Galatasaray Lisesi is one of the oldest educational institutions in Turkey. It was originally a Lycée, i.e. a French school, and was one of the first institutions to provide instruction in French in Turkey. After a gradual opening of the Ottoman Empire to European influences in the mid-19th century, it was decided that a cadre of leaders educated along the same lines as Europeans would be needed for the Ottoman Empire's develpment. As such, on 1 October 1868, the Sultan founded Galatasaray Sultanate school as a school for boys that provided instruction in both Turkish and French. The school flourished and included students from the Christian and Jewish minorities as well. After the turn of the century, other European languages were added to the curriculum and enrollment was widened. After the foundation of the Republic, the school became a Lycée and lessons were given in Turkish in order to ease general education of the populace. It was not until 1965 that a mirror school for girls was opened, and in the 1990s a university attached to the school was also founded.
Çiçek Pasaji, which means Flower Passage, was once known as the Cité de Péra, taken from the Greek name for Beyoglu, Pera. It is an upscale, arcaded shopping centre that has a number of restaurants and cafés. These are all historic, as the shopping arcade was opened in 1876 on the site of a former theatre that was badly damaged by fire.
It’s hard to miss the San Antonio di Padova church, as its deep pink façade contrasts with the neo-Classical and occasionally orientalist architecture of the surrounding buildings and side streets. This is one of two Roman Catholic churches on the avenue, and is one of the most important Roman Catholic churches in the city. Although a church has stood on this spot since the 1720s, the current structure was constructed a decade before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, after the turn of the 20th century. Its neo-Gothic design was inspired by Venetian models, and indeed the church was patronized heavily by the Venetian and Genoese communities in the city, although it currently offers mass in Italian, Turkish, Polish and English. The European-ness of the church is almost shocking, given that most churches in Istanbul are of Greek or Armenian leanings and thus tend towards Levantine and Eastern design, rather than European designs. The church is completely open to the public for visits, and many tourists do in fact wander in to take pictures.
This Church, one of several Greek Orthodox Churches along the Istiklal Caddesi, is tucked in to a small alleyway off the street, and it noticeable only in that it is elevated from street level. It is unlikely that random visitors will be allowed into the church to photograph, and I was allowed to see the splendid icons by a guardian who, nevertheless, warned me that I was not allowed to photograph them. Alas, they were the true treat to see at the church, as the structure itself is new, and rather uninteresting from an architectural standpoint. Perhaps visitors with a better knowledge of Greek or Turkish are luckier in their ability to get a few snapshots of the interior of the church.
Balik Pazari, or the Fish Market, is off of Istiklal Caddesi and is far from being a must-see historical attraction. Nevertheless, I love to visit markets and to see shoppers and merchants going about their business, especially when in a place that has catered to clients for hundreds of years. The market is notable for its Belle Époque wrought-iron sign, and, rest assured, it offers far more than just fish. As the street continues on to the west, the stores offer dry goods and consumer goods, ensuring that your sense of smell will only be offended for a moment.
Istiklal Caddesi, or Indepedence Avenue, is sort of like Istanbul's Champs-Elysée. Or, better yet, it is a longer, wider version of Carnaby Street in London. Unlike the Champs-Elysée, it is a pedestrian mall, and unlike Carnaby Street, it stretches on and on, and is far, far wider. Here you will find the pulsating heart of Istanbullu commercial, contemporary culture, complete with the main Western brands and all of the mixtures of Turkish, European and American counter- and pop cultures that you would expect to find in this cosmopolitan city. As you get closer to the south, the architecture and the stores take a decidedly sharp turn for the better, and the role that the street played in the Europeanization and gentrification of the city becomes all the clearer. You will also find a number of churches and mosques along the street, attesting to the importance of Istiklal Caddesi in the cultural and commercial life of Istanbul's various communities. Don't forget to wander in and out of the side laneways - they're filled with hidden treats and traditional shops!
Istiklal Street or İstiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi) is the major leisure, shopping and nightlife spot in Istanbul both for locals and tourists with restaurants, cafe & pubs, patisseries, movie plexus, textile, sports, antiquity and book stores, shopping malls and centers, buildings of a dozen foreign consulates and more.
Located between the Taksim Square and the Tunnel in Beyoğlu district of Istanbul.
It's very crowded during the day so be careful of pickpocketing and it can be dangerous at night especially for female traveler. I have seen an innocent man has been attacked and robbed of his wallet , As the thief reached for his wallet he hit him from behind, grabbed his wallet and escaped. it was scary so be careful
Istiklal Street is a shopping paradise especially for women clothing and shoes, it's also a great place to dine...all the food I've tried there was delicious.
We walked through several arcades off Istikal Caddesi , all offered something different and provided some sort of escape from the crowded street. The arcades can be crowded but there is always a small shop, cafe or fruit stall providing a rest spot.
You will know you have arrived at Avrupa Pasaji when you see the fish retailer next to the entrance.
Expect to see something different.
We walked Istikal Caddesi on a fine day whilst enjoying Istanbul prior to joining the Turkey coach tour. We had accommodation in the Sultanahmet district and took public transport to Taskim on the Asian side. The light rail (tram) took us to the Galata Bridge where from memory I think we changed to another tram which took us to the last stop where we caught the funicular rail through the tunel up to Taskim. An interesting trip which all up took about 40 minutes.
Istikal Caddesi was rebuilt during 1870 in glamorous Art Nouveau style and many of those buildings remain today in this 3km long pedestrianized street. The street is the pulse of modern Istanbul with restaurants, cafes, high end fashion shops, arcades, cinemas, street vendors, fish markets etc etc.
A nice place to visit anytime, however we liked the evening scene when we returned for dinner after we had returned from our Turkey coach tour.
This is Turkey’s version of Park Avenue, Strøget, and Calle Florida. Running almost 3 km in length from Taksim Square to the Tünel Square, the avenue is lined with buildings from the late Ottoman period. Elegant shops, restaurants, bookstores, nightclubs, consulates, churches and some of the best schools in Turkey can be found along the way. There is a historic tram that putters the street’s length. Ishtikal means Independence, the name that was given to this avenue following the 1923 conclusion of the Turkish War of Independence – the former Ottoman name was Cadde i Kebir/Grand Avenue.
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