When I told my Belgian friend Johan that my sister Constance and I would be staying in the hotel across from the Guillemins train station, he said, “You will see the most amazing train station in Belgium.”  Guillemins was near the historic heart of Liege.

I was looking forward to seeing something old and elegant, like Grand Central Station in New York.  It was not at all what I expected.

We arrived in the afternoon.  Sunlight streamed in through skylights, highlighting an amazing structure of steel, glass, and white concrete.

Our eyes were drawn by graceful lines and patterns inside and out.

It was like beaming into our own episode of Star Trek.

After a wonderful visit with our dear friends, we had to catch a very early train out of Liege.

Sleepy-eyed, we left our warm beds to board the 5:30AM train to Paris.

One glimpse of the station lighting up the darkness was enough to stir our senses and wake us up.

Night or day, Guillemins is an inspiration.

A work of art.

True, it was not what we expected.

No stained glass.

No iron grillwork

No weathered stone that echoed with footsteps from the past.

Life is a blend of new and old.  We treasure tradition, but new and unexpected can be a good thing too.

And the trains still run on time.

All images and words copyright Naomi Baltuck
Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns.
Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Through.



  1. A fantastic set of architectural shots.

    1. Thank you! With that kind of a setting, it is very easy to find a nice shot. I appreciate your visit, and your taking the time to comment.

  2. Beautifully taken pictures. The angles of the shots give a wonderful sense of perspective. I agree it’s like something from Star Trek, and, funnily enough, I’m often saying to my family that I’d travel more if I could teleport everywhere. Was looking for the teleportation pad, but couldn’t find it in your photos! 😉

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thank you. Oh, I’d love a teleporter. The older I get the less I enjoy the red eye flights required to get to Europe. Still, it’s worth it.
      Thanks so much for the visit!

  3. Ruth says:

    Wow is that cool or what? Love #6 although they are all perfect for the challenge.
    What an experience

    1. Thank you, Ruth. I like #6 too. I’m always curious to learn what a person’s favorite is. Thanks for the visit, and taking the time to share your response.

  4. Beautiful AND practical! Great combo. Love the photos.

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Amazing, Naomi. The station and the photography!

    1. Hi Marion,
      Thank you for the visit, and for sharing your response. So good to hear from you!

  6. bulldog says:

    This looks an architectural marvel… so well capture by you… beautiful…

    1. Thank you! It is marvelous to behold. I appreciate your visit.

  7. mightwar says:

    What a wonderful space. It’s the kind of place that I would have to arrive early just to have time to wander around and explore before catching the train.

    1. We had about half an hour before our train left, and got to look around. It was very different at night than it was during the daytime, but it was always a visual feast. Thanks so much for visiting, and for taking the time to comment.

  8. Lynne Ayers says:

    #13 and #15 struck me the most but this architect definitely had a vision. Less like a train station and more like a work of art.

    1. Hi Lynne,
      It was definitely a work of art! Everywhere you look, the lines are meant to create patterns that draw the eyes in.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I always love to know which photos are favorites.

  9. Wow, that’s pretty stunning, I wonder how it will look in 100 years time?

    1. Now that is an interesting question that would never have occurred to me! Who knows what kind of designs will come along and make this one look quaint and antiquated!
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts.

  10. viveka says:

    Fantastic entry … I love urban photos at times .. and this one of them. Love the angle of yours – my favorite is the second last … it has a 3D feeling over it and it sucks me down the stairs. Amazing building. Old historical town with a futuristic building. Excellent job, Naomi.

  11. Carol says:

    “Life is a blend of new and old” – so very true. A bit poignant, don’t you think? Or is that my mood showing through?


    1. Hi Carol,
      Thanks so much for the visit. It is so true. One can’t hold back the tide, but we can have the life jackets and lifeboats at the ready until things grow calm once again.
      I appreciate your visit, and taking the time to share your thoughts.

  12. Wow – I’ve never seen a train station like that. Wonderful photos.

    1. Hi Cathryn,
      This one sure catches the eye, doesn’t it? Thanks so much for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment.

  13. kathy says:

    Wow, what an amazing building! I’m glad you were there to see it in person, and were kind enough to post photos for the rest of us. I love it when we stumble across something so unexpected and beautiful – it reminds me that life is a wonderful journey, and I should continue to pay attention!
    Thanks for sharing these.

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to comment. I look forward to seeing you soon!

  14. Amy says:

    Fabulous images of the train station! What a amazing architecture design! Well done for both themes, Naomi!

    1. Thanks, Amy. This one was fun, and so easy. Patterns and lines just jumped out at me. I appreciate the visit.

  15. restlessjo says:

    New and old, Naomi- it’s about finding the best of both, and you’ve done a great job on presenting modern to us today. What a fantastic station! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jo! This was a lucky find. I appreciate your stopping by, and sharing your thoughts.

  16. These are breathtaking, Naomi. Sometimes it’s difficult to grasp how something so intricate has been made by man. Unbelievable architecture. 🙂

    1. Hi Tess,
      That is so true. It really was awesome to see what looked like sculpture on a grand scale serving such a useful purpose so well.
      Thank you for sharing your generous response.

