Antwerp Station

The necessity of travelling to Antwerp gave me a chance to see the railway station which I have not visited since I first read Austerlitz not long after its first publication in 2000.   It is where the narrator, presumably Sebald himself, first meets Austerlitz, the architectural historian ‘who then, in 1967, appeared almost youthful, with fair, curiously wavy hair of a kind I had seen elsewhere only on the German hero Siegfried in Fritz Lang’s Niebelungen film.   Austerlitz tells Sebald the history of the station:  ‘One of the projects thus initiated by the highest authority in the land was the central station of the metropolis where we were sitting now, said Austerlitz;  designed by Louis Delacenserie, it was inaugurated in the summer of 1905, after ten years of planning and building, in the presence of the King himself’.

It is indeed a magnificent point of arrival:-

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