Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul
This passage runs off the Balik Pazar (fish market) that itself runs off the famous Istiklal Caddesi. The passage features some small electrical shops but is noted for its decorative statues and gallery-like glass roof.
Istiklal Caddesi (meaning Independence Avenue) is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul. Located in the historic Beyoglu district, it is an elegant pedestrian street, approximately three kilometres long, which houses exquisite boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants. The avenue, surrounded by the unique nineteenth century Turkish architecture, starts from the medieval Genoese neighbourhood around Galata Tower and ultimately leads up to Taksim Square. Important sights include the Çiçek Pasaji (Flower Passage), Galatasaray Lycee and Church of San Antonio di Padua.
In the historic Karaköy district towards the end of the avenue, it is possible to see the world's second-oldest subway station, generally known and referred to as simply Tünel (The Tunnel) which entered service in 1875. A nostalgic heritage tram runs from the here to Taksim Square.
Istiklal Street is the main street from Taksim square running down to Galata Bridge. Spend a few hours walking down it shopping and eating as you go. Cath the train/tram to the top and walk down the hill.
Under its previous name "la Grande Rue de Pera", İstiklal Caddesi was the main thoroughfare of the neighbourhood once also known as Pera. During the Ottoman Empire, foreigners were not allowed to reside in Constantinople proper, which was the older part of the city around Hagia Sophia, so Pera (in today's Beyoğlu) developed as a separate suburb of the city for the various foreign communities. As European influence increased, Pera became inhabited mostly by Western Europeans who built their European-style residential buildings, churches and embassies. The result today is a district that is distinctively more European in character than the older part of Istanbul. Pera's importance diminished substantially when Atatürk transferred the capital to Ankara, obliging the embassies to follow. The sumptuous embassies are now mere consulates and the name Pera is fading into memory, though the churches, the beautiful architecture (see photos), and the Pera Palas Hotel all remain as a reminder of a bygone era. İstiklal Caddesi, which means Independence Street, now a pedestrianised street, has experienced a revival and is where everything hot and trendy in Istanbul occurs.
Istiklal Caddesi might be one of the busiest pedestrian streets in the world?
It seems that there is always something happening, it has a great atmosphere. This street is aligned with shops, cafes, restaurants etc.
There are some beautiful buildings along the street. It is also worth exploring some of the side-streets which is filled with restaurants, cafes etc.
Istiklal Caddesi is also where the old tram runs from Taksim Square down to the end of the street.
WHAT THE TOURIST GUIDES SAY - Istiklal Avenue is described as the heartbeat of modern Istanbul, visited by up to 3 million every weekend day. It is described as an elegant pedestrianized street 3 km long lined with boutiques, galleries, upscale restaurants clubs and pubs, bakeries and chocolate stores, all housed in 19th C Turkish buildings and all extending up the side streets on both sides. There are several famed churches and synagogues, schools, and multiple consulates. The avenue runs from Taksim Square, the major transportation hub in eastern Istanbul to Tunel, a funicular in the Galata district to the main tram. During Ottoman times, it was known as Grand Avenue of Pera. The name was changed in 1923 to Istiklal meaning independence and commemorating the Turkish War of Independence.
Taksim Square is the huge square anchoring the eastern end of Iskilal Caddesi. The name is derived from the Turkish word for division - here water brought from resevoirs to the north was divided to several smaller pipelines serving adjacent neighborhoods as conceived by Sultan Mahmut I in the 18th Century. It is the center for a large area of shopping, restaurants, and hotels including some in the 5 star category. On one side, the Ataturk Cultural Center offers periodic concerts. On the other, the impressive Republic Monument features Ataturk, his successor Inonu, and other revolutionary figures. Besides honoring these men, it also serves to break with the Islamic and Ottoman tradition forbidding the depiction of human figures and establishes the more secular nature of modern Turkey. It was placed in 1928 by the Italian sculptor Canonica. The square is a frequent site of state gatherings and demonstrations.
WHAT THERE IS - Taksim Square and Iskilal Caddesi undoubtedly still have fine restaurants and upscale shopping but they are not readily apparent to the casual tourist. The throngs on the square are in transit between innumerable busses, a funicular, and two trams and seem most interested in a trailer selling akbils and a massive Burger King. On the Iskilal, the Great Avenue is no more - the stores and restaurants occupy architecturally classic buildings but are decidedly middlbrow and the crowds walking the street painfully and obviously not the creme de la creme of Istanbul society. This segment of our visit was one of the most disappointing.
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.
Istiklal Street may be the busiest in Istanbul. The only place we encountered crowds close to this was in the Grand Bazaar. You can find just about anything here on this street, from the simple "fast foods" like the Kumpi, to the fancy resturants and coffee shops frequented by the local Yuppies. All the name brand stores you can find here for the designer clothes as well as places galore to eat...also the surrounding streets on both sides seem to have been taken over by restaurants. There is also the Cicek Pasaji (the Flower Passage) which is a complete indoor dining area, a "passage" crowded with restaurants on both sides. We loved some of the small non touristy type restaurants that were found just off the street, such as the one shown in the last photo which put BUCKETS of bread on the table, not a typical tourist spot.
