Haarlem Shuffle
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Central Railway Station

Haarlem station

Art Nouveau details abound

'Haarlem Centraal' is the only Art Nouveau-style train station in Holland. Its unique early 20th century atmosphere has not been lost on some international film directors, who have used it as a backdrop for period scenes in their films.

The station, situated a couple of hundred metres north of the town's main square, is a listed building. A quick study of the restaurant and waiting rooms on the central platforms shows why. Their wonderful wood carvings and elegant stonework evoke a different age, with different waiting rooms for each class, for women and even for the insane!

The original station dates from 1839 and was a temporary affair built outside town for the first rail service in Holland between Amsterdam and Haarlem. The present-day building was built in three stages: the oldest is the entrance hall with its marvellous tiling work; a later extension, intended as the station exit, covers most of the platforms with its robust iron supports; and lastly, the early 20th century waiting rooms and restaurant on the middle platforms, so beloved of the film directors!