Featured Image Source: lucianf, Under Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucianf/4106450803/
At the old colonial heart of Maputo, right up against the Indian ocean lies the central train station of Maputo. It’s mint green, exquisite Portuguese colonial architecture stands out like a little gem next to the port.
The station is a classic example of colonial architecture and ranks as one of the prettiest stations in the world according to Fodors Travel and one can easily see why. The building is made up of one central hall with a Gustave Eiffelesque dome as its crowning jewel. On each side of the central hall is a narrower hallway which leads to a smaller corner building.
The building’s exterior is painted white and mint green and its roof is covered in metal tiles in an almost Parisian style. The colours fit in perfectly with the dotted green trees and dark rainy clouds that often cover the city.
It’s small elaborately decorated clock, with its stained light blue glass clock face, sits above the main entrance. Surrounding the clock is a beautifully carved frame. This encircles the clock face giving it, even more, stature and allure. On top of the dome stands a globe made up of metal strips.
The grand marble arches, emerald green corridor and grand doors give the impression of Versailles and not a small train station. The beautifully detailed roof, with its elaborate designs with organic flowers and leaves adorning the roof. It’s a fitting corridor for a station so grand.
Once you’ve bought your tickets and you walk to towards the platform the real structural beauty of the station is revealed. The bolted pig iron curved trusses and embroidered looking sheets of metal to fill the gaps. This station like most 19th and 20th century stations follows the idea that there should be a classical front facade and a modern structural station behind.
Maputo’s train station is a great example of colonial architecture in its highest form. Finished in 1916 and designed by Alfredo Augusto Lisbon, Mario Veiga and Ferreira da Costa. The station is a fine example of form and function coming together. From its colour to details it is a masterpiece of design.