Unique Places in Istanbul

  • Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, TR
    Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha Mosque,...
    by TrendsetterME
  • Energy Museum, SantralIstanbul, TR
    Energy Museum, SantralIstanbul, TR
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  • Energy Museum, SantralIstanbul, TR
    Energy Museum, SantralIstanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Istanbul

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    Hagios Phokas Orthodox Church, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 9, 2013

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    Permission for the church on Muallim Naci Street was not given between 1520 and 1566 owing to the fact that the land belonged to the Sultan Beyazıt Foundation. After the decree had been received in 1570, a small wooden church was built. The larger church, which was built in 1693 owing to the efforts of Patriarch Kallinikos II, was destroyed in the fire of 1719.

    The present day church was built in 1856 and the parrecclesion dedicated to St. Yeoryios at the end of the 19th century.

    The building with external dimension of 28.64 x 18.3 m is about 13.2 m high. It has a basilica plan with three naves and a cradle roof.

    Scenes taken from Jesus’ life story are placed in the little frames on the upper part of the Holy Trinity depiction in the middle of the iconostasis. In the larger frames below, from the left, are depictions of Hagios Basileios, Hagios Demetrios, Panagia Koimesis, Hagios Phokas, the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus, Jesus, Ioannes Prodromos, Khristos Genesis, Hagios Georgios, and Hagios Tryphon.

    The ambo’s surfaces facing the narthex are embellished with Jesus and the writers of the Gospels.

    The Christ Pantokrator on the narthex and the Apostles’ portraits on the front surface of volutes are quite good. Also, the western wall of the narthex and the side of the gallery facing the narthex are embellished with scenes from the Bible and the Old Testament, respectively.

    Its located just next to Ortakoy district of the city, about 15 mins walking distance from Besiktas harbour ....

    Hagios Phokas Orthodox Church, Istanbul, TR Hagios Phokas Orthodox Church, Istanbul, TR Hagios Phokas Orthodox Church, Istanbul, TR Hagios Phokas Orthodox Church, Istanbul, TR Hagios Phokas Orthodox Church, Istanbul, TR
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    Tunel Passageway, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated May 4, 2013

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    Opposite Tunel station, an elaborate iron gate leads to an enchanting 19th-century arcade overgrown with potted plants.

    The locaton is Tunel district, at the far end of the Istiklal Street.

    Here is my HD "Tunel Square" Video :

    Video

    There are couple interesting stores as well as bars and eateries located at Tunel Square and the most famous building is the historical "Tunel Gecidi" office building which was built in 1871. There are still offices in the building as well as art galleries and nice restaurants/bars located in its garden side which perform also live music at the evenings.

    This mystical passage way right opposite of Taksim Tunel, known as the world’s second oldest underground public transportation built in 1874, is lightened by hundreds of colorful light bulbs every night and it really looks magical. Asmalimescit is the the last stop of the nostalgic Taksim-Tunel tramway and when you get off the tramway you’ll definitely drown inside this passage where there are also great restaurants and bars.

    After a dinner evening at the passageway you can pass by the 19th century iron gates and enjoy the nightlife of Asmalimescit .... :)

    Tunel Passageway, Istanbul, TR Tunel Passageway, Istanbul, TR Tunel Passageway, Istanbul, TR Tunel Passageway, Istanbul, TR Tunel Passageway, Istanbul, TR
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    Cezayir Street, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 3, 2013

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    In the 17th century, when the Ottoman Empire began bringing European experts in to help modernize the city, most of them settled in the Pera district, today the Istiklal Caddesi area. Many of the French residents clustered on this street, which became known as Fransiz Sokagi, or French Street. Its heyday was in the late 19th century, when the French population introduced the first cinemas and cafes into the area and architect Marius Michel designed many of the buildings on the left hand side of the street.

    During the uprisings for independence in Algeria, the Turkish government changed the name of the street to Algeria street, or Cezayir Sokak as a sign of solidarity, but it is still popularly known as Fransiz Sokagi. In 2004 Mehmet Tasdiken led a restoration of the street, re-exerting its French feel even in the cobblestones and street lamps.

    The street is full of cafes and restaurants, even an art gallery; all brightly colored in the designer's vision of how it once looked. Sitting outside is so popular that there are heaters put out to accommodate guests even when the weather is cool. Most feature live music nightly, each specializing in a different genre. Pay special attention to the street lamps, which lined the streets of Paris a century ago.

