Orient Express, known as the “Train of Kings”, is the first luxury train of European history. In this luxury train, which has been hosting both wealthy and quite prominent names for many years, it is known that the curtains are made of silk, the cups are from the crystal, and the tables are from silver. The famous passengers of the train include French President Paul Dechanel, the renowned writer Agatha Christie, spy Mata Hari and Bulgarian King Ferdinand. In this article, we will talk about the routes of Orient Express, which has a fascinating history, from 1883 to the present. If you want to travel in the past, continue reading!
Even though Orient Express, which is known to have a luxury concept that can only be found in the palaces, used different routes at different times, Paris and Istanbul became the most popular stations of this legendary train. Since its first exhibition in 1883, this unique train carried kings, nobles, politicians, writers, diplomats, and even spies from one end of Europe to another. In its history of more than a century, it has seen two great wars and a long war; Due to its features, it has been the subject of many books and films.
The Orient Express, which belongs to the French railway company Wagons-Lits, started its first journey on 4 October 1883. The train carried important diplomats from different countries, or famous people such as The Times newspaper reporter, novelist and traveller Edmond About from Paris then after visiting the important cities of Europe, to Varna Port, then from there by ship to Istanbul. Even novelist and traveller Edmond About described in detail his travel memoirs in his book, published in 1884, De Ponteise à Stamboul.
The only reason Orient Express was chosen was not only because it was the most luxurious train in Europe; this unique expedition also reduced the journey of approximately 2.5 months by a spring-loaded car to a short period of 80 hours. Train; Overcoming the great European capitals of Vienna, Budapest, Milan and Venice, it was coming to Istanbul in about 80 hours.
This exceptional train carried important names for years, but the voyages were stopped during World War I. After restarting expeditions in 1919, Germany and Austria were removed from the train’s routes because they lost the Great War. Thus, the journey time was reduced to 58 hours. By the time of World War II, expeditions were interrupted again. After the war, although the voyages started back, the train was subjected to various restrictions and lost its importance in time.
The last expedition of Orient Express to Istanbul, which is one of the important stops, was in 1977. By 2007, the train had been reduced to one line between Paris and Vienna. This line was later clipped as Strasbourg-Vienna, and the historic train made its last expedition in December 2009…
Orient Express, who visited Istanbul once a year, belongs to another company called Belmond which was founded in 1982; however, it still haunts some of the historic Orient Express wagons and delivers a pleasant nostalgia from the past to the present. In other words, nostalgia lovers still have the chance to travel between London-Paris and Istanbul on the same train that was carried out following the original!