This archipelago is composed of nine islands (Adalar) located in the Marmara Sea. Four of the islands (Burgaz, Heybeli, Büyükada and Sedef) are served by regular boats departing from Sirkeci at the mouth of the Golden Horn, Kabatas and also from Bostanci (the closest point to the Islands) on the Asian coast.
In Byzantine times a number of monasteries where built on these pine covered islands. The name "Princes" comes from the princes pretenders to the throne who were sent here in exile. Turkish people began to settle on these islands at the end of the 19th century. The steamboats facilitated access to the islands, and the population started to increase rapidly when schools and hotels were built. In 1929 Leon Trotsky, who was granted asylum by Turkey, spent four years on Büyükada.

The residential areas have developed mostly around the piers and the sides of the islands facing Istanbul. Traffic is prohibited in this place of vacation and permanent settlement. Horse drawn carriages (phaetons) are used for local transportation and also to take the visitors around. In spring and summer, it is very nice to take a tour on these islands, and particularly on Büyükada which is the largest island, with a horse drawn carriage and have a fish meal in one of the fish restaurants lining the piers.
Map 1

The district of Galata is located on the north or left bank of the Golden Horn. The village, which was already inhabited before the Christian era, was first known as Sycae or Sykai (fig field), and due to its location on the opposite shore, the inhabitants of Byzantium also named it Peran en Sykais, meaning "fig field of the other side". The place was fortified by Constantine the Great (306-337), and later annexed to Constantinople by Theodosisus II (408-450). In the 6th century, the place was named Justinianopolis by Emperor Justinian (527-565), but the name only remained for a short time as it would never prevail upon Constantinople. The name Galata was mentioned for the first time with the arrival of the first Genoese settlers. It has been claimed that it derives from the word "gala" which means "milk" in Greek (because of the dairies which could be found around here), yet another possibility is that the name comes from a Genoese dialect word meaning "slope". Galata began to flourish with the arrival of more Genoese and Venitian settlers who were antagonistic and fought for the monopoly of Constantinople's external and internal trade. In turn, they made alliances with the Byzantines. After 1261, in return for their help by providing a fleet of warships to recapture Constantinople from the Latins of the Fourth Crusade, Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus granted the Genoeses the right to settle permanently in Galata.
About 1348, they surrounded their district with fortifications and built the Galata Tower, replacing a former tower, which they used for the surveillance of the Harbor in the Golden Horn. Galata remained an independent city until the Ottoman conquest. The Genoeses came under the protection of Mehmet the Conqueror and were allowed to remain in Galata and keep their privileges but the fortifications walls were partly destroyed. The sultan also made this a residential area for Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities.
The tower, to which the Ottomans added two stories, was converted into a prison. Later the Ottomans used it as a watch tower to detect fires in the city, because they prefered to build their houses in wood as they were more resistent in case of earthquake (but not in case of fire).
In 1638, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi succeeded in flying with artificial wings from the Tower and landed in Üsküdar on the other side of the Bosphorus.
The 12 stories tower has a height of 61m / 200 ft, a diameter of 8.95 m / 29.4 ft, and wall thickness of 3.75m / 12.3 ft.
The tower was opened to the public in 1967 and an elevator was added inside. In the 1980s, it was entirely restored.
During daytime, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of the city from the top floor (open everyday from 08.30 - 20.00), and at night it is possible to enjoy dinner at the panoramic restaurant where belly dancers, folk dance groups and singers perform in a typical atmosphere.

Soon after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, the district of Galata became too narrow because of its dense population. The richer merchants and the first foreign embassies progressively moved to live beyond the walls of Galata to the hills above. Thus was born the new European district of Pera (Pera means "beyond in Greek). When the Ottomans opened to trading with the West, Turkish Muslim families, also attracted by Galata, came and settled in the surroundings of the tower, but for the same reasons of overcrowding, they settled in Pera to which they gave the Turkish name Beyoglu (the Son of the Bey). Towards the end of the 16th century, Pera-Beyoglu had completely supplanted Galata.

