The Gare de Lyon is one of the biggest railway stations in Paris, just after the Gare du Nord and Gare de l’est. The station got its named after the French city Lyon, which is an important stop for many trains departing from the Gare de Lyon. But, this railway station is also a departure station for many high-speed trains going to the south of France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. Inaugurated for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the Gare de Lyon is a place where you can have a drink or a dinner in the most emblematic Parisian restaurant – The Train Bleu.
Built in 1855, the Parisian railway station Gare de Lyon was completely burnt during the Paris Commune in 1871. The station was rebuilt identically, but a little bit later, it was completely changed for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. Marius Toudoire, a French architect, designed the new building of the Gare de Lyon with an incredible facade and a 67 meters high tower-clock. This tower-clock is a classic example of the architecture of that time, so it is no wonder that it is very similar to Big Ben, the Great Bell of the clock of the Palace of Westminster in London. At the same time, in 1900, the Gare de Lyon got its large fresco, a long mural made by Jean-Baptiste Olive. This mural represents the main destinations accessible by train from this station. During 1980, the creation of eleven new images and the renovation of the old ones were given to Jean-Paul Letellier. A hall with large fresco, as well as the facade and roof of the main building of the Gare de Lyon, have been listed as French historical monuments since December 1984.
The Gare de Lyon is also a place where you can find the most emblematic restaurant in the City of Lights - Le Train Bleu (the Blue Train). Created especially for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, this restaurant has several dining rooms, and each of them is decorated by the paintings representing different cities and regions in France, made by some very famous artists. This restaurant was at first called "Buffet de la Gare de Lyon", but it was renamed "Le Train Bleu" in 1963, in honor of the luxury French night express train which operated from 1886 to 2003 connecting Calais and the French Riviera. The Train Blue was listed as a French historical monument in 1972.
The Parisian railway stations were often used as a movie set, and the Gare de Lyon is not an exception. One of the business railway stations in Paris was a decor in many movies and TV series. Let us name just some of them: “Mr Beans’s Holiday” from 2007, directed by Steve Bendelack and “The Tourist”, a movie from 2010, featuring Jonny Depp and Angelia Jolie.
Cover Photo Credit © iStockPhoto/manjik
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