Focusing on three nineteenth-century railroad lines in Norway, Mari Hvattum investigates the architectural and cultural significance of early railways. In Panoramas of Style: Railway Architecture in Nineteenth-century Norway, she argues that the seemingly frivolous historicism of mid-nineteenth-century railway architecture should be understood as an attempt to craft appropriate cultural associations for the new Norwegian nation state. Railway architects created an architecture that fused the local and the global, the modern and the traditional, into a new whole. They designed buildings with a mimetic and emblematic relationship to their surroundings, construing the railway journey as—to paraphrase the cultural historian Wolfgang Schivelbusch—a “panorama of style.”

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