Touring Galata

The lower part of Galata begins in Karaköy, at the foot of Galata Bridge. The present bascule bridge, located at the mouth of the Golden Horn, replaces the first steel Galata Floating Bridge built in 1912, itself replacing three former pontoon bridges (the first wooden bridge, the Old Bridge, was built in 1845). Having been damaged by fire in 1994, the fourth Galata Bridge was moved upstream the Golden Horn. In the introduction to "Modern Bridge by Slam" published in London in 1901, it is mentionned that British officers invented the game "bridge" while serving in the Crimean War (1854-56). The card game got its name from the Galata Bridge which they apparently crossed every day to go to a coffeehouse to play cards. Today, the particularity of Galata Bridge resides in the fishermen and hawkers who swarm the bridge whatever the weather, and the numerous tiny seafood restaurants located under the roadway.
In the past, Karaköy was famous for its taverns or meyhane which attracted the Muslim population. These taverns were located along the quays where, today, huge tourist cruise ships come alongside at the harbour station. After 1917, thousands of White Russians fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution landed here and settled in the area (and in Beyoglu) where they opened churches located, rather surprisingly, on the top floors of the buildings where they lived (Haghia Andrea and Haghia Panteleymon Churches).
Different congragation churches, that serve their communities, can be found in Galata-Karaköy. Saint Pierre and Paul Catholic (Galata Kulesi Street) was built in 1604 by the Genoeses next to their old Dominican convent, and rebuilt in 1841 after having been destroyed twice by fire. Saint Georges Church, rebuilt in the 18th century, houses the sepultures of two french ambassadors and that of Elisabeth Petri Lhomaca, the grand mother of the French poet André chénier who was born in Galata at Saint Pierre Han, and was beheaded during the French Revolution. Saint Benoît Church and Convent were founded in 1427 by the Benedictines, and in 1583 a school was opened by the Jesuites; some vestiges of the former church destroyed a few times by fire have remained. Many of the Latin Catholic churches were reduced to ashes in the great fires of Galata. In Sakizcilar Street, Surp Kirkor Lusavoric Armenian Church (1965) replaces the oldest Armenian Church in Istanbul (Surp Sarkis Church built around 1360, and the new Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator built in Haghios Nikolaos Turkish Orthodox Church; Haghios Ionnis Syriac Church...
Several small mosques (mescit) were built during the Ottoman era. Others were churches turned into mosques, such as the Arap Camii Galata Mahkemesi Street) which was a basilica (San Domenico) with a square belfry (now the minaret) converted after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans and used by Arab immigrants fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, thus its name Arab (Arap) Mosque.The Latin tombstones from the church are now displayed in the Archaeological Museum.
Another unusual mosque is Yeralti Camii (the Underground Mosque) established in the 17th century in the basement of one of the towers of the remparts by the sea.
Sokullu Mosque
, an octogonal work by the great architect Sinan, was erected in 1577 for Grand Vizier Sokullu Mehmet Pasha. This mosque is located near Atatürk Bridge and the gate (Azapkapisi) of the arsenal (Tershane).
The Jewish community of Galata also opened their cult. The conservative Jewish congregation opened their largest synagogue, Neve Shalom, in 1951 in Büyük Hendek Street. Two other main synagogues are the Askenazi Synagogue in Banker Street, which is the only remaining active synagogue of Askenaz Jews in Istanbul, and the Italian Synagogue Lâleli Çesme Street. The Jewish Museum is established in the former Zülfaris Synagogue.
For centuries, the district has always been an active business center. In the 19th century, the first banks where opened in Bankalar Street and Voyvoda Street where the Camondo Stairway reminds us of the Jewish Sefarad Camondo family, originating from Galata, who became one of the wealthiest banking families (Abraham Camondo was banker to the Ottoman government before the founding of the Ottoman Bank) which earned them the nickname "the Rothschilds of the East."

