One of the first things that comes to mind when we say “Kadıköy” is the Haydarpaşa Station, a century-old hub which connects İstanbul to Anatolia. It saw off millions of people on their journeys, and has played host to many Turkish films too. In this article we’ll be filling you in on the historical and architectural features of the station, which creates a unique atmosphere of its own in Kadıköy with its grandeur and train horns. Here goes the story of İstanbul’s historical train station...
The History of Haydarpaşa Train Station
Construction of this symbolic building started on 30 May 1906. It took two German architects and 1500 Italian stone masons to build it. It was opened for service on 19 May 1908. Before construction of the station, which is the last stop on the railway that connects Anatolia to İstanbul, in its place was the first stop on the railway which went as far as Pendik until 1872.
After the station was built, Selim III, the Sultan of the era, ordered that the neighborhood surrounding the station be named “Haydarpaşa” (Admiral Haydar) as a gesture of goodwill for Haydar Paşa, who spent great efforts building the Selimiye Barracks named after the Sultan. For this reason, the station’s building was named in this way (Haydarpaşa). As the railway network extended further into Anatolia, the station became even more important as a hub. The German company, which was running the station at that time and was known as “Anadolu Demiryolları” (Anatolian Railways), also built a pier in front of the station upon request. Silos were also built to store the commercial goods carried in and out by the trains going to and coming from Anatolian cities.
Initially established on an area of 2525 sqm, the station was then expanded to 3836 sqm and served seven railways and four stops for many years. All of the well-known trains, such as the Orient Express, the Capital Express, Fatih Express and Kurtalan Express departed from this stop for many years.
Architectural Features of Haydarpaşa Train Station
Constructed using granite stones of a light-pink color brought in from Hereke, the Haydarpaşa Station also holds a special place in İstanbul in terms of its architectural qualities. A birds-eye view of the building, which is a classical German design, reveals a “U” shape with one shorter leg. The building contains wide rooms with high-ceils. It is known that there were hand-crafted embroideries in the ceilings of these rooms when the station was first built, but these have been plastered over. Today, only one room features an original embroidery, which is a symbol of winged train wheels with a TCDD (Turkish State Railways) logo, found in the four corners of the room.
The station was built on 100 wooden stakes, each measuring 21 meters in length. These stakes were nailed using a steam hammer. It is known that the original structure of the building was established on the grid that was laid on top of these stakes. This historical station was built so solidly that there is no chance of damage even during a strong earthquake.
Another architectural feature of the historical station is its wooden roof, which is a “mansard roof”, a style frequently used in classical German architecture. The ground floor and mezzanine floors include a facade coating made of stones brought in from Lefke-Osmaneli. There are rectangular wooden windows on the second and third floor cornices of the building with the fringe cornice. There are rectangular ornamental columns between the windows. The outer facade is decorated with floral and geometric patterns. The seaside of the building is host to circular towers at both ends. The towers become narrower from the base to the roof.
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