Gare de l’Est, opened in 1849, is one of the six large SNCF termini in Paris. SNCF started LGV Est Europeen services from the Gare de l’Est on 10 June 2007, with TGV and ICE services to north-eastern France, Luxembourg, southern Germany and Switzerland. On 4 October 1883, the Gare de l’Est saw the first departure of the Orient Express for Istanbul.
The Gare de l’Est is the terminus of a strategic railway network extending towards the eastern part of France, and it saw large mobilizations of French troops, most notably in 1914, at the beginning of World War I. In the main-line train hall, a monumental painting by Albert Herter, dating from 1926, illustrates the departure of these soldiers for the Western front.
At the top of the west façade of the Gare de l’Est is a statue by sculptor Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire, representing the city of Strasbourg, while the east end of the station is crowned by a statue personifying Verdun, by Henri Varenne.