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A railway station like no other!

Posted on January 29, 2017

Ceramics, colours and curved surfaces all over. The fascinating Friedrich Hundertwasser Uelzen railway station. See pictures!

I happened by coincidence to discover Hundertwasser-Bahnhof Uelzen on a sunny day in January 2017.  Acem School of Meditation often uses a retreat center in the village Bad-Bevensen nearby for yearly weekend and week retreats - and we were on our way to the winter version.

   Read about the history of the station below the pictures.

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HISTORY

Germany is a young nation.  It was not united in one country before Bismarck's wars - the Danish-Prussian war 1864, the Austro-Prussian 1866 and the Franco-Prussian war 1871.  As it appears on the map, Germany before WW1 stretched quite far east - and clearly was in need of east-west communications.


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Uelzen station was built in 1847 as part of the Hamburg - Hannover railroad. After Preussen’s annexation of the Kingdom of Hannover in 1866, Uelzen became part of a railway line from Berlin to Wilhelmshafen.  It was often called the Amerika line because many emigrants to America travelled this way.  In Bismarck's time Uelzen was a central junction, but in the 1900's - and especially with the division of West and East Germany after 1945 - several of the lines through Uelzen were closed and it became a station in the periphery.  Until the reunification of West- and East-Germany in 1989 again made the east-west connection interesting.


In its golden era in the late 1800's the station was renovated several times - the latest in Wilhelmian style in 1888.  A hundred years later the station was run-down and a new renovating plan was made.  The station should become "environmentally and culturally oriented".  First step in 1997 was the installment of sun cells on the roof to furnish it with energy.  Then the developmental plans were presented worldwide on Expo 2000 in Hannover.  The focus of the project was the transformation of the building and the platforms following the plans of the Viennese architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser


On November 25, 2000, the new station was ceremoniously dedicated. Since then, it has become a tourist attraction and welcomes over 450,000 visitors every year.


Read more (in German) about Hundertwasser Bahnhof Uelzen.