Close to the Eminonu docks connecting the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side is the Sirkeci Train Station. This is the terminus of the Orient Express, the legendary train from Paris to ancient Constantinople. From 1895 to 1977, the arrival of the “Sark Ekspresi” the Turkish name for the Orient Express was a feast in itself, both for passengers and onlookers.
A Prussian architect, August Jasmund, was commissioned by the Sultan to make this station open to the public on November 3, 1890 replacing the nearby old small station.
The exterior is pink. The sea side is decorated with two beautiful clock towers. The doors and glass facade have a pronounced oriental style. An ancient Steam engine is located next to the main entrance. The restaurant at the station is named after the illustrious Orient Express.
During the ’50s and ’60s, it was the essential meeting point for writers and journalists. The many pictures hanging above the tables transport you into another time and the terrace overlooking the waterfront is particularly pleasant.
Nowadays, it is mainly commuter trains serving the stations located along the Sea of Marmara and a few international routes which are the daily traffic. A monument to Atatürk is also found in the walls of the station.