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Old Railway Station

OLD RAILWAY STATION

The coming of the railway to Almeria is linked to the extraction of iron ore from the mountains inland. A economical means of transport was needed to deliver the mineral from the mines of Alquife and from the Sierra de los Filabres to the Port of Almeria.

The land for the station was acquired in 1880 and construction began by the, Compañía de los Caminos de Hierro del Sur de España, in 1890 and was completed in 1893 although the inauguration ceremony did not happen until the 23rd July 1895 so as to celebrate the line from  Guadix to Almeria. The complete line to Linares was inaugurated on 14th March 1899, allowing the connection of Almeria with the rest of Spain.

The main station façade resembles the model of a pavilion with three bodies, the central and main one being built with the two symbolic materials of the new architecture: iron and glass. A huge stained glass window was created at the entrance to the building as a monumental portico. On the sides of the station building stone and brick are used, lined with glazed ceramic.

The central building of the station is a beautiful example of the iron architecture, characteristic of the industrial and functional buildings of the second half of the nineteenth century. Iron would prevail over traditional materials (stone and brick) due to its consistency to withstand large loads and cover large spaces. The glass, for closing walls and roofs, was very appropriate to obtain light and close diaphanous constructions. Inside, the grands station clock was manufactured by Paul Garnier.

During the Spanish Civil War, a Nazi bombing in support of General Franco destroyed the glass frontage, the clock and the steel balustrade. The balustrade was replaced in 1970 by another one in brick. This was removed during the rehabilitation works of 2017 and substituted with another closer to the original.

In 1984 a pedestrian bridge was constructed to link the station area and the town's coastal district which had been separated for years by the railway line. It was popularly known as the red bridge. During reforms in 1988-1991 an entrance to an air raid shelter was discovered underneath.

The process to declare the station building a Site of Cultural Interest began in 1985 and has not yet been completed. It ceased to be used as a train station in 2005 (new station is next door) and remained closed until 2019. Restoration work is underway for it to become a cultural space and function hall. The popular ‘red bridge’ is to be painted white.

Located on Avenida de la Estación.

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