From Galata Bridge, the quays stretch as far as the district of Tophane named after the large building of the old Ottoman Cannon Foundry which stands accross the boulevard. The lovely historical Tophane Fountain (1732) with its inscriptions and plant-like ornaments stands in the square between Kiliç Ali Pasha Mosque, built by Sinan in 1580 for one of the famest commanders of the Ottoman fleet and whose interior contains tiles produced at Tekfur Sarayi, and the 19th century Baroque style Nusretiye Mosque. Lining the square are numerous outdoor narghile cafés.
At Karaköy, a vast underground market provides safe passage under the busy road to the entrance of the "tünel" (tunnel), an underground funicular railway built in 1873 by the French (the world's second oldest underground), that links to Tünel, the upper part of Galata. Tünel delimits the districts of Galata and Pera-Beyoglu.
Map 2, C 3

Galata district with old Galata Tower in the center
and modern skyscrapers in the background

Galata bridge at the mouth of the Golden Horn (left),
Karaköy district and the Bosphorus

View over Galata, Karaköy, Galata Bridge and the
historic centre on the opposite bank of the Golden Horn

In the right corner of the picture, remains of the genoese fortifications. On the left, Catholic St Peter and St Paul Church

The Russian Aya Panteleymon Church on the sixth floor of a building in Karaköy

View from the warehouses at Tophane

Narghile smokers at Tophane
The district of Beyoglu

Soon after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, the district of Galata, inhabited by
Levantines, Greeks, Armenians and Jews, became too narrow because of its dense population. The richer merchants and the first foreign embassies progressively moved to live beyond the walls of Galata to the hills above. Thus was born the new European district of Pera
(Pera means "beyond in Greek). When the Ottomans opened to trading with the West, Turkish Muslim families, also attracted by Galata, came and settled in the surroundings of the tower, but for the same reasons of overcrowding, they settled in Pera to which they gave the Turkish name Beyoglu (the Son of the Bey). Towards the end of the 16th century, Pera-Beyoglu had completely supplanted Galata.
The foreign embassies built palatial mansions, surrounded by gardens, along the main street known as the Grand Rue de Pera or Cadde-i Kebir for the Turks. For example, the Palace of France, the first embassy in Pera, was built in 1581 on a land granted to France by Süleyman the Magnificent. In 1831, a great fire destroyed about 3000 buildings in Pera-Beyoglu, and among them were the Palace of France (rebuilt in 1846 at the same place), the Palaces of Poland, Great Britain, Italy. Some embassies, like the German Embassy (1872), were rebuilt in Gümüssuyu. This great fire created a sort of an opportunity, for in a short time the area took a new look. Covered with Art nouveau buildings and with the establishment of city gas and electricity, Pera-Beyoglu became the glittering center of European life-style in Istanbul. The Grand Rue de Pera, which ended at Galatasaray (mid-way between present Taksim and Tünel), was extended as far as Taksim. Public transportation entered a new phase first with horse trams, quickly followed by electric ones. Some of the primitive churches related to the different cults of the foreign communities, were also rebuilt after the great fire of 1831 and another one in 1870.
The foreign merchants, bankers, shipowners established with their families in Pera-Beyoglu and Galata continued to prosper as they were protected by the "capitulations" which were special agreements between the Ottoman Empire and various foreign governments, giving those governments and their citizens specific exemptions from the law of the Empire.
In 1868, the famous Ottoman Imperial Lycée de Galatasaray was opened. French became the first main language of instruction of the school where young students, belonging to various religions, were educated with a complete religious freedom (Galatasaray, or Galata Palace, is actually an old institution founded in 1481 by Sultan Beyazit II in Istanbul to train civil servants. The school took the name Lycée de Galatasay after the Turkish Republic was established and the students were educated within the framework of the new ideas of the Republic. In 1992 Francophone Galatasaray University was opened at Besiktas on the Bosphorus shore). The opening of private schools by foreign (German, Austrian, French, Italian...) communities and foreign missionaries, Ottoman religious minorities, soon followed.
Pera became the center of cultural life and also the center of fashion frequented by fine Cosmopolitan ladies and elegant gentlemen. The Turks living in the traditional old city or in other districts of Istanbul loved to come to this modern European part of the city where the first great theatres, places of entertainment, restaurants, coffee houses, tearooms and cake shops were established. Of course they also came here to buy European goods of all kind. It is said that the ladies, who were veiled in Karaköy, would uncover the minute they got into the funicular which took them to Tünel, revealing Western clothes.
Following the War of Independence and the first years of the Republic, the Turks took over from the Levantines. Pera-Beyoglu remained flourishing until the mid 20th century and then entered a period of decline. In spite of the extremist political events which occured in Septembrer 1955, contributing to send away the Greeks from the country, a large amount of Levantines, Greeks, Armenians and Jews still live in Beyoglu, mingled with the Muslim population which is the majority. As more and more people came from the rural areas of Anatolia to Istanbul in search of jobs and a better life, the upper class and wealthy moved to areas where they felt more comfortable.
Since the 1990s, Beyoglu has regained its popularity by beeing again the heart of the city's cultural life and also an important commercial area. In the framework of the "Restoration of Beyoglu" project, Istiklal Avenue (Istiklal Caddesi)and buildings in the surrounding streets are beeing restored.