Also hidden behind a iron bar gate is the Church of St. Antoine, if you have time go take a look, we could not go in as they were having services when we arrived.
The entire length of Istiklal Street, from Taksim Square all the way to the "Tunnel" (just above Galata Tower) can be enjoyed by taking the vintage Tram. It travels on its track exactly down the center of the pedestrian street, people moving out of the way as it makes its slow approach (about twice the speed of walking). It gives you a perfect platform to see the street and watch the people. Take it twice and see both sides of the street at your leisure, we did this and also walked several times, both the main street and the numerous side streets.
Istiklal is probably one of the most famous Istanbul streets. It's a very hectic place with lots of energy. It's always full with people even in the morning. There are lots of shops and cafes. But not only shopping attracts people. Here you can also find a beautiful Catholic Church and old Embassy buildings.
The street is 1.5 miles long, it goes between Tunel Square & Taksim Square. I travelled along it on the historic tram & made the return journey on foot. The architecture is early 20th century, many of the buildings are former embassies. It is a very lively place with lots of shops & eateries.
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.
Istiklal cadessi is visually very interesting street. The street is now reserved for pedestrian. Tourist from all over the world, they all intertwine with the locals. They are sea of faces with many expressions. You can see people strolling in the street bopping their heads, jiving to the bell sound coming out loudly from the tram and the human traffics dodging the sound. It has a central tramline that runs from the beginning right to the water edge. Many of the buildings architecture is of western influence.
Both sides of the street are never ending shops catering from basic eateries, colourful bar, boutiques, banks, theatres, fancy restaurants to foreign embassy. The street is about three km long and is on the north side of the Golden Horn. It takes quite awhile to explore the length of the street.
I think Ystiklal Cadessi is a safe street with visible uniform police patrolling the street.
This is a wonderful street to go shopping in, for clothes with latest sexy fashions, grab a quick donor, or just enjoy a stroll where no cars travel. It is a very broad street, and i would recommend taking the tram ride which cuts through the center. That in itself is a piece of history since it remains from the time istanbul began its movement towards europeanization, and modernization. branching off these streets is You can find dancing nightclubs, live guitar shows, some belly dancing, traditional turkish water pipe smoking shops, irish bars, italian restaurants, and rock bars. you get the picture. and all this amidst the call to prayer in arabic. absolutely contrasting, but wonderful.
This street had Taksim square at one end, where dozens of buses meet and head out towards massive istanbul districts. Any given time, public shows are performed on an outdoor stage at night. While i was there, young children were dancing in german style clothes, and it was just great. Taksim square has the liberation monument with very symbolic statues showing the sacrfices they made during WWI and WWII with soldiers and revolutionaries like the founding Hero Ataturk.
At the other end you will reach the dazzling blue waters of the golden horn and have the Award Winning Photograph opportunity vantage point of the sultanahmnet area skyline photo. This is definately one of the best places to capture the beauty of istanbul's blue mosque and hill landscape surrounded by water. I was lucky and snowbird airplanes were circling over the water, which really made it magically dreamlike.
At night, there is heart shaped christmas lights hanging over this amazing avenue. Please see this place, but realize the true unique istanbul character lies in sultanahmnet and the historic topkapi palace, hagia sofia, mosques and the bosphorus. I love istanbul.
Grand Rue de PERA or CADDE I KEBIR ottoman Turkish.Grand Road.Rebublicans change the name of the street made it INDEPENDENCE road in Ottoman Turkish.
This road located in BEYOGLU district.You can see on the Street Signs.When the Ottomans Conquered the CONSTANTINOPLE there was WALLED CITY Constantinople and Walled GALATA town.GALATA was the colony of GENOVIAN Italians.
When the Ottomans Controlled CONSTANTINOPLE (BYZANTIUM) they have located in OLD city (SULTANAHMED)and Turkized that part.They didnt touch this bit of the City.
GALATA stayed COLONIAL ,EUROPEAN and different then Old Istanbul.You cant see huge mosques or Ottoman Buildings in this Part.Except KASIMPASA GREAT MOSQUE.
So this part was garden and forest in 16th century.Ottomans never gave permission the Christians otr Foreign Chrisitian Embasies or Companies Habitate in Constantinople.
They gave permission For these buildings in GALATA and PERA.When Europe became the centre of the world after 17th Century Galata and PERA followed it and Turned a European Faceof Istanbul.
Modern huge Buildings,Huge Churches and Elegance European life Style.French style restaurants ,french names,First Subway system,Tram,Electricty etc.
I show you details of this part of Istanbul