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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although built by Mimar Sinan, the famous imperial architect, this mosque was named after the Ottoman admiral Sinan Paşa. It is one of the architect's earlier works, completed in 1555. The alternating red and white stripes are reminiscent of Mamluke-period architecture in Cairo and Damascus. Sinan Paşa Camii is located in Beyoğlu, close to Dolmabahçe Palace.
A two year renovation begun in 2003 turned a derelict block in Beyoglu into a street plucked directly from the French Riviera. Cezayir (Algeria) Street was reconstructed by a team of mixed French and Turkish architects building on structures originally designed by Marius Michel in the late 19th C, a Frenchman was also designed the docks at Karakoy and Eminonu. The cobbled streets and numerous stairs were done in the French style with street lighting by 100 year old coal gas steet lamps imported from Paris. The concept was brilliant - restaurants and cafes featuring French cuisine, boutiques and galleries, cosmetics culture and entertainment.
Our visit suggested that today most all the bright pastel buildings with French style awnings and furnishings are restaurants with variable specialties emphasizing classic French cuisine but with plenty of Turkish and other international foods available. Boutiques and galleries were either well hidden or long gone. The 29 houses and 43 businesses comprising Fransiz Sokagi are indeed cute. The pastries and press coffee at the Chez Bore, which styles itself as a steak house, were quite good, being enjoyed by an international clientele, and the ambience peaceful compared to much of Istanbul. Certainly this island of tranquil France is worth consideration when in the region of Istiklal Caddesi for decent French food and pastries, but do not expect a lot of boutiques, art, and culture.
The French Street is difficult to find and totally unsuitable for those with physical challenge. The street itself is quite steep and only open at the top of the hill, not the bottom, so that on leaving one must walk up all the steps more easily negotiated downhill on arrival. No ramps, lots of steps, steep slope. And remember this is still Turkey - our server, who in the best traditions of the Grand Bazaar, had relatives who lived near our home, offered an improptu dissertation on the plight of the Kurds.
DIRECTIONS - At the dogleg of Istiklal Caddesi, walk down a long block at the west aspect of the Galatasarasy school to the first corner, make a left after crossing, and look to the right down the narrow alleys until you see the French district. Signage is nonexistent.
And be prepared for a long walk back uphill to the main street.
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.
One of the unique point of Istanbul.This street is in BEYOGLU district behind the GALATASARAY COLLEGE.It s a street with stairs.Painted in nice colors and full of pub and restaurant.
Name of the Street is ALGERIA in Turkish.
Nice pubs and bars and cafe-rests.Very relax atmosphere in out side cafes during the summer and spring.But just for sightseen not have cafe or drink.Very expensive.Be careful
That means the tomb of GUL BABA.I tell you the story.During 1500's Beyoglu was a hunting area with trees and big empty spaces.One day SULTAN BAYAZID II while hunting he lost his direction and it was raining like cats and dogs.
The saw a small cottage in rosa garden.Area was smelling very beautiful.The Sultan and his friends knocekd the door and Gul Baba (The father of Rose) opened the door and started to chat.Gul baba said he likes very much roses and like yellow and red roses .While Sultan was leaving his cottage The Father of Rose gave the Sultan 2 roses.One is red rose and the other one is yellow rose.
After while Sultan Bayazid has ordered a school (GALATASARAY-I ENDERUNU) and color of the school become the feature GALATASARAY SPORT CLUB official colors.
School opened in 1500's but ýt s opened colege style in 1800's.