What was the most interesting train station you have been to?
The São Bento Railway Station was a lot more than just a train stop. It has so much historical importance. We went on a walking tour in Porto, Portugal and this was one of the most interesting places. The elaborate tile work in the main entryway tells the history of Portugal. They built the station on the site of an old convent; the Benedictine Convent of São Bento. São Bento translates to Saint Benedict in English.
The azulejos tiles there represent various wars, conquests, and royalty. The more notable displays include the Battel of Valdevez (1140) and the Conquest of Ceuta (1415). There is even a display showing the progression of regional transportation history from horses to trains. These are all on the top banner, and you can walk it from start to finish. We spent a lot of time interpreting these scenes as we listened to various tour guides explaining the history. It is fascinating!
The station is the terminus for all suburban trains and the scenic and historical Douro line. National train lines from Lisbon and other areas will also end here.
There is a legend that the ghost of the last nun of the former convent still walks through the station, and people can hear her prayers in the quietest hours.
This station is definitely a tourist attraction as many tour groups frequent it throughout the day. We enjoyed listening to other groups tell the stories of the station and the history of Portugal on its walls.
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