Rumeli Railways and Train Stations

Rumeli Railways and Train Stations: The first train in the Western world started operating at a speed of 1825 km per hour on the short railway line between Darlington and Stockton towns, in England, after several preliminary trials. This new transportation system, which attracted great attention among British industrialists, spread rapidly, the first railway in the modern sense was opened between Liverpool and Manchester in 20, it was opened in 1830, St Etienne-Lyon in France, Nuremberg-Furth in Germany in 1832. Brussels-Malines lines followed in Belgium the same year. The first railway in the USA was put into operation between Baltimore-Ohio in 1835, and the first international railway line was laid in 1830 between Liege of Belgium and Cologne of Germany.

In the Tanzimat period, when relations with western countries intensified, it was observed that the interest in railway construction increased in the Ottoman Empire. With the initiative of Britain, which wanted to connect the sea trade route from India to the Mediterranean via Egypt, the first 211 km railway in the Empire was opened between Alexandria and Cairo in 1856. After this first line, which lost its importance with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the first railways in Anatolia were the Izmir-Town line between 1863-1866 and the Izmir-Aydın line between 1856-1890, aiming to deliver the Aegean's rich agricultural product to the sea. The first railways of the empire on European lands are the Chernovoda (Boğazköy) - Constanta in 1860 and Ruse - Varna in 1866.

The Tanzimat administrators, who aimed at a political integration with the European countries, believed that a railroad that would connect Istanbul to Europe would accelerate integration, especially after the Crimean War, which witnessed innovations in transportation and communication. In addition, a rail network linking important Balkan cities could have resolved the unrest that had recently appeared in this region, as well as providing significant commercial, political and military advantages for the empire. However, an agreement was made with foreign entrepreneurs for this rail network, which could not be realized with the financial and technical forces of the country. The first contract on this matter was signed with the British deputy Labro in January 1857, but the contract was terminated in April of the same year due to Labro's failure to provide the necessary capital. After the cancellation of the second and third contracts with various British and Belgian entrepreneurs in 1860 and 1868 for similar reasons, the Rumeli Railways' concession was granted to a banker in Brussels, Hungarian Jewish Baron Hirsch, on April 17, 1869. it is given. The railway to be constructed according to this contract will start from Istanbul and pass through Edirne, Plovdiv and Sarajevo and extend to the border of Sava River, and the branches leaving this railway will be connected by Enez, Thessaloniki and Burgas.

As the first part of the line, the works of Yedikule-Küçükçekmece railway started on June 4, 1870. This first 15-kilometer section was completed towards the end of the same year, with a slight delay, and was opened with an official ceremony on January 4, 1871, and started passenger transportation from the very next day. This first Rumelian line, which includes Küçükçekmece-Yeşilköy-Bakırköy-Yedikule stations, caused Bakırköy and Yeşilköy to grow into settlement centers preferred by the city's high income group. However, since the starting station in Yedikule is located far away from the city's business center, Eminönü region, it was criticized by the users and it was asked to extend the line to Sirkeci, the business center. However, a tunnel extending from Langa to the Bahçekapı under the Sultanahmet square was opened by this extension due to the fact that this extension will pass through the coastal part of the Topkapı Palace and the beach pavilions on the route must be destroyed and the line must end in a sheltered port in terms of freight transportation. it is proposed to be built here or to build a new port in Küçükçekmece lake. Finally, Sultan Abdülaziz, who had to decide on his own, decided that the starting station of the Rumeli Railways should be Sirkeci, not Yedikule. Thus, these new sections of the Yedikule-Küçükçekmece line, which was extended from Yedikule to the east, Sirkeci, from Küçükçekmece to the west, and Çatalca, were put into operation on July 21, 1872.

Although the possession of private property buildings on the route of Yedikule-Küçükçekmece line and its extensions was a problem during construction, the costs of the buildings and lands that were abandoned were paid regularly. Meanwhile, at the beginning of the line in Sirkeci, instead of immediately building a new station, expropriated but not demolished private residences were used, and bureaus and offices were temporarily placed there. As the Ottoman government paid particular attention to the construction of the Istanbul and Edirne stations, the Eastern Railways Company, which was installed on the construction of the Rumeli Railways, was obliged to spend 1885 million for the Istanbul Railway Station, and 1 250 francs for the Edirne Railway Station, with a special agreement signed in December 000. . Although the Istanbul Train Station is thought to have two floors, the Eastern Railways Company has tried to prevent a two-storey station building by suggesting that the ground is rotten. The construction of a station building befitting the city of Istanbul at the eastern end of Rumeli Railways started on February 11, 1888, and the building was opened on November 3, 1890.