Beyoglu, just like Galata, is a place where it is worth to take one's time to stroll along Istiklal Caddesi, the main street, and in the narrows backstreets where the numerous buildings of historical character surprisingly tell the story of the Ottoman minorities, Westerners who came to settle in this part of the world and that of Turkish people who succeeded them. Until the 1930s the common language in Pera-Beyoglu was not Turkish, but French. This is why lots of French names can still be encountered everywhere around here.
Today, the palaces mentioned above generally house consulates. All the embassies have been transferred to Ankara after the city became the capital of modern Turkey in 1923.
The theatres, movie theatres, galleries, churches, mosques, synagogues, restaurants, fast food restaurants and eateries, cafes, bars, cake shops located on and in the surroundings of Istiklal Caddesi, make Beyoglu the busiest area for culture and entertainment in Istanbul, while the numerous shops and stores make it one of the best shopping area in the city.

Touring Beyoglu

The visit of Beyoglu can be started either from Tünel or Taksim Square. To my point of view it is better to start from Taksim and finish at Tünel to spend more time in this charming area. The main points of interest of this itinerary can be enumerated as follows:
Taksim Square was named after the historic Ottoman water reservoir "maksem" ( 1732) standing on its west side, from where water was distributed to fountains in Galata and Beyoglu. In the center of the square rises the "Taksim Cumhuriyet Aniti" or "Monument to the Republic", a work by the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica (1928), depicting Atatürk and his comrades-in-arms (Ismet Pasha, Fevzi Çakmak Pasha and others). On the east side of the square stands the Atatürk Culture Center (the Opera of Istanbul). Beneath the square and Taksim Park is the main terminal of the new metro system. The imposing dome that overlooks the square belongs to the Church of Haghia Triada (1880) located in Meselik Street. This Greek Orthodox church was built towards the end of the nineteenth century by the Greek Kampanaki, the architect of the building inside which the Belgium Consulate is established in Siraselviler Street, not far from the nice building built for the Muzuruses, a family of diplomats, and which today houses the Rumanian Consulate. In the surrounding streets, several fine houses as well as the Greek Zappyon School and Armenian Eseyan School (1895) were built by rich Greek and Armenian families.
Now, let us head towards the main avenue and beating heart of Beyoglu: the Grand Rue de Pera, starting inTünel and ending in Taksim, was renamed Istiklal Caddesi (Avenue of the Independence) in 1927 after the establishment of the Republic. The old and nostalgic Taksim-Tünel tram runs in the center of this 1.2 km / 0.75 miles lively pedestrianized avenue.

