Matrei Station, Tirol, Austria
Building Image
 
      This is the train station (Bahnhof) in the town of Matrei, in the Land of Tirol, in Austria. Matrei is nestled in the valley of the Sill River, the valley up which one goes from Innsbruck to the Brenner Pass, the principal pass from Germany and Austria to Italy. Thus the train tracks in the foreground, and the autobahn visible as a white stripe in the upper left background, are highly strategic arteries for European travel, and trains race by this station each day on their way from all of northern Europe to sunny Italy, and back.

      The station is typical of the traditional Austrian train stations in smaller towns: built of stone, with framed windows and corners, with gables facing up and down the track, and with flower boxes to enliven an otherwise attractive but foreboding visage. Matrei's station is also representative of its region, in that it is built of gneiss (see below). The Sill Valley cuts through the metamorphic Alps, and so it's only appropriate that stations along the Sill Valley be built of metamorphic rock. Note how little mortar there is between the blocks. With typical Austrian neatness and economy, the blocks were cut to exact dimensions and so fit together remarkably well, yielding a tight fit with little mortar between the blocks.

 
Stone Image

 


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