In our 82nd Newsletter, we presented the Canfranc train station, located at an altitude of 1,200 meters and a true masterpiece of industrial architecture of 200,000 m2, in the heart of the Pyrenees. This "Titanic of the mountains", 241 meters long, with 150 access doors and more than 350 windows, is the work of the engineer from Alicante, Fernando Ramirez Dampierre, who wanted to connect France and Canfranc (junction between Pau and Zaragoza). Despite a complex and hostile environment (avalanches and landslides), it was inaugurated in 1928, but unfortunately, this station of impressive dimensions (as large as the Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris), a real construction feat, never met with the expected success and closed in 1970.
But the story does not end there. At first, a reopening of the Pau-Canfranc-Saragossa line is launched, accompanied by a complete renovation of the station, wishing to become the place impossible to circumvent of Pyrenean tourism. It will be inaugurated on April 15, 2021. A second renovation project is initiated in 2020, aiming to transform part of the station into a 5-star luxury hotel, in an Art Deco style. This crazy and ambitious project initiated by the Ingennus Agency, shows a real will to pay tribute to this unique place, to its so particular history. In our previous newsletter, we presented the inspirations and construction elements present in this hotel, with an opening date set for the end of 2022.
It is now time for us to tell you about the end of this project. This palace will belong to the Barceló hotel group (second largest hotel group in Spain), under its premium brand Royal Hideaway Hotels & Resorts. The objective was to maintain the cachet and cultural heritage of the place while bringing a wave of modernity of high quality. The hotel will have 104 rooms, including 4 suites, with two carriages converted into a restaurant in 20th century style. The Barceló Group has reached an agreement with the duo of chefs Eduardo Salanova and Ana Acin, experts in Aragonese cuisine, to take charge of the hotel's gastronomic pole. The architecture and interior design were entrusted to the interior design studio Ilmiodesign. The hotel group stated in a press release that "the aesthetics of the old train stations and the luxurious long-distance trains of the early 20th century, with their private carriagescentury with its private carriages and representative elements, but adapting it to its characteristic style and bringing a contemporary touch".
The hotel aims to become a major attraction for luxury tourism in the region. Its inauguration is scheduled for January 24, 2023.
Photo credit: ilmio.design