The stations dotted along the Venosta Valley line make up a unique series of cultural monuments. These stations underwent major refurbishment work, which restored them to their original beauty. This major effort was conducted in conjunction with the Provincial Superintendent’s Office for Fine Arts.
The stations in the Venosta Valley were built in 1906 following several modular criteria put forward by architect Willhelm Ritter von Flattich. While differing in size and configuration, these buildings share a variety of common traits. There is a homogeneity to all station buildings along the railway line. Indeed, modular architecture was very popular in railway buildings under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Brennero and Pusteria Valley are regarded as a single architectural entity. However, many stations in Austria were modernised and underwent significant changes in the 1960s and 1970s. Ironically, south of the Alps the lack of funds actually ensured that railway buildings remained more or less unchanged.
Restoration work carried out on the Venosta Valley railway buildings brought these masterpieces of industrial architecture back to life. Annexes added at later stages were demolished (Malles station), while doors and windows were all put back where they were originally. Facades were painted in their original colours, namely the typical shades of red and green we also see on buildings in Glorenza, for instance. Conservation work was also carried out on interiors, waiting rooms were re-opened, as were some coffee bars which have since become quite popular. Wherever possible, dwellings once used by railway staff have been rented out. It should be stressed that Strutture Trasporto Alto Adige S.p.a. – the body commissioning the works – was responsible for building the shelters and platforms, while the station buildings were restored by the town councils in conjunction with the Provincial Superintendent’s Office for Fine Arts.
Revamping the railway stations was a significant step towards guaranteeing the overall preservation of cultural heritage in the Venosta Valley. These splendid examples of fin-de-siècle architecture have now taken their rightful place in the diverse Venosta Valley landscape.