Bologna Central Station
Bologna Centrale is a railway station in Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It is at the southern end of the Milan-Bologna high-speed line
Milan–Bologna high-speed railway line
The Milan–Bologna high-speed railway is a railway line that links the cities of Milan and Bologna, part of the Italian high-speed rail network. It runs parallel to the historical north-south railway between Milan and Bologna, which itself follows the ancient Roman Road, the Via Aemilia. The new...

, which opened on 13 December 2008 and the northern end of the Bologna–Florence Direttissima
Bologna–Florence railway line
The Bologna–Florence railway is one of the major links in the Italian rail network, connecting the railways of the Po Valley with the railways of Tuscany and central Italy under the Apennines. It is also known as the Bologna–Florence Direttissima—"direttissima" is Italian for "most direct". It was...

, opened on 22 April 1934. A new high-speed line to Florence opened on 13 December 2009.


The first Bologna Centrale station was constructed in 1859; however, there are sketchy and unclear testimonies regarding its history. A new station was built twelve years later on the same grounds.

The station as we know it today was designed and built by architect Gaetano Ratti, who had trained in the local Clementine Academy. Inspired by the neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 style, its distinctive 15th century façade opens in nine entrance doors. The main passenger building
Station building
A station building, also known as a head house, is the main building of a passenger train station. It is typically used principally to provide services to passengers.A station building is not to be confused with the station itself...

 is reminiscent of renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 Florentine architecture. Until the 1940s it was topped by a clock tower with marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 pillars, but the tower was damaged by bombing in World War II and was not rebuilt.

The original design called for a rectangular shaped two-faced building, with a marble external façade and steel internal one. Subsequent extension works, such as the 1926 building of the westbound platforms, shaped the station into the “L” form typical of expanded transit stations. Later, the introduction of new platforms on the eastern half (1934) brought another change to the station's configuration.

Current station

Today, Bologna Central Station is the fifth-busiest in Italy in terms of passenger movements (about 58,000,000 passengers per year). It is, however, one of the busiest when measured by train traffic, being tied with Rome Termini Station for the number of trains per day (about 800) because it is the principal railway junction of Italy.

A new three-level railway station for high-speed trains, 642 metres long and 56 metres wide, is being built under the current station to a design by Arata Isozaki
Arata Isozaki
Arata Isozaki is a Japanese architect from Ōita. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1954. Isozaki worked under Kenzo Tange before establishing his own firm in 1963. He was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986.In 2005, Arata Isozaki founded the Italian branch of his office: Arata Isozaki &...

, with parking at 7 metres below the surface, a shopping arcade at 15 m below and four high-speed train platforms at 23 m below. In July 2008 Arata Isozaki & Associates, Ove Arup & Partners
Arup is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom which provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. The firm is present in Africa, the Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Europe and the...

 and M + T & Partners won a competition to design the station. It is expected to be completed in 2014 at a cost of €340 million.

Terrorism: The Bologna massacre

On 2 August 1980 at 10.25 am, an improvised explosive device
Improvised explosive device
An improvised explosive device , also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action...

 (IED) made with 20 kilograms of a TNT mixture was detonated inside Bologna's main railway station. The IED was contained in a suitcase, which was placed near the wall inside a waiting lobby. The explosion killed 85 people and injured more than 200. The wing of the station in which the bomb was detonated has been reconstructed but, as a testimony to the victims of the attack, the original pavement was maintained as well as a deep crack in the main wall. Moreover, the station main clock is forever stopped at the exact time of the explosion. The attack is also known in Italy as the Strage di Bologna, the Bologna massacre
Bologna massacre
The Bologna massacre was a terrorist bombing of the Central Station at Bologna, Italy, on the morning of Saturday, 2 August 1980, which killed 85 people and wounded more than 200. The attack has been materially attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari...


The Italian government immediately accused the Italian leftist militant group Red Brigades
Red Brigades
The Red Brigades was a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organisation, based in Italy, which was responsible for numerous violent incidents, assassinations, and robberies during the so-called "Years of Lead"...

 for the attack; however this was denied by the group, and no one ever claimed responsibility. Over the years, official investigation has determined that the attack was carried out by a small neo-fascist
Neo-fascism is a post–World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. The term neo-fascist may apply to groups that express a specific admiration for Benito Mussolini and Italian Fascism or any other fascist leader/state...

 group. Many conspiracy theories regarding this event have been entertained, including a link between this act of terrorism and the Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870
Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870
Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870, also known in the Italian media as the Ustica Massacre , was an Italian flight which crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea while en route from Bologna, Italy, to Palermo, Italy, in 1980. The crash has been attributed to either a terrorist bomb or to an air-to-air missile...


See also

  • History of rail transport in Italy
  • List of railway stations in Emilia-Romagna
  • Rail transport in Italy
    Rail transport in Italy
    The Italian railway system is one of the most important infrastructure in the country, with a total length of . The network is recently growing with the construction of the new high speed rail network....

  • Railway stations in Italy
    Railway stations in Italy
    Railway stations in Italy are maintained and operated by the RFI division of Ferrovie dello Stato Group. A minor part of them is operated by private and regional companies, conceded by the state.-Classification:...

  • 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks
  • List of terrorist incidents

External links

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