Thursday, April 23, 2015
Tunel (Tunnel) - Istanbul Turkey
Istanbul. Inaugurated in 1875, it is the second oldest subterranean urban rail line in the world (after the London Underground) and the first subterranean urban rail line in continental Europe.
The Tünel was designed by French engineer Eugene-Henri Gavand in 1867. The train was meant to help the 60,000 daily commuters who had to share the narrow and very steep Yüksek Kaldırım street on near Hagia Sophia – Istanbul their way to and from work.
After receiving permission in 1869 from Sultan Abdülaziz and finding foreign funding, Gavand began construction in 1871. Due to conflicts between Pera landowners and the Metropolitan Railway of Istanbul, the tunnel was not completed until late 1876 and was opened for service on January 17, 1875.
A trip on the Tünel is short and simple and saves you the slightly strenuous climb from Karaköy to Beyoğlu. It may seem ordinary from the outside, but it’s fun to say that you rode the oldest subway in continental Europe.