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Milan Central Station

A view of the façade of the
Station in the afternoon

Milan Central Station (in Italian, Stazione Centrale di Milano or Milano Centrale) is one of the main European train stations. It is a railroad terminus officially inaugurated in 1931 to replace the old (1864) central station, which was a transit station and couldn't stand the new traffic caused by the opening of the Sempione tunnel (1906).

Construction of the station had been already started by April 28, 1906, with the first stone set by the King Victor Emmanuel III, but they didn't even have a real project yet. The last, real, contest for its construction was won by architect Ulisse Stacchini in 1912 and that's when the actual works began.

Because of the Italian economic crisis during World War I, the construction proceeded very slowly, and the project, quite simple at the beginning, kept changing and became more and more complex and majestic. This happened especially when Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister, and wanted the station to represent the power of the fascist regime.

The major changes were the new platform types and the introduction of the great steel canopies by Alberto Fava; 341 metres long and covering an area of 66,500 square metres.

The real works began in 1925 and on July 1, 1931 the Station was officially opened at the presence of Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano.

Its face is 200 metres wide and its vault 72 metres high, a record when it was built. It has 24 platforms. Each day about 320,000 passengers transit by the station, totalling about 120 million per year.

The station has no definite architectual style, but is a blend of many different styles, especially Liberty and Art Deco, but not limited to those.

It has been characterized as one of the most beautiful stations in the world, together with New York's Grand Central Terminal.