  17. That’s an impressive piece of architecture

    1. Hi Dallas,
      It was amazing. However many people were there, it never felt crowded, and everywhere we turned we saw something that pulled our eyes right in. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  18. adinparadise says:

    I think this challenge was created with you in mind, Naomi. You really nailed it. 🙂 Fabulous pics of this awesome structure.

    1. Thank you, Sylvia! This one was particularly fun and easy.
      I appreciate the visit, and your taking the time to comment.

  19. gkm2011 says:

    Beautiful photos. It’s all about owning the experience!

    1. Thank you for the visit. I love your concept of owning the experience!

  20. Love the raw physical element of the design.

    1. Thank you, Charlie. That’s a great description.
      Thanks for stopping by, and sharing your thoughts.

  21. Jamie Dedes says:

    Oh my goodness. What a surprise. What light and energy. Wonderful.

    1. Light and energy is a perfect description for you, Jamie. Thank you for the visit, and for sharing your response.

  22. 4amWriter says:

    Very cool. I’d never guess it was a train station at first glance.

    1. It sure caught me by surprise. Thanks so much for the visit!

    1. Thank you! So good of you to stop by.

  23. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    Gorgeous collection and clever interpretation- as usual Naomi

    1. Thank you, Laura, for your kind words and encouragement. It is always good to hear from you!

  24. Maureen Kay says:

    These photos are stunning. Oh, to have train stations this beautiful in the US.

    1. Loved your response to the photo challenge. Thanks for the pingback!

  25. Johan lebichot says:

    Wouaw Naomi!
    It looks even more beautifull than in the reality! What a sense of photography!
    Thank you again for your visit!

    1. Dear Johan,
      It was a gift to be able to spend time with you and Anita and Arthur. Thank you for taking us to places we had only seen in dusty photographs or heard about in old letters. The story continues!
      Love to you all,

  26. pattisj says:

    I agree with your reference to Star Trek. I expected The Enterprise to pick you up.

    1. Star Trek, yes! I’d love to come back with the kids, a few costumes, and a video camera. What a kick it would be to film a homemade sci-fi short there.
      Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to comment.

  27. How beautiful!!! Liege is one of the cities I have yet to visit in Belgium. I keep meaning to; I love Liege waffles. 😉 I’ll have to bump this up on my list of places to explore.

    1. Hi Juliann,
      Thanks for the visit. Railway stations aside, when you go to Belgium, I hope you can visit Brugge too, which is like stepping back in time.

  28. reocochran says:

    This was a fascinating post and really unique photographs of the train station in Belgium. You are blessed to have been there, along with the rest of the sights you must have seen! I admired your shots and angles. It is indeed a futuristic station! Meant for other worldly transportation! Also, thank you for the wonderful comments on my post. I appreciated them more than you will ever know!

    1. Thank you, Robin. It was unique. I appreciate your taking the time to visit, and share your thoughts.

  29. frizztext says:

    I like your description:
    “Sleepy-eyed, we left our warm beds
    to board the 5:30AM train to Paris…”
    = much future in this …

    1. I love the way you share your response, including your favorite passages. Thanks so much for your visit, and for your thoughtful comments.

  30. ShimonZ says:

    Enjoyed the beautiful pictures of this very impressive train station. Yes, it’s only natural for the old to make way for the new at times, and very encouraging now and then to see new that has something to add to the aesthetics of our environment… and doesn’t just want to be different.

    1. Dear Shimon,

      I know what you mean about change just for the sake of being different. We have a building at the Seattle Center–the Experience Music Project–that some people love because it is so wildly different, but to me it looks like the architect was making it up as he went along, or perhaps an art project a child might make with random scrounged materials.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for your thoughtful response.

  31. Looks like the Enterprise might dock at any time…what a station!

  32. reocochran says:

    Naomi, I listed your blog on my recent post, “Where Do You Find Your Friends and Neighbors?” I felt your blog has always been superb and there is a trio of award nominations that were given to me, if you feel to pick up a nomination is “up your alley” you may visit there. I am sorry, I am horrible at posting pics or clip art and am not very “timely” in my acceptance of nominations, either! Take care, Robin

    1. Hi Robin,
      That is really kind of you, and I feel honored.

  33. Kev says:

    Wow! It looks absolutely amazing!

    1. Thank you, Kev. It is a bit of a surprise, rising as it does, out of the historic old town, but it creates a space of its own.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to comment.

  34. Unusual architecture that is very artistic … love the photos.

    1. Thank you, Izzy. I love art that is functional, and felt that the train station was a perfect example of that.

  35. Exciting lines, patterns, forms and yes, architectural greatness! Felt like joined you marveling each and every angle of this place. Thanks.

    1. Dear Island Traveler,
      It was really like nowhere I have been before, and it is a pleasure to be able to share it. Thank you so much for coming along!

  36. Madhu says:

    That looks so state of the art Naomi! Superb shots and perfect for the challenge.

    1. Thank you, Madhu. It’s great to hear from you.

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