At the beginning of Istiklal Avenue stands the French Consulate, and from there one will be surprised by the succesion of shops, restaurants and fast food restaurants, theatres and cinemas with Alkazar (1923) and Emek (former Melek, 1924) which are amongst the oldest in Beyoglu, etc... located on the avenue and inside the numerous hans and shopping arcades(pasaj) that line it.
On the right hand side of the avenue, in Zambak Street behind the French Consulate, stands Vosgeparan Church (1863) which, with the small episcopal Asdvadzadzin Church located past Rumeli Hani (Cité Roumélie with inscriptions in Greek and French), is one of the Catholic Armenian community's main places of cult in Beyoglu. The Armenians are generally Gregorians but a Catholic Armenian community formed in the early 19th century in Beyoglu through their contact with the French Levantines, which facilitated the commercial relations with the latter and enabled the Catholic Armenians to get rich, as can be seen through the imposing buildings rising all along the avenue. One of them was Abraham who got the title of Pasha and to whom belonged the building inside which was opened the "Cercle d'Orient", the poshest club of the time, located before Halep Pasaji (Cité d'Alep). Almost at the end and on the right hand side of Mis Street stands a beautiful Art Nouveau building which belonged to Mister Martin, the Belgian carriage maker of the imperial court under Sultan Abdülhamit II
's reign. At the corner of Sakizaga Street is the small Aga Mosque whose interior contains tiles produced at Tekfur Sarayi, once a Byzantine palace. On the other side of the avenue at No 139, "Hasanbey Apt" was the residence of the famous Camondo bankers.
On the left of the avenue, in Küçük Parmak Street, stands Afrika Hani (Africa Han) which belonged to Ragip Pasha, Sultan Abdülhamit's Great chamberlain. Afrika Hani, Rumeli Hani (han de Roumélie or Europe Han) and Anadolu Hani (Anatolia or Asia Han) symbolyze the three continents on which the Ottoman Empire spread. Further down, after crossing Abdullah Street and past Abdullah Aga Fountain, is St Pulchérie French School opened by the Jesuits. Walk up Tel Street where stands a school which was the house of the Mavrokordatos, Greek traders descended from the aristocracy of the old Greek quarter of Fener, established in Beyoglu. Through Anadolu Street, walk back to Istiklal Caddesi.
Upon reaching Galatasaray, midway between Taksim and Tünel, on the right hand side is the picturesque "
Çiçek Pasaji" or Flower Passage (Cité de Péra, 1876), built by Cleanthe Zanno for the Greek banker Christaki Zografos. The Çiçek Pasaji was named after the "Café des Fleurs" (Café Flowers) which was once located at the back of the passage. Today the place is famous for its meyhanes (taverns), opened in the 1950s and where live music is performed by Turkish gypsies (other taverns can be found in Nevizade Street, at the end of the passage). The Flower Passage opens onto Sahne Street where are the colorful Fish Market (Balik Pazari), the Gregorian Armenian Surp Yerortutyun Church and the Passage de l'Europe (Avrupa Pasaji also called Mirror Passage) with its beautiful inner and street facades. Opposite this passage, at the beginning of Mesrutiyet Street stands the Palace of Great Britain sadly famous since it was bombed by terrorists on November 20, 2003. The palace was in built 1845 by Sir Charles Barry, the architect of the Parliament in London. At the back stands the Anglican Temple St Helena. Past Hazzopulos and Aznavur Passages, other examples of passages bearing the name of the families who had them built, in Nevruza Street and set in its own courtyard is Panaghia Isodoryon, one of the area's oldest Greek church. Very near is Rejans Restaurant, opened by White Russians with whom Russian entertainment, vodka and Strogonoff Beaf became popular in Beyoglu.
Back to Istiklal Caddesi and almost opposite the Flower Passage stands the Lycée de Galatasaray (see above) recognizable from its heavy wrought iron gates. In 1973, on Galatasaray Square a memorial has been erected to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Republic. On the left of the lycée, in Turnacibasi Street and after Zografyon Greek School, stands the historical Galatasaray Hammam. Further down in the same street stands the Consulate of Greece. This beautiful building was first the place of residence of the Metropolite of Antakya, then became the Greek Syllogos cultural Center before it was bought by the Greek government that established here its embassy (the new offices of the Greek Consulate are now located on Istiklal Caddesi in a beautiful building next to Halep Pasaji). By walking round the Lycée de Galatasary, it is possible to reach Çukurcuma where many antique shops can be found, and the charming "French street" (in fact Cezayir or Algeria Street) with its colorful houses, cafés and small art galeries. The street has been named after the French community who contributed to its renovation in 2003.
