From Prussian station to cultural centre

Scarcely within a hundred years of its construction prior to World War One, Püttlingen Station has experienced a diverse history. It has developed from a Prussian station to a cultural centre in the Köllertal area. Up until the 1990s it served as a railway station. With the closing of the Köllertal railway line the building gradually became run-down and derelict. The Köllertal cultural forum took on the task in 1988 of restoring the historical station complex, in accordance with listed building regulations, and of converting it into a cultural centre. After many years of restoration the “Stückguthalle” (goods storage building) was opend in March 2004. Finally completing the station complex, it is used as a centre of arts and culture.

History

Püttlingen Station was modelled on the Prussian station design. The main building was constructed in 1910 and the goods storage building was added the following year. The Völklingen-Lebach railway line, or so-called “Köllertalbahn”, was opened on the 1st October 1911. Between the two world wars 7-8 000 passengers travelled daily through Püttlingen Station and up to 10 goods carriages were loaded a day. It therefore became necessary to build a subway at the end of the 1920s.
Püttlingen Station resembles the English through-station design, whereby the station buildings run parallel to the tracks. On 27th September 1985 the last scheduled train travelled from Völklingen to Lebach. After the closing of the Köllertal line the station stood derelict for 4 years and became gradually run-down. The windows were barred off and the roof was leaking.


The station as a tourist attraction

A tourist attractivity survey carried out in 1999 showed that Püttlingen Station is a unique destination for tourists. The cultural station project has a positive impact on the surrounding region. The reviving of the station complex has attracted attention from the other sides of Saarland’s borders. The range of events in the summer and winter programme schedules attract visitors to the Köllertal area from all over Saarland, the neighbouring Lorraine and Luxemburg regions as well as from outside the Saar-Lor-Lux region.
The historical station complex, the year-round cultural events and the tempting gastronomy are attractive to tourists.


An ideal location for cycling excursions

On the opening of the Köllertal cycle route between Völklingen and Eppelborn on 23rd September 2003, the minister of the economy for Saarland, Dr. Hanspeter Georgi, visited Püttlingen Station and the historical goods storage building.
Dr. Georgi stressed Püttlingen Station’s ideal location on the Köllertal cycle route. A notice board inside the station provides information about the cycle route. According to Dr. Georgi cycling will play a greater role in Saarland’s tourist industry.

Regional cultural centre

The ground floor, which previously housed the entrance hall, the waiting rooms and the signal box, has been converted into a modern bistro. It is run by Frank Hens and his team. The bistro is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Exhibitions by artists from the Köllertal region are displayed here. Since 1994 Manfred Güthler, chairman of the artists’ association in Saarland, has given advise to the cultural forum in its choice of artists for its exhibitions.

The rooms of the bistro are also used as locations for a series of smaller musical and artistic performances, which make up the so-called “winter schedule”. From November to May the cultural forum offers a rich cultural programme including concerts, readings and cabarets. Over 100 artists from the whole region have already taken part in the programme.

In July the summer schedule begins with a series of open-air concerts on the grounds surrounding the station. With their restored platforms, goods carriages and subway pavilions, the station grounds make an interesting backdrop for outdoor performances. The large beer garden can seat up to 300 people. As part of the summer schedule, the cultural forum organizes open-air concerts on Saturday evenings by Rock, Pop, Blues, Folk and Country bands from Germany and abroad. These concerts are very popular. Since 2002 the cultural forum has offered the programme “Theatre for Kids” in cooperation with the town of Püttlingen.

The former flat of the station manager on the top floor of the station building has been converted into three modern seminar rooms. Since 1992 Püttlingen’s adult education centre uses the rooms for its courses, lectures and seminars. The rooms are also used by other companies in the area. A reception desk has also been opened by the cultural forum, which is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 11 am. The top floor, the corridors and the stairs are used for the presentation of the permanent exhibition “Kleine Galerie des Köllertals”. Over 50 paintings by regional artists are displayed in this exhibition.


 
 
  © Kulturforum Köllertal e.V. Kontakt / Impressum