To Oldenburg by train

This is the main railway station in Oldenburg (Oldb) — not to be confused with Oldenburg (Holst), which is a smaller place in Holstein, on the way to Puttgarten, Rødbyhavn and Copenhagen.

The reason for the “(Oldb)” in the name of this Oldenburg is that for centuries it was the capital, so to speak, of the Duchy (later Grand Duchy) of Oldenburg, one of the many tiny states with constantly shifting boundaries that occupied the territory now known as Germany. These insignificant but pompous little countries, which were disbanded in 1918 after the First World War, are sometimes referred to in German as Operettenstaaten (Operetta states), because they were often mocked in operettas by composers such as Jacques Offenbach, Johann Strauss Jr., Oskar Straus (no relation), Franz Lehár, Leo Fall, Emmerich Kálmán and Siegmund Romberg.

Fürstenbau in Oldenburg (Oldb)

When the first railways were built in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, starting in the 1860s, the question immediately arose as to how His Excellency the Grand Duke would be able to access his private salon car without having to mingle with the low-, lower- and lowest-class passengers in the station.

Apparently the original station had a special waiting and reception room for the Grand Duke, but in the early 20th century it was decided that he should have his own private station, adjoining the main station. The current Fürstenbau (Princely Building) was completed, along with the current main station, in 1915, in the middle of the First World War, but the Grand Duke didn’t have much time to use it, as he was forced to abdicate three years later.

Stairs in the double-decker regional express train from Bremen to Oldenburg (Oldb)

For my journey I took an InterCityExpress train (ICE) from Frankfurt to Hannover, then an InterCity (IC) from Hannover to Bremen and finally a Regional Express (RE) from Bremen to Oldenburg. This all went smoothly and took about four and a half hours.

My photos in this post are from 2016. I wrote the text in 2020.

See more posts on Oldenburg, Germany.
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