Transit Tuesday: Dusseldorf to Cologne

Say it with me: Hauptbahnhof. What a great word “train station” is in German.

I was recently in Germany for work and I had a free day to pop over to Cologne. Unfortunately, it was Monday and nary a museum was open. But I did enjoy using the excellent Deutsche Bahn (German Railway). There were several options of varying costs and speeds, and while I planned to try the zippy ICE (Intercity Express), the timing just wasn’t right. Next trip.

Cologne train shed. RL Fifield 2012.

I loved the train shed at Cologne. The arcing glass roof appears to date from train station renovations that took place in 1894. I found myself scratching my head often in Germany. Was I looking at a building that survived bombing? Or a good facsimile? The Cologne train station has heavy stone around the base that appear to be from its 1857 incarnation, when the new unified station was plopped on top of the old botanical garden (alas). The main station building is part of blah 1950s post-war rebuilding and and urban redevelopment. And yet, could the 1894 train shed have survived intact, with the exception of some broken glass?

The whispers of announcements under the iron glass swoop beckoned trains flinging you away from this point, belying the perpetual motion of this place. And I complied.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.

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