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.
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
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
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.