"A beautiful but misproportioned clock tower" Paris Gare de Lyon Tip by CatherineReichardt

Paris Gare de Lyon, Paris: 2 reviews and 2 photos

  The clock tower, Gare de Lyon
by CatherineReichardt

It's no secret that I adore railways and pretty well everything that goes with them ... so I consider my mission to become a connaisseur of railway stations to be a lifelong 'work in progress'!

Paris is one of my favourite cities for many reasons - not least for the fact that they actually turned one of their railways stations into a world class art museum (Musée d'Orsay) - and the ones that are still in service have a good deal to offer as well! On my most recent visit, I used Gare de Lyon for the first time, and as I approached the station, I was stunned to be confronted by this unexpected but gorgeous clock tower.

Frankly, it looks out of place in Paris, but bear in mind that the Gare de Lyon is the terminus for the Paris-Marseilles line, and the style of the clock tower and the honey coloured stone of the station provide a hint of the southern Provencal locations that it links to. To my very subjective (non architectural) eye, it is out of proportion with the rest of the building, as the clock face is too large for the tower. However, what an absolute cracker of a clockface it is, and criticising the relative proportions seems churlish, like picking fault with a beautiful woman whose features are irregular but add up to a harmonious and distinctive whole that is more arresting than blandly symmetrical beauty!!!

But enough whimsy, and back to some facts. The station was constructed for the World Fair in 1900, and was designed to showcase the potent combination of French design and functionality. The station also incorporates the fabulously exuberant Le Train Bleu restaurant that so effortlessly evokes the unique spirit of La Belle Epoque - well worth a visit even if you haven't got the intent (or the budget) to travel anywhere out of town!

Address: Place Louis Armand, 75571 Paris
Directions: Off Boulevard Diderot.
Phone: +33 892 35 35 35
Website: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frply/paris-gare-lyon

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 7, 2013
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