Tunel - Beyoglu
Walking down Yuksek Kaldirim hill from the center of social life in 1870s Pera to the heart of finance and commerce Bankalar Caddesi was perhaps easy, but climbing up was an effort. For this reason the French engineer Eugene Henri Gavand designed an elevator inspired railway project “Tunel” (tunnel) and got Sultan Abdulaziz’s permit to build and operate the funicular system for 42 years.
Opened on January 17th, 1875, Tunel is the second oldest metro in the world after the London metro system. The first cars used were open-top, and lack of electricity meant the usage of gas lamps through out the system.
To get to Tunel you can either enter through Beyoglu Tunel square or Karakoy IETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel General Management) Building. You can get more information on the Tunel metro here.
It is astonishing that we still get to experience one of the most pleasant journeys available in the city today, and moreover that the metro itself still connects Beyoglu’s social life and Karakoy’s commerce as it did in 1870s.
Take care of yourselves,
Tracer of Istanbul