The architect of Gar, built on an area of ​​1200 square meters, is August Jachmund of Prussia. Jachmund, who was sent to Istanbul to study Ottoman architecture by the German government, entered the eyes of Ağrıbozlu Ragıp Pasha, one of the priests of the Second Abdulhamid, because of a house he built there, and with his help, he was appointed architectural design teacher to the newly opened Hendese-i Mülkiye School. Jachmund, who was commissioned with the design of Sirkeci Station during his lectures, gave him a great reputation because of this building.6 With the edict of Grand Vizier Cypriot Mehmet Kamil Pasha dated 11 February 1888, the Gar building, which was mostly built as a single floor, l9. Century is one of the most magnificent examples of European orientalism in Istanbul. The middle and two end sections of Sirkeci Station, which was constructed as a thin and tall building between the railway and the sea, parallel to the train line, are two-storey, and these sections are also carried out from the building surface in both directions, and symmetrical mass arrangement is emphasized. It is understood that since the sea was close to the building in the years when Gar was built, it was descended by terraces towards the sea in this direction, the building was illuminated with 300 gas lamps, and the waiting rooms were heated with large stoves imported from Austria. It is also stated that there are three big restaurants and a large open air brewery in the building in the first years.

The first Sirkeci Station, whose use was restricted after the new station building built in the Republican period, was planned symmetrically, the wings extending on both sides of the large box office hall in the middle were divided into the first and second position waiting rooms and the left-luggage office, the upper floors of the blocks on both ends were located in two of four apartments. It is seen that the offices belonging to the station directorate are located on the upper floor of the middle block.The building surfaces, which were shaped according to the requirements of the 19th century selectivity, were made of granite, white marble and Marseille bricks, and pink and black marbles were used for large window arches. The façades, which were arranged in accordance with the principles of Orientalist architecture, which was fashionable in Europe in those years, using the architectural styles of various Islamic countries together, were crossed with various arches. The most striking elements of the façade arrangement are the pointed horseshoe arches inspired by the Maghreb architecture, framing a large rose window placed on twin windows with circular arches. Apart from these, flattened and Bursa type arches are also included in the surface arrangement. The middle section, highlighted by a crown gate rising over two floors, is made of cast iron and wood and is covered with a slate-covered monastery vaulted roof. The minaret-shaped clock towers on both sides of the entrance complete the facade arrangement of the middle mass. The large interior spaces of the Gar are also arranged in a spacious and splendid way. The box office in the middle is covered with a cast iron structured, truncated pyramid-shaped wooden ceiling, and the two-story-high hall is positively illuminated by daylight. Waiting rooms with a single height are also covered with similar ceilings. The colored stained glass of the rose windows on the doors and windows that allow all these spaces to open to the platform or to the sea provide a rich view to these spaces.


The construction of the Istanbul-Edirne-Plovdiv-Sofia-Sarajevo-Banyaluka-Novi section, which constitutes the most important line of the Rumelia Railways connecting Istanbul to Europe, started in the first half of 1871, on the same date from both ends. The Istanbul-Edirne-Sarımbay line, which was completed in the middle of 1873, was put into operation with a great ceremony on 17 June 1873. While this line, which was built as a single line, can be built as a straight line due to its extraordinarily easy terrain, the contractor company provides extra. kazanEven the smallest natural obstacles were overcome with great curves in order to provide interior, and because bridge constructions and excavations were avoided, great distances were formed between the settlement centers and stations on the line. For example, in Edirne with a population of l80 000 and Plovdiv with a population of 80 000 in those years, the station buildings were built 5 km outside the cities.8 II. During the reign of Abdulhamid, when the Eastern Railways Company decided to build a better building to replace the old and inadequate Plovdiv Station building, they wanted it to be designed by Kemalettin Bey, the assistant of Sirkeci Station architect Jachmund and the most famous Turkish architect of those years. Kemalettin Bey, who started his higher education at Hendese-i Mülkiye, was given the architectural design and architectural history courses by Prof. Influenced by Jachmund, he wanted to be an architect rather than an engineer, so after graduating in 1887, Prof. He was sent to Berlin to study architecture through Jachmund, returned to Istanbul in 1891 and started working as an architect. Kemalettin Bey, who created the national style in Turkish architecture with the architect Vedat Tek, became famous for the buildings he shaped according to this national style, especially after 1900, when he started working in the Ministry of Foundations. In the buildings he built in the period before 909, he used neo-classical and art nouveau effective shaping methods, mostly under the influence of European eclecticism.

The Plovdiv Train Station, designed by Kemalettin Bey in 1907, was completed in 1908 or 1909 and the building was put into operation. The Plovdiv Train Station, which was built parallel to the line, just like in Sirkeci Station, is a two-storey building in general and it goes up to three floors in some parts. Again, as in Sirkeci Station, the middle and end sections are highlighted by moving out of the facade surface and upwards from the roof level. The three-storey middle section is covered with a sloped, metal-coated, hipped roof. Since the platform is covered with a metal roof later, it is impossible to detect the entire facade facing this direction.

