|The ambition of the Austrian Northwestern Railway (ÖNWB) company was to connect Wienna and Berlin via Znojmo, Havlíčkův Brod, Kolín, Nymburk, Mladá Boleslav and Děčín. Most of this particular line is now off the main railway lines. The former side track, on the other hand, the so-called Polabská track – connecting Numburk, Lysá nad Labem, Mělník, Střekov (Ústí nad Labem) and Děčín – has become an important freight transport artery.
The original Poděbrady station building from 1870 corresponded with the Austrian Northwestern Railway standards (i.e. a IIIB category two-story building). It was remodeled for residential purposes following the construction of a new dispatch building and has been preserved, including the secondary function, until today. In 1919 extensive construction of the Poděbrady spa was launched and the urban design included a new location for the dispatch building. The central part of the new spa town was a vast park square, reaching from the historical center as far as the railway route. Because the first designs of the new building dating back to 1924 did not meet the expectations of the town officials, the ministry of railway commissioned the project to an architect Vojtěch Krch (1892–1966), working in the ministry’s civil engineering department between 1919 and 1920. His project, as designed in 1928, was implemented in 1929–1931 by the Pardubice company of A. Kratochvíl and Ing. J. Veselý. Vojtěch Krch also designed the railway station buildings in Hněvice u Štětí (1919–1922), Česká Třebová (1920–1924), Štrba, Slovakia (1928) and Roudnice nad Labem (1930–1932) and the Czechoslovak State Railways directorate situated in Olomouc (1926).
The Poděbrady railway station building no. 210/17 consists of a reinforced concrete structure with brickwork. It is characterized by a sophisticated composition and an emphasis on the clarity of operation. The volumes of the individual sections correspond with the inner functional layout. The basis is a monumental two-story terminal with original benches and signs. Connected to the east is a three-story residential house no. 1455 with employee flats and offices on the ground floor, and a smaller restaurant building with a glass semi-circular apse to the west, situated on the ax of a longitudinal park square. Prominent architectural features are the horizontal strip windows of the terminal side naves and shelters above the entrances and the platform. The entrance to the hall is decorated with a granite relief of the Czechoslovak state emblem by Karel Štipl (1889–1972). A bronze statue, “Railway Electrification”, by Jan Kodet (1910–1974) is installed in the hall interior, and the windows were decorated with paintings by Rudolf Gajdoš (1908–1975) later. Vojtěch Krch’s railway station in Poděbrady is an outstanding example of Czechoslovak functionalism in architecture and it is one of the first functionalist railway stations in the country. It has also become an important building of the whole modern spa town architectural ensemble. The Poděbrady railway station building has been heritage-protected since 2010.
Poděbrady Railway Station