The old name of Beyoglu was Pera, meaning “the opposite shore”. In the 16th century, it came to be named Beyoglu (son of the Beg) because of a prince living here in his palace.
Located on the north side of the Golden Horn, the district was opened to settlement by the Byzantine emperors in the 5th century and was called Pera, meaning “the opposite shore”. In the 14th century, the Genoese walled the district and built the Galata Tower, which is still the symbol of the district today. In the 15th or 16th century, the name “Beyoğlu” came to be used from the name of a prince living there in his palace. In 1700, Beyoğlu expanded towards the two sides of Tunnel and Galatasaray of today. In the 19th century, it became an international commercial and cultural centre. In the second half of the century, the area between Galatasaray and Taksim grew and became an area for the rich. Beyoğlu was the first area to develop its modern infrastructure, such as the tramway, gas line, water lines. The first electrical tramway connected Beyoglu and Şişli in 1913.
This mosque was built by Ismail Ağa in 1597. The scripts on the walls belong to İbrahim Altınbeşer, the calligrapher, and the interior courtyard was decorated with green-blue tiles.
Atatürk Culture Centre
The building, whose foundations were laid in 1946 by Istanbul governor Lütfi Kırdar, burnt out 585 days after its opening. The present building was opened to the public on 6th October 1978.
St. Antuan Church
St. Antoine Church was built by the Italian architect Gulio Mongeri and opened in 1912. It has the highest number of Latin-Catholic members in İstanbul. It features depictions of St. Antoine and Jesus Christ. Muslim Turks also often visit this church.
Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage)
This passage was built as a market place to replace the Naum Theatre, which had burnt down in the great fire of Beyoglu in 1870. It was called Cité de Péra. In 1908, it was bought by the Grand Vizier Küçük Said Pasha. Subsequently many flower shops opened and it took the name “Flower Passage”. The taverns that opened in the 1940s began to attract customers. By the end of the 1950s, the name “Flower Passage” remained as memory and the passage became completely taken over by taverns. One of the most colorful places of Beyoglu and of Istanbul, the passage attracts the attention of local and foreign people because of its side-by-side restaurants and pubs.
The Narmanlı Han site was built upon in 1891 by the Russian Embassy. In 1933 it was purchased by the Narli family, at which time it became known for its famous occupants. These included Ahmed Hamdi Tanpnar, Aliye Berger, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and other famous cultural and artistic figures that have affected Turkey’s cultural life. Although on one side is İstiklal Caddesi and on the other is Sofyali Sokak, Beyoğlu’s busiest streets, the courtyard provides a quiet environment for those wishing to escape the noise and bustle. At the time of the Russian Embassy, the ambassador’s horse carriage stopped at the back. There is still a large winter garden overlooked by a 2.5 storey building, where for years a notary provided his services.
Cumhuriyet Anıtı (Statue of the Republic)
The statue, the symbol of Taksim Square, was made by Italian Sculptor Pietro Canonica, and it was erected on 8th August 1928. having taken two and a half years to make, the statue was made of stone and bronze. Area planning and its base were the work of Moniceri, the architect, but the statue was the work of Italian Conanica.
Galatasaray Turkish Bathhouse
This reconstructed historical bath has been at this location since 1481.
Taksim district and square was named this because it was the centre from where Galata and Beyoğlu’s water was distributed. Today, the Statue of the Republic in the middle of the square is used as a parade area. Taksim is also a great cultural, entertainment and shopping area. It includes shops, cinema and theatre halls, art galleries, exhibition halls, pubs, discos, and cafés.
This distric,t located at the endpoint of Taksim Sıraselviler Street, was named after the son of Sultan Süleyman the Law Maker, who died ata very early age. The district, famous for its cats, cafés, and friendly people, hosts artists and writer today.
The entrance to the under-ground railway connecting Beyoğlu to Galata is in this district. It was built by the British and the French coope-ratively and opened on 17th January 1875. In the beginning it was not popular among the people of Istanbul, but months later it became vedry important for them.
GALATA TOWER AND HEZARFEN
This tower was built by the Genoese In 1348 as the tower of the Galata walls. The tower, whose walls collapsed in the 1509 earthquake, remained standing on its own. Among other purposes in the Ottoman era, the tower was the prison for captives working in the Kasımpaşa Dockyard in the 16th century. In the 18th century, it was used as a fire watchtower. It is 61 m high and has 12 floors including the basement. There was a cross on top of the tower during the Genoese era. Today, there is a pole of 6.75 m. on top. The Tower was renovated in 1964 and became a tourist place suitable for refreshments and various shows.
Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi was one of the most significant men of Turkish aviation history.
In 1632 he wore something similar to bird wings and flew over the Bosporus for 6000 m, taking off from Galata Tower and landing in Doğancılar in Üsküdar