“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”
Until today, I don’t think I had seen this iconic poem in full since high school. It’s relevance to life and, as a certain holistic detective would say, the interconnectedness of all things, seemed fitting for today’s entry for the Faces of New York, Old Amsterdam Take 3. You see, Amsterdam’s Centraal Station is, in fact, on an island. So while no man is and island, entire of itself, Centraal Station covers an island and is entire of itself. And, according to the official site, this year a major transit portal serving more than 330,000 passengers per day.
The outside of this station, opened to the public in 1889, is garnished with plaques, gutter-spout grotesques, statuary, small busts and, in one section, gargoyles. Think about it, 300,000 lives potentially better off for all that amazing architecture they get to share in every day! The terminal is also one of the stops for the train to Schiphol International Airport (AMS), so at least some of those transiting the station are going to be tourists arriving in Holland for the first time. What better entree to a country than fine neoclassical architecture. I spent quite a while shooting here, but have included some other travelog photos from around the city. I hope you have enjoyed this summer’s foray into Dutch architecture, and thank you again for stopping by.