However, it can be seen that the front and rear facades repeat each other from the perceptible ground floor.
The ground floor of the building, probably made of bricks, was made with deep grout, giving the impression of cut stone. Circular high arches were used on the ground floor on the facades arranged in the neo-classical style, they were divided into two by table-shaped beams carried by short consoles, and a deaf arch consisting of profiled moldings carried by the cantilever carved consoles in the middle. The upper floor windows of the building were left as vertical rectangular openings placed between the plasters starting from the first floor level, and the visual integrity was ensured by moving the cornice placed on the second floor around the entire building. The most negative parts of Edirne Train Station, which is one of the structures built by Kemalettin Bey during his youth, are its interiors. The box office hall located in the middle part of the building, which was built according to a cast iron carrier system, leaves a flat and natural light-free effect unlike the Sirkeci Station. For this reason, the most interesting elements in this hall, which had to be lit even during the day, are delicate, cast iron columns with specially designed neo-classical caps. The Plovdiv Train Station, however, was a structure that attracted attention with its magnificent facade design, and it was especially important for the government to realize this by a young Turkish architect.


Kemalettin Bey's success in the design of Plovdiv Railway caused the Edirne Train Station to be bought by the Eastern Railways Company. After the foundations were laid, Thessaloniki Station remained unfinished due to the First World War, while Edirne Station remained unused, since the railway route was changed after the war, even though it was finished.

It was built on the northern edge of the railway of Karaağaç Village, approximately five kilometers southwest of Edirne, even parallel. It is known that the building was probably designed in 1912 and its construction was completed in 1913-1914. The station could not be used due to the First World War in 1914. Since the Ottomans lost the Balkan lands to a great extent at the end of the war, only 337 km of the Rumeli Railways remained within the Turkish borders, meanwhile, it was necessary to cross the Greek border to reach Edirne Station in Karaağaç, which entered the Greek territory. For this reason, although an agreement was reached with the Eastern Railways Company in 1929 for the construction of a new line from Alpullu to Edirne that will only pass through the Turkish territory, this line was realized only many years later by TCDDY, so the old Edirne Station was completely abandoned. The station, which is located very close to the Turkish-Greek border, remained idle for a while and served as an outpost during the Cyprus events in 1974, and was awarded to the Edirne Academy of Engineering and Architecture, which was founded in 1977 and formed the core of today's Edirne University. The upper floor of the building, which has been repaired and rearranged, is used as a guest house for the university today. Downstairs, there are various administrative offices and exhibition halls.

The Edirne Railway Station, which was constructed as a three-storey building with a thin, long, basement parallel to the train line, exhibits a typified mass structure as in the previous examples. The symmetrical arrangement of the symmetrical arrangement of the building, symmetrically arranged in the direction of the entrance to the middle box office hall, is emphasized by the symmetrical arrangement of the facade surfaces outward from the facade surfaces and upward from the level of the roof. It has been reinforced. 80 meter-length garage was built according to the brick-masonry wall system. The outer walls of the middle section, window and door arches, wipers and towers made of cutting stone, flooring system used in floorings, covered with asbestos sheets scissor lift is covered with a roof.

On the ground floor of the station, separate lounges for women and men were planned, luggage offices and toilets were built, a large restaurant on one end and offices belonging to the station on the other. On the upper floor of the building, there are ten lodgings, large and small, that can be reached by the stairs in the two corners and towers. This floor has been converted into guest rooms by the management of Edirne University today. On the building surfaces, the basement windows are crossed with flat arches, the ground and first floor windows are crossed with pointed arches, the ground floor windows are designed higher and wider than the others. Gar's main-shaped main entrances in the city and platform directions, rising throughout the entire building, are identified by a large pointed arch covered with glass, and the arches are framed by a wide wipe, giving them the appearance of a crown door. The perimeter of the closed balconies on the upper heads of the towers, which can also be entered from outside the building, are defined by twelve openings with pointed arches, carried by short columns (Figure 24). The facade arrangement of the building was supported with buttresses in places and completed with wide, slatted eaves.

With all this form, Edirne Station attracts attention as a work that complies with the national architectural theory developed by Architect Kemalettin's age of maturity. Unlike the shape of the Plovdiv Station, pointed Ottoman arches were used on the building surfaces in Edirne Station, pointed domes were placed on top of the cylindrical towers whose construction reasons could not be determined precisely, purified from all kinds of flamboyant decoration, and the façade-looking building facades were made of civilian Ottoman architecture. finished with wide inspired wooden eaves. This situation leaves a calm and dignified effect different from the eclectic, flamboyant facades of Sirkeci Station and the decorated surfaces of Filibe Station. Despite the similarities in mass arrangement and planning, these changes in the façade arrangements prove that Kemalettin Bey gradually matured and strived to create a true Turkish architecture.


L9 on the side of the Ottoman Empire. The station buildings constructed for the important cities on the route of Rumeli Railways, the construction of which was initiated at the end of the century, but due to various reasons, were constructed for the first time in Istanbul by Sirkeci Station, built by the German architect August Jachmund. According to this typology, the Gar buildings are almost always planned as a thin, tall structure parallel to the train line. In the station buildings, which are always planned symmetrically with respect to the entrance axle in the middle, this symmetry is emphasized by raising the middle and end building sections and moving them out of the building surface. In the meantime, it is understood that Architect Kemalettin Bey, who carried out two of the samples examined, showed a positive development in the field of general architecture, and reached a structure understanding that was almost in line with the modern architecture.

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