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 . ! :-)