Upon visiting the train station of San Bento, we confirm why it is considered by many as the most beautiful in Europe and even the World.
Located in the Plaza de Almeida Garrett in the city of Porto or “Oporto” in Portugal, the station of San Bento which is best known for its tile panels, is an important urban and regional transportation hub.
Although railroad transport began in 1896, it was not until 1916 that construction was completed and this station was inaugurated as we know it today. The building was originally an old Benedictine convent.
Built with a very strong French influence, it is the work of the architect Jose Marques da Silva. The lobby of the station is impressive. It is lined with 20,000 ceramic tiles, painted in blue with moldings that evoke the tiles of the eighteenth century. These panels cover an area of 551 square meters and present us with several important historical events for the North of Portugal. Among the works that we find in the station of San Bento are those alluding to the Battle of Valdevez and the Conquest of Ceuta in 1415, among others.
These panels were made by the painter Jorge Rey Colaço (1868 – 1942), who worked for the Fábrica Sacavém, a renowned manufacturer of ceramic products. In addition to his works at the railway station of San Bento, Jorge Rey Colaço is the author of the tiles that decorate the exteriors of the Churches of Santo Idelfonso and of the Congregados (just in front of the train station) in Porto. In Portugal there are his works in Lisbon, Beja and Évora. And we can not only enjoy his works in Portugal, but also at Windsor Palace in England, as well as Buenos Aires, Cuba, San Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and even in Uruguay!