The Mevlevi Dervish order was founded in the 13th century by the followers of the Persian Islamic scholar Jalal ad Din Rumi. The order is based on a specific interpretation of Islam and the rites and obligations of devotion to God. It grew in prestige in Turkey and the Levant, especially after its leaders established a blood relationship with the Ottoman Sultans. As a result, the order, which was based in Konya, had widespread political, social, economic and religious influence throughout the Empire. They had their own regiment in the army and established outposts in various sections of the Empire. With the proclamation of the Republic in 1923, they fell out of favour with the new governing class, and were banned in 1925. Many of their lodges were seized by the state (including this one), and they survived only by becoming apolitical organizations devoted to religious and social works. Despite the new establishment's hostility to the dervishes, their cultural and religious traditions are preserved to some extent, including in museums such as this one, in order to conserve the memory of the important role played by the dervishes in Ottoman society and politics.
This particular avenue does not hold much historical significance, except for the fact that is the main thoroughfare along the Bosphorus that leads to Galata Bridge, and that thus passes the Dolmabahçe complex, the Kiliç Ali Pasha complex and a variety of other sites of historical interest. Along it, however, you will find a variety of small parks and remnants of Ottoman architecture. While it is probably too far to comfortably walk all the way to Galata Bridge, it is still worthwhile to spend a bit of time ambling up this thoroughfare: the pictures you get will be the reward.
The Beyoglu Municipal Office caught my eye because of its prominent placement at the end of Istiklal Caddesi and its position, perched at the top of a hill above bifurcating streets. There’s not much else to the building, except of course its neo-Classical design, which also makes it a nice subject for a few pictures of this part of the city.
The old district of Pera gave place to the modern Beyoglu, with the inevitable Istiklal Caddesi, dominating the area. However, a few signs of the classical quarter do remain, showing the Ottoman architecture.
Beyoglu was always the place where the non turks were living. It’s located on a hill north of Golden Horn. First, people for Genoa settled here and later jews (during the Otoman period), arabs and Greeks. Most of the European kingdoms had ambassadors here since the 16th century but of course you can still embassies in our days.
The area houses many interesting embassy buildings, especially those on Istiklal are very nice but the heavy front gates didn’t allow me to take proper pictures. If you walk a bit way you may see the British Consulate (pic 4), and not far from there the historical Pera Palas Hotel (pic 5, Mesrutiyet Cad 98) that was built in 1892 and hosted many famous people, especially those who were coming with the legendary Orient Express including Agatha Christie.
Galata Mevlevihanesi Muzesi, is a small interesting museum where you can watch sufi dance some days but unfortunately it was closed for restoration in 2011 so I will check it next time
Istiklal street isn’t just shopping and eating, you can see many religious places too, a mosque near Taksim square, an Armenian church located on a side street, some other small churches (pic 1) and some bigger ones like the catholic church of St Antony of Padua(pic 2), the biggest catholic church in Istanbul that was built in 1912 in neo-gothic style. It is usually full of visitors due to its location while the orthodox people use the small Panagia church at the other side of Istiklal.
Near the Tunel we saw Saint Mary Draperis church (pic 3, Istiklal Cad No. 215), It’s a Franciscan church that was built by architect Semprini at the end of 19th century (in 1871) after the big fire in Beyoglu. It supposed to house a miracle icon of Virgin Mary. The original church was actually at Galata Mum Hane but burnt down in 1584 untill madame Clara Bratola Draperis donated another building to be build again but new fires destroyed it again! Many fires followed the church at its current location until Sultan Abdlihamit II gave permission to be renovated and rebuild again.
Commissioned in 1823 by Sultan Mahmut II, the elegant Nusretiye Mosque commemorates the sultan's victory over the rebellious janissary troops (nusretiye means "victory"). The mosque was designed by the Armenian architect Krikor Balyan, whose descendants later also served as imperial architects. Balyan's stunning design was strongly influenced by European Baroque architecture, while retaining the signature Ottoman style.
This European style pavilion was built in 1852 by Sultan Abdülmecid. He employed a British architect, William James Smith, to design this palace which was to house important foreign visitors. The palace earned its name from the cannon foundry in this neighbourhood (tophane = cannon foundry), but is now used by Mimar Sinan University and is closed to the public. The palace is located near Nusretiye Mosque.
Built in 1451, Tophane-i Amire was a cannon foundry that gave this neighbourhood its name. The structure is striking because of its multiple domes and small turrets. Although the building is still owned by the military, it is sometimes used as a cultural and arts centre. It is located across from the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque and has great views over it.
Among many charitable water fountains in Istanbul, this one is named Tophane, after the nearby cannon foundry. The stunning domed fountain was built in 1732 by Sultan Mahmut I, just outside Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque. Its four sides are covered with marble, carved with the most beautiful and intricate floral designs. Nowadays, the fountain is no longer functional, but stands as architectural monument in Beyoğlu.
Part of the Kılıç Ali Paşa Complex, the namesake hammam (hamami in Turkish) was completed in 1583. In August 2004, the hammam was not in operation and the structure appeared in desperate need of restoration.
Kılıç Ali Paşa Camii (pronounced "Kilitsh Ali Pasha Djamee") was designed by the great imperial architect Sinan for Kılıç Ali Paşa, an admiral in the Ottoman navy. The mosque was built in 1581 as part of a complex which also contains a hammam, a medrese (religious school) and a cemetery. The mosque is located in Tophane district of Beyoğlu, near Karaköy.
With its steep stairs, Cezayir (Algeria) Street crossed with Hayriye Street which lies just behind Galatasaray High School in Beyoglu (which is in the middle of Istiklal street). Some people call it "French Street" another, Algerian Street. whatever name you prefer, it is an absolutely charming adorable area
The French street is a great place to have a good time by listening to the French chansons and it is also possible to find restaurants offering very special tastes from the French cuisine; cafes, bars, wine houses along with souvenir and second hand shops.
There are many tasty foods to be found in Istanbul, with flavors ranging from Arabic countries to Aegean and Greek to Ottoman era to the Black Sea regions. One of my favorite things to do is get together a bunch of friends and go to eat fish and mezes (tapas/small plates) out in Nevizade.
Frequently the meals are accompanied by strange music called fasil, at places called meyhanes. Anyway, A trip down Nevizade street near the fish market will amaze you. There are pubs and street sellers and terrace roofs and music all around.
Explore, and I am sure you will find adventure.
Istiklal Caddesi is the name of the street that goes from Taksim square down to Tünel. It's an experience to go there because of the architecture, the crowd - the street is always packed with people - and all the restaurants, bars and shops that is all around Istiklal. It's on the street and on the side streets and paralell streets around Istiklal.
I have reached out and Touched this city,everything is so good ,except the keyboard at this internet cafee,i will edit when i get back to London.
Listening to some Turkish songs as i write this.
Pictures and tips later.