Back to Istiklal Caddesi through Nuru Ziya Street, the old Polish Street, where the entrance of the Palais de France (today the place of residence of the French Consul) is located. Beeing the first country to have diplomatic relations with the Ottomans (King Francis I and Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent had a common ennemy, Charles V), France obtained from the sultan grounds where the representative of France, the Knight of Germiny, undertook the construction of the Palais de France. Destroyed during the great fire in 1831, it was rebuilt in 1845 in Louis-Philip style by architect Laurecisque. On the other side of the street, at No 19, a plaque indicates the place of the house of Mr Commendinger, a piano dealer and piano tuner, where Franz Listz staid when he came to give concerts in the ottoman capital.
Back in Istiklal Avenue and turn right in to see St Anthony of Padua, a red brick neo-Gothic church built after 1913 by Giulio Mongeri, an Italian born in Istanbul, replacing two former Franciscan churches. The annexe buildings of the church are of a typical Venitian style. Facing St Antony, do not miss the Moorish style Elhamra building. Retrace your steps towards Postacilar Street which leads to a number of interesting buildings: located behind the Palace of Holland (1855) stands the Union Church, the oldest Protestant temple in the area. After a sharp right turn, comes the little Spanish Church which was part of the Spanish Embassy. In between is French Pierre Loti School located in the outbuildings of the Chapel of St Louis des Français, at the back of the Palace of France. Founded after 1581 by the Capuchins, the oldest Catholic church in Beyoglu has been severely damaged by the great fire in 1831. Continuing further down, a steep cobbled lane leads to Tomtom Kaptan Street and the Palace of Venice (1695), the second embassy after France to lay foundations in Pera. The Palazzo di Venezzia has been fortunate enough to be spared by the devastating fires. In the 18th century, it became for a time the possession of Austria-Hungary when Venice was seized, and following First World War, it no longer belonged to Venice but to Italy. One of the palazzo's famest guests was Casanova. Next to it is the Italian School.
Let us walk back up the same way to Istiklal Caddesi to discover, always on the left hand side, St Mary Draperis (1904), another Franciscan church where an old icon of the Virgin Mary is kept. The icon is considered to be miraculous because, unlike the old church built in 1584, the flames spared it many times. A little further on the avenue stands the Palace of Russia (1845) built by the Fossati Brothers who also were the architects of several buildings in Pera and worked at the restoration of Haghia Sophia. The "Botter House", was built by Italian architect Raimondo D'Aronco (he took part in the construction of
Yildiz Palace and many other official buildings) for Jan Botter, sultan Abdülhamit II's dutch tailer. This building is one of the nicest examples of Art Nouveau in Beyoglu. Then comes the Palace of Sweden, rebuilt in 1870. The grounds, bought in 1757, are Sweden's oldest state property abroad. Opposite stands Narmanli Han, which originally, housed the Russian Embassy before it was moved into its new premises and where, fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, White Russians took up residence. In 1933, the Narmanli brothers bought the buildings where numerous artists (painters, writers, poets etc...) settled.
Down sahkulu Bostan Street, on the right is the German School established in 1897 and grouping together several minor German schools opened after 1868 (the Embassy was built rather late between 1874-1877 in Gümüssuyu behind Taksim, after the dissolution of Prussia and the creation of Germany in 1871). In Serdar-i Ekrem, to the right rises imposing Dogan Mansion (1895) composed of three buildings around a panoramic courtyard opening onto Galata. Still in the same street, but to the left, stands the Anglican Crimean Temple built in Neo-Gothic style by the English to commemorate the Crimean War. Through Kumbaraci Street where was the house of Earl of Bonneval (1675-1747), alias Kumbaracibasi Ahmet Pasha, a French renegade who commanded the Ottoman artillery, walk back to Istiklal Caddesi. Cross the avenue and head right, towards Markiz Pasaji (Passage Marquise). Opened in 1840 under the name Passage Oriental (in Turkish sark Aynali Pasaji), it housed several small shops and the Pâtisserie Lebon whose slogan was "Tout est bon chez Lebon" (everything is good at Lebon's). In 1940, Pâtisserie Lebon, moving accross the street, was replaced by the Pâtisserie Marquise which became the artists' favorite café, after having been frequented by Young Turks, politicians and intellectuals. The new owner, Avedis Çakir, enriched the interior with beautiful stained glass windows in addition to the Art Nouveau tiles (1905) which had been brought from France (out of the four panels depicting the seasons, only Spring and Autumn have survived). The passage was closed in the 1970s and the pâtisserie in the 1980s when the building was sold. Many years later, the passage was thoroughly restorated. It has reopened under the name Passage Marquise and the Café-Pâtisserie Marquise reveals again its charms of days gone by.

