Made possible by the collaboration of the SNCF, this major exhibition comprises two parts:
The first part consists of a train: a locomotive followed by three exceptional carriages that are being displayed on the Institute’s forecourt. Visitors begin their tour of the train on a platform that has been reconstituted next to the train; they then are able to enter the train and visit the various carriages, where they discover the great luxury in which the travellers lived during their journeys, which culminated in the discovery of the Orient.
Questions relating to the geopolitical dimension of the Orient-Express also are addressed, through the train’s various routes and rail links that enabled the passengers to travel from Istanbul to Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and so on.
The Orient-Express was developed by Georges Nagelmackers, a daring visionary who wanted to create a luxury train that could span Europe, from Paris to Istanbul, at a time when border crossings were difficult and train journeys were particularly uncomfortable. After its launch in 1883, the Orient-Express became a legendary line and came to represent the quintessential art of travel—which is now a thing of the past—until just after World War II.
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