Gare d'Austerlitz

The name of Austerlitz recalls the famous battle won by Napoléon in Austria on the 2nd of December 1805, against Austro-Russian armies. It was originally conceived as a railway terminal for the Orléans Company, running its first line here starting with 1840. Consequent extensions took place in 1846 and 1852. Finally, the station as seen today was rebuilt by the architect Pierre-Louis Renaud (1865-1868). Trains depart from this station bound for the South-West of France, Spain and Portugal.

Austerlitz has never had the favours of the Parisians. The administration building screens the platforms and their XIXth century steel and glass roof from sight. Two allegorical statues in antique drapery, by Elias Robert, representing Agriculture and Industry (the one with the locomotive, of course), decorate the façade. The later arrival of the Métro line crosses the station at the same level as the main hall - ie one floor above ground level, and then spans over the Seine river, a few meters from there. The large interior dimensions (52 meters wide by 280 meters long) made it possible for the postal balloons to be built inside during the siege of Paris in 1870.
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@ 2006-10-11 13:50:29