Located in a picturesque setting, the Haydarpasa railway station in Istanbul is the terminal stop for all the trains coming from the Asiatic part of Turkey. The station near the Bosphorus Strait has existed since 1872. This is when the first railroad to Gabze, a city 19 miles (30 km) away, was opened. However, rapid expansion of the railway necessitated construction of a new station, existing to these days. The works started in 1906.
The neoclassical V-shaped building was designed by two German architects, Otto Ritter and Helmut Conu. It is placed on 1,100 wooden poles, each 69 ft (21 m) long, which were driven into the mushy ground by a steam hammer. The façade was made by German and Italian stonemasons. The ceremonial opening of the station took place on 4 November 1909, as a part of Sultan Mehmed V's birthday celebrations.
Marble stairs lead to the station from the Kadiköy shore. The passengers and tourists can then see an impressive edifice with round turrets on both sides. The façade is made of sandstone slabs, the steep roof is covered with tiles, while its interiors are decorated with leafy cartouches, festoons, beautiful cornices, pilasters and balconies. The historic and decorative character of the building is emphasized by the light coming from the windows made of stained glass.
In February 2012, due to construction of a high-speed line between Istanbul and Ankara, the Haydarpasa station was closed for at least 30 months. At the same time, a Marmaray project is being implemented, whose part was creating the tunnel under the Bosphorus, joining the Asiatic and European part of the city with a railway. Until now trains from Haydarpasa have reached the Sirkeci station on the other side of the Bosphorus by ferries.