Historic stations

Francia Station (Barcelona)

Andrés Coret Maristany was the person who inspired and promoted the Barcelona-Terminal or Francia station, since Barcelona had not enjoyed the benefit of a railway terminal in 1988 on a par with its Universal Exposition. There is an illustration in the old terminal depicting the arrival of the mayor Rius i Taulet after obtaining permission from Parliament to organise it. Add to this the pride, the great desire of public opinion in the Ensanche district of Barcelona, intoxicated with material and cultural success, and the keen sense of honour of the MZA (Madrid-Zaragoza-Alicante railway company) itself, which lagged behind other capitals with respect to the “flagships” that these big stations are.

But even with the decision having been taken by MZA to build the "Monument", as some referred to it, negotiations about its location between the company and the council were tense and prolonged. The idea gained force with the attempt to hold an International Exposition in1915 and although the First World War upset the schedule, it was finally carried out in 1929. The hurry to get it ready in time, made even more acute by the need from municipal requests to explain volumes and urban alignments, caused the work to become a real race against time, finally being put out to tender to the Madrid architect Pedro Muguruza Otaño. The Francia Station in Barcelona is now valued as one of the great assets of civil architecture in Barcelona (1883- 1952). Its architect would later be the main designer of the Valle de los Caídos project in Madrid.