Saturday, December 26, 2009

The murderous mind in room 411

Room 411 at the legendary Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul is a shrine for a crime lover. That was the location where Agatha Christie wrote her crime novel "Murder on the Orient Express" in 1934.

The Hotel was built in 1892 to accommodate travelers with the Orient Express.

It is a lavish rococo style hotel designed by the French-Turkish architect Alexander Vallaury. It is the oldest European hotel in Istanbul. It has lived through the decline of the Ottoman Empire and is still thriving in Modern Day Istanbul.

Apart from Agatha Christie, the Hotel Pera Palace has been the home of many celebrities during the ages. The long list includes people as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, King George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary and Czar Nicholas II of Russia.

The Pera Palace Hotel has always been well known for its restaurant and bars. At restaurant Agatha you may order specialties of multi-ethnic İstanbul cuisine. At the Orient Bar you may enjoy the nostalgic ambiance and privileged service and choose from a wide range of wines and spirits, cocktails.

Brasserie 1892 is a place to see and be seen. It has a refined menu, enchanting atmosphere and terrace in summer. Having tea at Kubbeli Salon and Tea Lounge used to be a tradition among the İstanbul elite. The nostalgic Patisserie de Pera, is the place to choose creative pastries.

I am afraid we will only see the exterior of this institution, as the hotel is undergoing a full renovation expecting to last until April 2010.

(Photo top: Room 411 at the Pera Palas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, the room where Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express. Photo by Steve Hopson, November, 2004. See more photos at [ Steve Hopson Photography]. )

(Photo middle: Facade of Pera Palace Hotel by Chapultepec)

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