The longest railway line in Poland starts in Przemyśl, at a railway station of rare beauty. Beauty is clearly a matter of individual perception, but in this case the feeling is usually shared.
The historic railway station was built in 1859 – 1860, and its ceremonial opening took place on 4 November 1860. 35 years later the building was rebuilt in the Neo-Baroque style. At that time the railway certainly became a source of serious economic activity in Przemyśl, which grew to be Galicia's third biggest centre. The station suffered many times during military actions. It underwent several standard repairs in 1922, 1959, 1966 and 1995.
As becomes the gateway to the Bieszczady mountains and the entrance to Poland, in 2010 it was decided that the station deserved a general overhaul. Undoubtedly the impulse was granting Poland and Ukraine the right to organise the Euro 2012 football championship. The aim of the revitalisation was to restore the station's glamour from 100 years before, functionality and beauty worthy of a visit of Emperor Franz Joseph himself. Questionable ornaments and layers of plaster covering the damage caused by the passing of time were removed. The roof and façade were repaired, and the woodwork of the windows and doors was replaced. The floors were tiled with terracotta mosaic. Entering the renewed building it is difficult to resist the impression that soon we will be asked by one of the staff to put on felt slippers. The senses of passengers are seduced by the smell of coffee from the Vienna café, the sight of columns, metal fittings, artificial marble and gilding tempt the eye, and walls are decorated with beautiful paintings and crests by Feliks Wygrzywalski and Jan Talaga, a well-known student of Leon Wyczółkowski. Even wooden chandeliers were renovated, and illuminate old paintings with views of the city.
In this ambiance, reminiscent of a museum and a café, a place was found for special rooms for mothers with children, and also handicapped people will not have problems getting around. There is no shortage of shops, we can stop by a newsagent's, and in a former restaurant exhibitions and vernissages will be organised.
Przemyśl station houses the Polish-Ukrainian railway border crossing for passengers, so a branch of the Ukrainian consulate can be found there. Tourists can also admire the unique underground, reminding one of the times of the fortress.
It is interesting how Przemyśl station was immortalised in literature: the good soldier Schweik, held prisoner in Przemyśl fortress, departed from this beautiful station to Bohemia.