Year after year the Central Station figures in the top ten of the most beautiful stations in the world. The ‘Railway Cathedral’ was built between 1899 and 1905 as a terminus station, where all trains had to reverse. For the entrance hall in eclectic style, architect Louis Delacenserie got his inspiration from Rome’s Pantheon. This is reflected in the impressive dome and the splendid marble floor. The 43 meter high steel roof covering the platform is a project of engineer Clement van Bogaert. After the building escaped demolition in 1975, it finally got listed as a protected monument and between 1986 and 1998 it has been thoroughly restored. In 2007, two enormous tunnels have been dug, carrying high-speed trains. Some rooms on the first floor can be hired for private events. Immediately next to the station you can visit the Antwerp Zoo. You can cross the Queen Astrid Square to explore the shops and restaurants of China Town. At the opposite side you will definitely get tempted by the terraces of the majestic De Keyserlei, adjacent to the world-famous diamond quarter.