Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tunel (Tunnel) - Istanbul Turkey

The Tünel (Tunnel ) is a short underground railway line, with two sections connecting Karaköy and Beyoğlu. The two-car train covers 573 meters 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.

Museum of Innocence - Istanbul - Turkey

Orhan Pamuk Museum Istanbul - Turkey

The Museum of Innocence (Masumiyet Müzesi), found in the Beyoğlu district, is based entirely on the 2008 eponymous novel by Nobel Prize winning author, Orhan Pamuk. So far, his novel has been published in nearly 60 countries and is the first book in history to inspire a museum. The novel’s main character, Kemal, collects the belongings of his lover, Füsun.

The novel is set between 1976 and the early 2000s and describes life in Istanbul between 1950 and 2000. It’s based on the stories of two families, one wealthy and the other lower middle-class. The objects in the museum showcase what the novel’s characters wore, saw, used, collected and dreamed of. Visitors will see Kemal’s infatuation, honesty, obsession, heartache, and unyielding love for Füsun. As the character says, "It was the happiest time in my life, though I didn’t know it." Love story aside, the museum’s display cases brilliantly reflect the time period, culture, and daily life in Istanbul.

Most of the museum consists of beautiful mixed-media cabinets in Turkey. Photographs, videos, keys, audio, bowties, a pair of panty hoes, and thousands of overlooked fragments make up this unique museum.
It houses every imaginable detail of a person’s life. Each case, varying in size, represents a chapter from the book, such as Chapter 66: Is it Normal to Leave Your Fiance at Dinner? or Chapter 69: I Was Going to Ask her to Marry Me.

In one cabinet, we see a very realistic bathroom mirrorwith toothpaste, a shaving kit, lipstick, peeling wallpaper and hearthe sound of rain in the background. Daily objects rest askew, awaiting their owner. The museum manages to make every cabinet both fascinating and intimate. This museum will undoubtedly be a great experience for those who’ve read the book, but it’s not imperative that you read it beforehand.

Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 - 18:00 Friday                10:00  -        21:00
Closed Mondays
Adult                                         25 TL
Student                                       10 TL
Children under 12 Free
Note: Only the ground floor of the museum is wheelchair accessible.