While we continue to describe Istanbul district by district, now it is Taksim Square and its surroundings, which we can call the very center of this huge city.
This region, which is today the Beyoğlu District, was formerly called Pera, that is, “Karsiyaka”.
The district, also called Galata, was rented to the Genoese as a colony during the Byzantine period and even in the first years after the conquest, so it was seen as a separate settlement from Istanbul.
I did not find it necessary to explain how to reach Taksim Square, where almost every road leads in Istanbul.
Wherever you are in Istanbul; It is a point where you can easily reach by bus, metro and minibus.
Places to Visit in Taksim
Famous Taksim Square is at the top of the list of places to visit in Taksim.
The name of Taksim Square comes from the fact that water was distributed to the city from here, that is, the “dividing” of water.
Although the Taksim Maksemi building, where this work was carried out, is still located on the right at the entrance of Istiklal Street, most people pass by without even bothering to look.
It is actually an interesting building with its cone-shaped roof and octagonal walls.
The most striking point in the square is the Republic Monument. The monument, which was built in Italy in 1928, was moved here from Rome.
There are statues of names who contributed to the Independence War and the establishment of the Turkish Republic, especially Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Taksim Gezi Park
Taksim Gezi Park, on the other hand, is your only chance to take a breather by throwing yourself under the shade of a tree when you are overwhelmed by all these buildings.
Ayia Triada Church
Another historical building right in the square is Ayia Triada Church.
This structure, which you might think of as a mosque from afar due to its dome, was built in 1880, taking the Ottoman architecture as an example. Until the Tanzimat Edict of 1839, the dome architecture could only be used in Islamic works.
Moreover, it has the title of being the largest Greek Orthodox Church.
Unfortunately, the many hamburger shops in front of it and their bright signs spoil the view.
Walking Istiklal Street from Taksim to Tünel is an indispensable journey that everyone who steps into Istanbul should do at least once.
Istiklal Street, the most famous address of the city, also hides many artifacts in its side streets.
For example, right behind the French Consulate is the Surp Ohan Voskiperan Church. The construction of this historical church, which was completed in 1863, was previously a wooden church.
There is a patisserie worthy of its name on Mis Sokak, on the third row from the right.
You’ve probably heard of its reputation, İnci Patisserie, which also found its place in our article The Best Profiteroles of Istanbul, makes the most beautiful profiteroles not only in our country but also in the world.
It is a flavor that I love with its intense chocolate sauce and perfect consistency cream. After eating two plates, I even want to eat the third one, but I can hardly stop myself in order not to have an upset stomach.
Inci, which I can recommend for its lemonade on hot summer days, has only two bad sides: It has no other branches and cannot be paid by credit card.
If you continue walking along Istiklal Street towards Tünel, you reach Çiçek Pasajı.
This passage, which was built by the Grand Vizier Sait Pasha in 1905, took this name because it was full of flower shops at that time.
A stylish place that is one of the best examples of the fascinating architecture of Istiklal. Inside, it’s a frequented place for diners.
Galatasaray High School
Across the passage is the historical entrance of Galatasaray High School.
It was first put into service by Sultan Beyazit II in 1481 as the training building for the devshirme officials in the Enderun, that is, the Ottoman palace.
As a matter of fact, Beyazıt II is known for his peaceful nature in Ottoman history and his reign is seen as a stagnant period between Fatih and Yavuz, but in fact, the sultan carried out very important construction activities in the whole state, especially in Beyoğlu.
When the Enderun method was abandoned due to the change in the education system in the wind of innovation that started with the Tanzimat, it switched to the high school system under the name Mekteb-i Sultani in 1868, which continues today.
The name has remained as Galatasaray High School since then, when the French incorrectly combined the name Galata Palace School (i.e. the Palace School located in Galata), which is actually two different words.
Especially in the last period of the Ottoman Empire and the early years of the Republic, many important names in the fields of art and science were educated here in the administration of our country.
For example, Tevfik Fikret, one of the important names of Turkish Literature, was also the director of this place.
St. Anthony’s Church
When you continue to proceed in the direction of Tünel with the crowd on the street every hour of the day, there is another architectural gem hidden behind a not so remarkable door on your left.
The Church of Saint Anthony, built in 1912, reminds of the cathedrals in European cities with its gothic architecture.
It has a beautiful front with white embroideries on red walls.