Let's be honest: we have all dreamt of somehow accidentally arriving on Platform 9 3/4, with our stickered travel trunks in tow, on the way to Prague by way of Hogwarts, right?
Well, Frankfurt has given us the option of living this fantasy every day with the eclectic design of its Bockenheimer Warte train station wherein the entrance appears for all the world like a flying tram car has either nosedived into the pavement or is casually erupting out of it, to great artistic effect.
This chimerical triumph of engineering located in the Frankfurt city center was designed by Polish architect Zbigniew Peter Pininski in 1986, way ahead of the recent global trend in making travel depots into aesthetic events.
Pininski possessed an inventor's eye but an artist's heart and is said to have taken inspiration from the Belgian Surrealist artist, René Magritte.
The story goes that there was some public dissension amongst the citizens of Frankfurt at the dawn of the city's move to extend its transportation network.
Pininski hoped to inspire a welcoming and affirmative reaction to the reality of everyday train travel and give passengers a waggish and unusual visual to associate with their commutes.
The Bockenheimer Warte station certainly presents a sense of mischief delightfully unmanaged as you descend the staircase past fantastic rubble at a capricious slant reminiscent of an asymmetry you might associate with the Queen's hedgerows from Alice in Wonderland. The terminal has become a droll international landmark and tourist attraction.
An expansion in 2001 did not alter the original entrance and the serendipitous station routinely welcomes hundreds of visitors per day, many who have made the stop expressly for the purpose of photographing the whimsical entryway.