Twenty-five artists are working to restore the facade of Plovdiv Central Railway Station, restoring the glory to the work of a building designed by Italian architect Mariano Pernigoni – and which has not been renovated since its construction a century ago.
The artistic work is scheduled to continue for five months, according to a report on August 31 by Plovdiv Bulgarian-language news website podtepeto.com.
The young restorers in the team, which is headed by Thomas Zikowsky, said that the feeling of working on something so perfect was an exclusive privilege.
Before the renovation project began, Plovdiv railway station was in poor condition.
The facade adds to 3000 sq m. Over the years, there have been small, piecemeal repairs, and some paintwork.
“We have removed many layers of different paint, using sandblasting, and are working directly on the original. Everything will be completely authentic,” Zikowsky said.
“This is the most beautiful railway station in Bulgaria, made in the Austrian style. There is no similar building made for such use,” according to Zikowsky, who is technical manager of the Nikolai OM Company of Sofia. The firm is carrying out the restoration on contract with the concession-holder of Plovdiv railway station.
The restoration is being done using high-quality materials. Interestingly, all the hundreds of artistic elements on the facades are made of natural limestone stone, once imported also from Austria. For the artists, this is most delicate work. Decorative elements are lightly tinted to look as authentic as possible.
The southern façade from the station platform is now almost complete. It is being done in a creamy color, as will the whole building.
The old platform covering has been dismantled and a beautiful Viennese cast-iron structure built in its place, of the kind that Plovdiv railway station had at its construction in the beginning of the last century.
Passengers will be waiting for the trains under a wooden cover. And they will be able to the check the time until their train comes by the original Bretagne station clock. And if they need to, they can see how many metres above sea level the station is, from the original sign at the entrance to the waiting room, now exposed by the restorers.
The only gap in authenticity in the repair and restoration project is the installation of brown PVC window frames. The originals could not be re-used because they had become too distorted.