    To reach the area from Istiklal Street, the street is behind Galatasaray School, follow Yenicarsi Street taking the first left onto Hayriye Street, from there it is the first street on the right ... :)

    Cezayir Street, Istanbul, TR Cezayir Street, Istanbul, TR Cezayir Street, Istanbul, TR Cezayir Street, Istanbul, TR Cezayir Street, Istanbul, TR
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    Church of SS Peter and Paul, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 2, 2013

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    SS Peter and Paul (Sen Pier ve Sen Paul Kilisesi) is a Roman Catholic church in Istanbul, important for historical reasons. The church owns an icon of the Virgin of the Hodegetria type, which originally lay in a Dominican church in Caffa, Crimea.

    The current building is a nineteenth century (1841 to 1843) reconstruction of the Fossati brothers.

    The church is built in the form of a basilica, with a four side altar. The cupola over the choir is sky blue, studded with gold stars. The church's rear wall is built into a section of Galata's old Genoese ramparts. The church possesses several relics: those of Saint Renatus and others of Saint Thomas, Saint Dominic and the Saints Peter and Paul. The yard East of the church's entrance takes the form of a narrow alleyway enclosed by high walls which are covered with sculptures and inscribed gravestones, most of them in Italian. More graves are contained in the church's crypt.

    The church lies in Karakoy which is ancient Galata and is in neighborhood district of Beyoglu. U can reach the church as walking uphill on the direction to the Galata Tower.

    Church of SS Peter and Paul, Istanbul, TR Church of SS Peter and Paul, Istanbul, TR Church of SS Peter and Paul, Istanbul, TR Church of SS Peter and Paul, Istanbul, TR
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    Camondo Stairs, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 2, 2013

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    "Camondo Stairs" in Istanbul constructed by Camondo Family circa 1870-1880.

    Legend has it that the family had the stairs built so that their kids could take a shortcut on their way to school. No matter what its intention, this art-nouveau piece contributes greatly to the urban fabric of Karakoy and provides a stylish hike up towards the Galata Tower as well as a great set for your Istanbul photos.

    Part of the Sephardic community in Spain, the Camondo family settled in Venice after the 1492 Spanish decree that ordered the expulsion of all Jews who refused conversion to Catholicism. There, some of its members became famous for their scholarship and for the services which they rendered to their adopted country. Following the Austrian takeover of Venice in 1798, members of the Camondo family established themselves in İstanbul. Despite the many restrictions and sumptuary laws imposed on all minorities, the family flourished as merchants in the business section at Galata at the outskirts of the city. They branched into finance in 1802 with the founding of their own bank.

    Located at the Karakoy district, just on the Bankalar Street entrance on your right handside ... :)

    Camondo Stairs, Istanbul, TR Camondo Stairs, Istanbul, TR Camondo Stairs, Istanbul, TR Camondo Stairs, Istanbul, TR Camondo Stairs, Istanbul, TR
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    Emirgan Park, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written Apr 29, 2013

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    The Emirgan Park (Turkish: Emirgan Korusu or rarely Emirgan Parkı) is a historical urban park located in Emirgan neighborhood at the Bosphorus in Sarıyer district of Istanbul. It is one of the largest public parks in Istanbul.

    The park, owned and administered today by the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, covers an area of 117 acres (470,000 m2) on a hillside, and is enclosed by high walls.

    Inside the park with two decorative ponds are plants of more than 120 species. The most notable rare trees of the park's flora are: Stone Pine, Turkish pine, Aleppo Pine, Blue Pine, Eastern White Pine, Maritime Pine, Japanese Cedar, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce, Atlas Cedar, Lebanon Cedar, Himalayan cedar, Beech, Ash tree, Sapindus, Babylon Willow, Hungarian Oak, Colorado White Fir, Maidenhair tree, California incense-cedar, Coast Redwood and Camphor tree.

    Many jogging tracks and picnic tables make the Emirgan Park a very popular recreation area for the local people, especially during the weekends and holidays. The three historic pavilions, called after their exterior color as the Yellow Pavilion, the Pink Pavilion and the White Pavilion were restored in time between 1979-1983 by the Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey under its CEO Celik Gulersoy, and opened to the public as cafeteria and restaurant.