Turn left into Balyoz Street to reach Tepebasi formerly named "Petits-Champs" (Small Fields). In Mesrutiyet Street, on the right stands Casa d'Italia and further the beautiful façade of the former Bristol Hotel, which today houses the Pera Museum, and the Grand Hotel de Londres which was the residence of the Glavani family before becoming a hotel. Walking down left of Mesrutiyet Street, stop off at the renowned Pera Palas Hotel to experience the presence of luxurious past residing here. This hotel, designed by French architect Alexander Vallaury (his other works are the buildings of the Ottoman Bank and the Archaeological Museum). The hotel was opened in October 1891 by the "Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits" for the use of the passengers of the Orient Express train (London-Bagdad). Among the numerous celebrities who staid at the hotel are Agatha Christie, whose room is the most famous ("Murder in the Orient Express was written in this room), Atatürk whose room has been preserved as a museum, King Edward VIII of Great Britain, Shah Riza Pehlevi of Iran, Tito, Mata Hari, Jacqueline Kennedy, Yehudi Menuhin...
Close to the hotel stands the Palazzo Corpi, built during the 1870s by Italian architect Leoni for
Ignazio Corpi, a Levantine shipowner who spent a fortune on its construction, even bringing building materials and artists from Italy. But Signor Corpi died while the construction was barely finished and the palace was rented, in 1882, to the American government. In 1907, American Ambassador John Leishman, using his personal funds, purchased the property at an extraordinarily low price (three times less than the cost of construction) on the assumption that he would be reimbursed when he returned on leave to the US. Upon arrival in Washington, being refused reimbursement, he had the idea to invite members of the Congress at a great party where poker would be played, humorously saying that if he would loose, he would forget about reimbursement. But he won, and this is how the American government was forced to pay and Constantinople Embassy became the first American possession in Europe.
In 2003, the consulate was transferred to Istiniye on the Bosphorus heights.
Through Asmali Mescit
Street, you can reach Tünel Square where Istiklal Caddesi ends (according to the historical context, I should say starts). Around here, the narrow streets have a picturesque atmosphere with their trendy cafés (some of them are tiny but so pleasant), restaurants which lay out their tables in the street as soon as the weather allows it, bars and live music venues, art galleries and antique shops, bookshops and music stores. Opposite the "Tünel" funicular railway building, do not miss the little "Tünel Pasaji" filled with restaurants and coffee houses whose terraces are decked with greenery and flowers.
Behind Tünel Square in Yemenici Abdüllatif Street is Turkey's Chief Rabbinate (Hahambasligi) which has been established here since the early 20th century.

