Toledo Station: an underground museum in the subway

Toledo Station: an underground museum in the subway

Toledo Station represents an architectural masterpiece of extraordinary beauty and cultural significance. Inaugurated in 2012 as part of Line 1 of the Naples subway, the station was designed by Spanish architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca and stands out for its innovative design and connection with the city’s art and history. Named after the famous Toledo Street in Madrid, the station itself is a true underground museum offering visitors a journey through Naples’ millennia-old history.

The “crater de luz” is one of the station’s most iconic features. It is a huge circular opening in the station’s ceiling designed to allow natural light to enter from above, creating a unique lighting effect within the underground space. It not only serves as a source of light but also as a visual focal point capturing travelers’ attention. Thanks to its central location and circular shape, it creates a sense of space and openness, contrasting with the typical closed and confined atmosphere of underground subway stations.

Inside the station, travelers can admire a wide variety of contemporary artworks by internationally renowned artists. Among the most famous is “Light Panels,” a luminous installation created by artist Robert Wilson, which transforms the station’s tunnels into a fascinating art gallery. Additionally, the station walls are decorated with works by South African artist William Kentridge, depicting scenes of daily Neapolitan life in a striking black and white style.

But the true attraction of Toledo Station is its underground museum. During the station’s construction, important historical remains dating back to different epochs, from ancient Greek and Roman Naples to the medieval period, were discovered. Among the most significant sections are the ancient Greek walls, which testify to the strategic importance of Naples in antiquity. These walls, dating back to the 4th century BC, were built to protect the city from external enemies and constitute tangible evidence of its millennia-old history. Additionally, remains of Roman cisterns have been found, highlighting the engineering skill of the Romans in water supply and resource management.

One of the most suggestive sections is undoubtedly the stretch of the ancient Neapolis road, the main street of Roman Naples. This stretch of road, perfectly preserved under Toledo Station, offers visitors the opportunity to literally walk on the same stones that were traversed by Romans over 2000 years ago, immersing themselves completely in the atmosphere of the ancient city.

The underground museum is organized to guide visitors through a suggestive and informative path, including explanatory panels, models, and reconstructions that help understand the historical context of the exhibited sections. Additionally, guided tours are available, providing further insights into the history of the station and its archaeological sections.

Therefore, Toledo Station’s underground museum represents an unmissable stop for anyone wishing to get closer to the fascinating history of Naples and its ancient origins.

Leave Comment