    Perfect park to be away from the noise and hassle of the city ... :)

    Emirgan Park, Istanbul, TR Emirgan Park, Istanbul, TR Emirgan Park, Istanbul, TR Emirgan Park, Istanbul, TR Emirgan Park, Istanbul, TR
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    Hayreddin Barbarossa Mauseloum, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated Apr 20, 2013

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    Hayreddin Barbarossa or Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha (Turkish: Barbaros Hayreddin (Hayrettin) Pasa or Hizir Hayreddin (Hayrettin) Pasa; also Hizir Reis before being promoted to the rank of Pasha and becoming the Kapudan-ı Derya,

    Was a Turkish Ottoman admiral of the fleet who was born on the island of Lesbos and died in Constantinople, the Ottoman capital. Barbarossa's naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century, from the Battle of Preveza in 1538 until the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

    Hayreddin was an honorary name given to him by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. He became known as "Barbarossa" ("Redbeard" in Italian) in Europe, a name he inherited from his elder brother Baba Oruc after Aruj was killed in a battle with the Spanish in Algeria. This name sounded like "Barbarossa" ("Redbeard") to the Europeans, and Aruj did have a red beard. The nickname then stuck also to Hayreddin's Turkish name, in the form Barbaros.

    His mausoleum is in the Barbaros Park of Besiktas where his statue also stands, right next to the Istanbul Naval Museum. On the back of the statue are verses by the Turkish poet Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, which may be translated as follows:

    Whence on the sea's horizon comes that roar?
    Can it be Barbarossa now returning
    From Tunis or Algiers or from the Isles?
    Two hundred vessels ride upon the waves,
    Coming from lands the rising Crescent lights:
    O blessed ships, from what seas are ye come?

    Barbaros Boulevard starts from his mausoleum on the Bosphorus and runs all the way up to the Levent and Maslak business districts and beyond. He gave his name to Uskudar and Eminonu port in Besiktas
    .
    In the centuries following his death, even today, Turkish seamen salute his mausoleum with a cannon shot before leaving for naval operations and battles.

    Several warships of the Turkish Navy and passenger ships have been named after him.

    Hayreddin Barbarossa Mauseloum, Istanbul, TR Hayreddin Barbarossa Mauseloum, Istanbul, TR Hayreddin Barbarossa Mauseloum, Istanbul, TR Hayreddin Barbarossa Mauseloum, Istanbul, TR Hayreddin Barbarossa Mauseloum, Istanbul, TR
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    Sirkeci Train Station

    by HORSCHECK Written Apr 6, 2013

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    Istanbul's Sirkeci Train Station edifice was built in 1890 as the eastern terminus of the Orient Express. It was designed in European Orientalist style by the German architect August Jachmund.

    While the historic building's entrance is on the side of the tracks, the current modern looking entrance is at the end of the tracks, facing the busy street Ankara Caddesi. From here the whole beauty of the train station can easily be overlooked.

    Unfortunately, like Haydarpasa Train Station, also Sirkeci Train Station is losing its importance due to the massive underground railway project Marmaray, which includes a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus.

    Inside the building the old waiting rooms, the Orient Express Restaurant and an Atatürk Monument are well worth seeing. Also since a few years the small Turkish Railway Museum can be found in the train station. Unfortunately it was closed when I visited the place.

    The old steam locomotive TCDD 2251, which was built by the company Krauss Munich in 1874 is displayed just outside of the station building.

    Directions:
    Istanbul's Sirkeci Train Station is situated on the European side of the city in the Sirkeci district. It can be found near the street crossing of Ankara Caddesi and Kennedy Caddesi.

    Inside Sirkeci Train Station Sirkeci Train Station: Atat��rk Monument Sirkeci Train Station:Part of the old building Sirkeci Train Station: Steam train TCDD 2251 Suburban train at Sirkeci Train Station
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    Polish Village/Polonez koy

    by traveloturc Updated Jan 31, 2013

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    Polonezkoy, literally the "Polish Village", is a pretty village on the Beykoz-Sile road on the Asian side. It was founded by settlers from Poland, who took political asylum in the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century. Located in the midst of abundant nature, Polonezköy offers the visitors the natural beauty and the fresh air full of oxygen. Owing to intensive touristic demand the village has been equipped with restaurants, motels and pensions. The opportunities for picnics, strolls and sports attract the visitors in the spring and summer times while in the winter it is usually the hunting excursionists visiting here. Besides, it is an interesting experience for the visitors to taste the Polish food prepared by the handful Polish locals of the village.
    Polonezkoy is also famous for its picnic areas...Nature parc or Cumhuriyet village is wellknown
    for this kind of activities...

