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All Aboard: The Golden Age of the Orient Express (Photos)

To mark the 130th anniversary of the line connecting Paris to Istanbul—and forever changing the way we travel—the Arab World Institute has gone back in time with a new exhibit.

Malika Favre

The Orient Express forever changed the way we travel. For the first time, regular people were able to indulge their sense of adventure and journey across the world as they knew it, experiencing for themselves new lands and the people who inhabited them. To mark the 130th anniversary of the opening of the line connecting Paris to Istanbul, the Arab World Institute has gone back in time with a new exhibit, "Once Upon a Time on the Orient Express," that is complete with three fully decked-out train cars. See some of the relics of that bygone era. 

Bruxelles, collection particuliere/Tajan

This painting commemorates the creation of the first railway line in Turkey in 1876.

Kallimages

The score for the song entitled "Orient Express."

Kallimages

A group of tourists in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Sidoli/Rambaud

A map from 1931 of the Simplon-Orient-Express network and Taurus Express.

Jérôme Galland

View of the Golden Arrow car.

Jérôme Galland

Inside the Golden Arrow train car.

Sidoli/Rambaud

Left: Reconstruction of a toilet used in some cars, accessible from two sleeping compartments. Right: Toilet service in the first sleeper.

Sidoli/Rambaud

Left: A Moynat trunk cabinet with a Simplon Orient Express label from 1920. Right: A Moynat toiletry trunk from 1930.

Kallimages

Pascal Sebah, "Whirling Dervishes," 1870. The show was an unavoidable curiosity during a trip to Turkey.

Rambaud/Sidoli

Rolls Royce liaising on sections of rail networks.

Kallimages

Tourists on the Giza Plateau.

Rambaud/Sidoli

Egyptian cars were made ​​in France and shipped by boat to Egypt.

Kallimages

Tourists are photographed in Turkish attire. 

Sidoli/Rambaud; ADAGP

Left: Poster for Nairn car service which was used when the rail network was interrupted on the Taurus Express. Center: Luggage tag for Pera Palace. Right: Poster by Roger Broders, 1931.

SNCF, Archives historiques; Kallimages

Left: Poster promoting travel "Egypt Europe" by train and boat by an anonymous designer, 1910. Center: An advertisement for tourism in Istanbul, Turkey, designed by N. Ergüver circa 1950. Right: Posters advertising the Ghezireh Palace festivals in Cairo, 1896. 

Kallimages

Laying track in Serbia for the Orient Express.

Kallimages

Picture of a boat of tourists on the Nile.

Kallimages

Packs of dogs were a tourist attraction in Constantinople. 

Kallimages

Colorized postcard of Sirkeci Station, the end of the Orient Express on the western shore of Constantinople.