‘The entire continent turns eastward’, wrote Victor Hugo in his prologue
to Les Orientales towards the end of the 19th century. In 1889 the
first Orient Express steamed through the ancient gates of
Constantinople. Not long after, a palatial hotel was built on the hill
of Pera. Its name became a legend: Pera Palace Hotel.
Ever since the Pera Palace has been an institution, its famous and
mysterious guests radiating l’art de vivre, enjoying its stylish five
o’clock dances, lavish balls, fine food and splendid drinks. This book
offers a look behind the veil of a city that is steeped in the myths of
the Orient. It talks about the legendary Orient Express. It is about
famous writers and infamous spies, as the Pera Palace Hotel’s territory
is at the crossroads of interest of all Super Powers on Earth.
Here you meet the most famous names of the silver screen, politics and fashion. And you meet their chroniclers, who have made the hotel immortal. They all enjoyed the discreet atmosphere of this fine palace, more or less successfully walking the tight rope between two worlds.
Andreas Augustin about his book: “For me, Istanbul is the most exotic city of Europe. Its location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, its unique position overlooking its waterways, the ‘white’ Marmara Sea, the deep-blue Bosphorus and the peaceful waters of the Golden Horn, is perfectly enhanced by this amazing hotel, full of tales.
I have been served a wonderful cocktail. But sitting on the terrace of my Pierre Loti Suite watching the sun go down over the historic city of Istanbul, I can assure you that no concoction could ever match the Pera Palace Hotel itself, this fantastic cocktail of fiction and facts. I raise my glass to this grand lady of hotels, who so marvelously plays with her age, her history and her past.”