    Polonezkoy festival polish village polkas in istanbul polonez in winter You are there

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    Prince Islands

    by traveloturc Updated Jan 30, 2013

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    I use to spend all my summer holidays in one of this islands and my mother was use to live in Heybeli.This islands are situated only 45 minutes far from the city with boat.
    The Princes' Islands are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara. These islands are Büyükada (Greek: Prinkipo, meaning "Prince") with an area of 5.36 km², Heybeliada (Greek: Halki) with an area of 2.4 km², Burgazada (Greek: Antigoni) with an area of 1.5 km², Kýnalýada (Greek: Proti,meaning "The First", being the closest island to Istanbul) with an area of 1.3 km², Sedef Adasý (Greek: Terebinthos) with an area of 0.157 km², Yassiada (Greek: Plati) with an area of 0.05km², Sivriada (Greek: Okseia) with an area of 0.05km², Kasik Adasi (spoon island, named for its shape) with an area of 0.006 km², and Tavsan Adasi( greek:Leandros) with an area of 0.004 km².
    As there is no traffic on the Islands, the only transport being horse and cart, they are incredibly peaceful compared with the city of Istanbul. They are just a short ferry ride from both the Asian (at Bostanci and also Kartal) and European sides (from Sirkeci/Eminönü, Kabatas and Yenikapi) of Istanbul.
    During the Byzantine period, princes and other royalty were exiled on the islands, and later members of the Ottoman sultans family were exiled there too, lending the islands their present name.

    heybeli sunset

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    Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park

    by mikey_e Written Dec 8, 2012

    This park is directly continuguous to the Sultanahmet complex and is along the tramway that leads towards the Grand Bazaar and the Beyzayid Mosque complex. It is obviously a modern creation, as it includes a small pavillion and tiered gardens, but at the same time it has the Firuz Aga Mosque. The Mosque is a late 15th century construction that demonstrates the typical Ottoman style with a slender, tall minaret and a squat, wide dome, a loan from Byzantine styles of architecture. The park is not, thankfully, overrun by the same crowds that take over the Sultanahmet, and thus allow for both a bit of relaxation and siteseeing after the frenzy of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

    Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park Close-up of the Pavillion View from the park Firuz Aga Mosque Closer view of the mosque
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    Özel Gentronagan Armenian High School

    by mikey_e Written Dec 8, 2012

    The role and importance of Armenians in Istanbul's history is highly contentious, but that is not to say that Armenian life in the city has been obliterated or suppressed. As one of Turkey's recognized minorities, Armenians are guaranteed freedom of religion and education, and thus there continue to be function Armenian schools and churches throughout the city and the country. The Özel Gentronagan School is one of them, and it is located in Tophane not far from the Galata Bridge. It is not a tourist attraction, but its distinctive Armenian architecture (the stepped walls with the prism steeple) adds a bit of exotic flavour to the neighbourhood.

    Gentronagan Armenian High School A view of the wall More of the dark grey walls
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    Yesil Ev

    by mikey_e Written Dec 7, 2012

    Yeºil Ev appears to be a hotel or private establishment, and yet I couldn’t help but photograph this particularly quaint and interesting structure. It is a wooden house, painted green, that must represent the style of architecture that was common amongst the ordinary masses of Istanbullus.

    Yesil Ev Yesil Ev
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    Inönü Caddesi

    by mikey_e Written Dec 7, 2012

    I wandered up Inönü Caddesi (named after Turkey’s first Prime Minister and a close colleague of Atatürk) because I had decided to go from my hotel in Besiktas to Istiklal Caddesi on foot. I cannot claim that this part of the city would be a major attraction for anyone looking to explore Istanbul’s tourist sites, but it does have a certain draw for anyone wishing to see a bit more of the Istanbul that middle-class Turks live. On Inonu Caddesi there are many restaurants and shops that cater to Turks of a certain income bracket and that are far from the influence of the hucksters you will find on Istiklal Caddesi. The architecture is a mixture of the modern (there’s quite a lot of construction going on) and the neo-Classical and Modernist styles that are remnants of the development of Istanbul’s posh areas after the turn of the century.

    In��n�� Avenue View down from the street Buildings along the avenue Old building along the avenue

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    Eminönü Book Fair

    by mikey_e Written Dec 7, 2012

    Even if my knowledge of Turkish doesn’t quite allow me to read even children’s books in the language, I still very much enjoy the idea of browsing through books. This particular book fair was organized in a large parking lot on Küçük Bayram Street and, despite my limitations, I enjoyed spending a few moments browsing through the various titles. If you can read Turkish, there appeared to be books to everyone’s taste here; if not, the views over the city are spectacular!

    The book fair More of the fair View from the parking lot
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