Amsterdam Central Railway Station

Architect Pierre Cuypers designed this unique station, which opened in 1889, down to the very last detail. Society at that time was compartmentalised into distinct classes and degrees of rank, with a different social hierarchy. In addition to a royal waiting room, Cuypers also designed the 1e en 2e klas waiting and multifunctional rooms. The third class waiting room in the west wing of the station was designated for ‘commoners’.

Inspired by Late Gothic and Early Renaissance architecture, Cuypers also designed the Rijksmuseum. In the Amsterdam vernacular, the museum was also referred to as the ‘Bishop’s palace’ and the station as the ‘cathedral’.

For the design and interior, the architect opted for giant arched windows and an inspiring array of details. His drawings and colourful designs are packed with symbolic depictions and references to shipping, railway traffic, industry, science and technology.

The facade of the station is adorned with reliefs with allegorical motifs and sculptures,  such as the ‘Amsterdam patroness’ and trading cities connected to Amsterdam by rail.

The station hall features paintings of various occupations, including a peasant woman, teacher, cooper, smith and handmaiden.


The 1e Klas Restaurant
The old 1e klas waiting rooms from 1889

Lavish fin de siècle decorations adorn this unique establishment, designating the location as a ‘hidden gem’ in the striking central railway station, with ornate floral scenes, moralising texts and scenes from narrative tales in the decorative interior.
These give the restaurant a sense of grandeur and elegance.

One example is the fable ‘The Fox and the Stork’ by the author La Fontaine, a tale about greed. Inspired by various stories, artist Georg Sturm designed the original decorations that give the room its characteristic nostalgic atmosphere.

Another example is the two-humped camel visible above the impressive and extensive moulding, not to mention a one-humped camel. Both appeal to guests to honour the virtues of frugality and moderation.

The result is an experience of comfort, style and quality.