São Bento railway station is one of the main tourist attractions in Porto. Situated in the city historical centre it stands on what once Benedictine convent which was destroyed by fire in 1793. In 1900 King Carlos I marked the rebuild of the station. São Bento was completed and inaugurated in 1916. Its architect José Marques da Silva built this building in the French Beaux-Arts style.
The reason tourists visit São Bento is the main hall. It is decorated with approximately 20.000 blue tiles called azulejos. Azulejos are visible in the city, more of this in another post.
The azulejos in São Bento depicts history of Portugal and of transport in particular. Famous azulejos painter Jorge Colaço created these massive and dazzling blue panels. I don’t how the main hall looks like in the winter but when I was there last week, it was bathed in light. What a spectacular craft!
Other parts of the tile panel are in various colours, like this one.
Amidst the overwhelming tiles, one could almost forget that São Bento is a railway station. So I decided to take pictures of the platforms.
Take a look at the vintage station clock. Beautiful, right?
Beside the railway station, São Bento is a metro stop as well. To access this you need to go outside the station and descend it. Metro do Porto is quite new compared to other European cities. I love the fresh greenish blueish tone of the tiles and the font in each station. They look crisp, clean and sophisticated.
São Bento is one of the most splendid railway stations I have ever been. It is definitely worth a visit.
More Porto travel stories are coming up. Stay tuned!