12 April 2010

THAT Railway Station

I didn't get a chance to venture inside - always seemed to be on a bus when we were passing it, which we did several times.

This is the Sirkeci Terminal on the European side of Istanbul (Constantinople) which was opened in 1890 as the terminus of the Orient Express. It was designed by a Prussian architect and our guides pointed it out as a good example of Germanic architectural influence.

You might remember that in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot has just arrived from Bagdad at the Istanbul terminal on the Anatolian side and meets his good friend the Wagon Lits controller. Poirot needs to get a berth on the Orient express but the train is full.

They cross to the other side of the Bosphorus (fortunately a short boat ride in view of HP's tendency to mal de mer) and go to the specially built Wagon Lits hotel, the Hotel Pera Palace, opened in 1892, to wait until it is closer to boarding time. Today the hotel has recently been refurbished. The tourist guides all take pride in mentioning Agatha Christie as one of its famous guests.

As you know the Orient Express recently became financially unviable and all that is left is a super expensive annual tourist train - the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
See Holiday on the Orient express

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks so much for sharing this! I've always wondered what those places really might have looked like.. Time to go back and re-read that novel, now, with those great photos in mind...

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