The "tünel" underground funicular railway (the world's second oldest underground) built in 1873 by the French, connects Karaköy district to Tünel district. For those interested in buying (or just want to see) typical Turkish music instruments, Galip Dede Caddesi, the street that connects Tünel to Galata Tower, is the right place to go to. At the begining of this street is the Galata Mevlevihanesi, which houses the Museum of Divan Literature, but better known for the most interesting Whirling dervishes ceremonies held here (see below).
Map 2, B 3

Italian St Anthony of Padua Church
and the old tram in Istiklal Caddesi

Beyoglu by night

Dogan House located at the
boundery between Beyoglu and Galata

Anglican Crimean Temple

Istiklal Caddesi, the main street
in Beyoglu and the old tram

Café-pâtisserie "Markiz"
at Markiz Passage near Tünel

The "French Street" is located behind
the Lycée of Galatasaray and the French Embassy

The Flower Passage and Passage

de l'Europe (Avrupa Pasaji)

The French Street

At Tünel, at the beginning of Galip Dede Street, is the Galata Mevlevihanesi. The first lodge (Tekke) of Whirling dervishes in Istanbul, was built in 1491 by Iskender Pasha, the Governor General and Imperial Guard Chief of Sultan Bayezit II. The complex was damaged by a big fire in 1766 and was restored by Sultan Mustafa III to its present form. Further restorations were made in the 19th century and between 1967-72.
Many great poets, composers, calligraphers, mesnevi reciters, drum and reed flute (ney) players, whirling dervishes were educated here. The first sheik (Seyh) of the lodge was Muhammed Semaî Sultan Divanî, one of the grandchildren of Mevlânâ Celâleddin Rûmi, and the last one was Ahmed Celâleddin Dede. The tombs of Seyhs, such as mystic poet Seyh Galip Dede, can be seen in the cemetery adjacent to the lodge. The tombs of Ibrahim Müteferrika, who founded the first Turkish printing press in the 18th century, of the Earl of Bonneval (1675-1747), alias Kumbaracibasi Ahmet Pasha, a French renegade who commanded the Ottoman artillery, and that of Leyla Saz, the famous poetess and composer (1850-1936), can also be seen in the cemetery.
Galata Mevlevihanesi houses the Divan Edebiyat Müzesi (Museum of Divan Literature) where objects, once used by the Mevlevi dervishes in their ceremonies of music and dance, are displaid. Sufi Music concerts and Sema ceremonies are performed here on the first and last Saturdays of every month between 5.00-6.30 pm from June till September and between 3.00-4.30 pm the rest of the year.
Galip Dede Caddesi No 15 - Tünel. Tel : +90 505 678 0618 / +90 535 210 4565.
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Contemporary lovers of Mevlânâ Society is composed of both young male and female members.
The women can be seen here, during the Sema ceremony, wearing colored scarves.
The district of Ortaköy is located on the European shore, at the foot of the first Bosphorus suspension bridge. The most attractive center of Ortaköy is an area bubbling over with life and its numerous cafés and open-air cafés, restaurants to suit every taste, trendy bars, jazz bars and night clubs make it one of the best places for nightlife in Istanbul. In addition to its galleries and art boutiques, Ortaköy is also very popular for its handycraft market and especially on week-ends, its narrow cobbled back streets with their lovely houses, fill with colorful stalls.
In spite of its modern and lively atmosphere, Ortaköy is an old district of Istanbul where a Jewish community settled. The historic Etz Ahayim (Life Tree) Synagogue, built in 1660, was destroyed by a fire in 1941. The only thing
which could be saved was a cupboard (Ehal) in which a copy of the Old Testament, hand written on parchments was kept. The adjacent midrash (study room) was converted into the new synagogue (Muallim Naci Avenue).
Ortaköy Mosque
(also known as Büyük Mecidiye Mosque), the jewel of Ortaköy, is located in a superb setting by the waterside. This Baroque style mosque was built in 1854-55 by the court architect Nikogos Balyan (the son of Gabaret Balyan, the architect of Dolmabahçe Palace) at the behest of Sultan Abdülmecit. The pier located in front of the mosque was intended for the sultan's barge to come alongside. From here he could go directly to the private section on the left, designed for him. Some plates and the "Kelime-i sahadet" (testifying one’s belief in Islam) on the "mihrab" of the mosque are the works of Sultan Abdülmecit.

On the Bosphorus shore, half way between Besiktas and Ortaköy stands Çiragan Palace, built in 1871 for Sultan Abdülaziz by Serkis Balyan. The beautiful bridge which spans the road connected the palace to Yildiz Palace, the slopes of Yildiz Park and its lovely kiosks situated in the heights of Ortaköy. Burnt down in 1910, and after remaining in ruins for many years, the palace has been renovated and turned into the 5-star Ciragan Palace Hotel Kempinski.
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