup de fil de quelqu'un, mais ne voyant personne venir, nous avons pris la ligne 14 pour l'autre gare: Saint Lazare.

Virginia said...

Peter,
Oh my, I think this one has just made it's way to my "TO DO" list for this next visit! I had no idea it was so lovely. Thanks for the tour as always.
V

babooshka said...

Grand being the desired word. Exqusite vitual tour of some magnificent architecture.

mkhansen said...

What an elegant place to wait for a train. We are thinking of taking the family for a year in Aix -- I suppose this would be the station we'd use for Paris trips? Then we could try that restaurant.

Starman said...

We had our anniversaire dîner at Le Train Bleu several years ago. Great restaurant and the service was fantastic. I suppose it helped that our waiter loved Key West, Florida as much as we love Paris.

Per Stromsjo said...

Any idea when (or if) Paris will have a Central Station?

claude said...

Je crois que cette gare est la plus belle de Paris. Je me rappelle y avoir pris le train plusieurs fois quand nous étions en partance pour le Berry. Tes photos sont tjrs aussi belles. C'est un vrai régal. Félicitations pour ce nouvel award !

Peter said...

Ruth:
"It isn't fair". Sometimes this is also the feeling I have. Should I feel "guilty" about it? :-)

Shammickite:
I also like trains and the atmosphere in stations. Some stations and trains are nicer than other ones!

Therese:
I imagine that it would be hard for Mr. Bean to travel incognito. He hardly passes without being noticed! :-)

Peter said...

Richard:
So you haven't been to this one? Of course, for Zürich you would rather use Gare de l'Est! :-)

Adam:
You are right about Limoges, another astonishing station with a particular arhitecture!

HPY:
I hope I'm right about what you really think! :-)

Peter said...

Delphinium:
Tu as oublié de me remercier pour Lausanne!:-))

Je te remercie pour Mr. Bean! :-))

Lyliane:
En attendant - en vain - j'espère que vous avez passé un bon moment! :-)

Virginia:
Rendez-vous for the Train Bleu in a couple of months!

Peter said...

Babooshka:
Grand, splendeur... 1900 style is different from today's!

mkhansen:
I confirm. It would be the one!

Starman:
Good that you got good service, but the place is worth a visit already for the "décor"!

Peter said...

Per:
Why should we have one, when we can have several - and nice ones? :-)

Claude:
Tu as peut-être rasion, mais ça se discute...! :-)

Cergie said...

Le award peanut butter n'est pas trop compatible avec le train bleu
;)
J'aime beaucoup le couloir qui mène aux toilettes, très dépaysant : on se croirait dans le transibérien.
Demain je prends le TGV gare de Lyon, c'est une gare que j'aime bien, notre RERA y mène directement en plus.
Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année, Peter, et à l'année prochaine !

Virginia said...

Absolutey, can't wait! Better start buying more memory cards for this one!
V

Michelle said...

Amazing photos! You just don't find places like that over here. I like the picture with Mr. Bean, nice touch. :)

Cuckoo said...

Gare de Lyon is one of my fav. stations. And you have posted such amazing photos that I would not have even imagined.

Per Stromsjo said...

Peter: From an architectural standpoint that is certainly true. A person traveling from Stockholm to Madrid might feel otherwise upon realizing that he'll have to change connections twice just because someone forgot to interconnect the rail lines in Paris... ;)

Peter said...

Cergie:
A l'année prochaine! Tu veux partir par le Transibérien en bonne compagnie?

Virginia:
Memory cards and battery charger! :-)

Michelle:
You have other places to show!

Peter said...

Cuckoo:
Maybe you did not yet have your blogger eyses when you visited the station? :-)

Per:
I understand your point of view. I think it's the question of size also. The Paris station(s) must serve some 10-12 million people.

There used to be an circular rail service, allowing to connect the different stations; now you must use the metro.

The TGV station at the CDG airport allows to connect the north, the south, the east and the west. If not, the problem is perhaps not so much the Stockholm / Madrid passengers, who may be rather few (:-)), but rather the travelling between different French province towns.

Neva said...

Shammickite is right...what a contrast!! the sleek blue looks like it is space age efficient!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wonderful photos and amazing reportage as always you did!
Congratulations on your Award! I will see the Rhi blog, I think it's a great idea to shows photos from other bloggers.

I wish you and your family a Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Peter said...

Neva:
of course the trains were not the same when the station was new! Some steam around!

Sonia:
Thanks for all your kind visits and I wish you the same!

Marie-Noyale said...

J'aime beaucoup les gares ,je ne connais pas bien celle ci malheureusement...
Quel superbe endroit pour se restaurer ce Train bleu!!

Peter said...

Marie-Noyale:
Maybe you know the Grand Central better?

Virginia said...

Peter,
Oh yes! HA ! The battery charger, but also I need to be reminded to do it! :) Three weeks? I must download to the computer every night!!!
V

Maxime said...

Le paradoxe des gares, c'est qu'il ne faut pas avoir de train à prendre pour pouvoir en profiter pleinement !

Peter said...

Virginia:
Battery charger, laptop... yes, a lot to remember!

Maxime:
Des fois on a le temps... des trains retardés!

Nehanshu said...

i saw this on mr bean movie,,,i liked it soo much
i too wanna visit france...