Railway station in Peterhof, St. Petersburg
He is not included in the St. Petersburg guide, he is not shown to tourists as one of the sights of the city, for some reason he is not included in the famous places of St. Petersburg. No, this is not the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and not even the Hermitage, but still at the very first meeting with him, the eyes of the travelers freeze, everything stops, for there is no more magnificent building of such a destination anywhere in the world.
He is the railway station at Peterhof. Since the opening of the regular movement of passenger trains between Peter and Peterhof, it amazed everyone by arriving at the station with its grandeur. The newspaper "Northern Bee" in August 1857 published an essay about the local railway station, which stated that travelers on all the European railways had never seen such a beautiful station built with taste and effect. And not for nothing, because the building appears before travelers in all its beauty and splendor: before their eyes opens the majestic Gothic colonnade, above which stands a beautiful tower, completing the impression.
The building of the railway station itself was built in 1854-57 according to the Benoit project. The landing stage (the central part of the station) was blocked by metal trusses, while the western facade was treated as a four-tiered tower, in all sides of which there were lancet arches intended for the passage of trains. Above them are arranged loggias, supplemented by a Gothic colonnade. Through the walls of the tower, narrow arched windows seemed to be cut, and they were crowned with laced parapets with pinnacles. The tower is directly adjacent to the building, in which there are rooms designed for passengers and staff.
The southern facade of the building is decorated with a three-span portico, leading to a huge hall with pointed vaults, which seem to run into powerful columns supporting them. The northern facade attracts attention with wide lancet openings, which are separated from each other by buttresses.
All elements of the building are Gothic in nature, but such medieval romantic forms are strictly subordinate to its immediate purpose. However, few people know that the railway station in Peterhof was not fully completed. According to the project developed by Benoit, it was envisaged that window and door covers should be cast from cast iron, but in a hurry they were made of wood. But it turns out that this is not all. As early as in 1893, when the architect’s 80th birthday was celebrated, a note appeared in the Builder’s Week newspaper that spiers were not installed on the facades of many parts of the Peterhof station. Benoit, of course, asked the manager of the railway to allocate 1600 rubles to them for their casting, but he, having heard that the spiers would not bring any income at all, refused to the architect. This is how the station in Peterhof remained.
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