Divanyolu (the Way of the Council) took its name from “divan-› hümayun” (the council of ministers), which met in Topkap› Palace. The members of this council used this road while going to and from the palace.

On the Divanyolu, the “main street” of the Empire, there are various remnants of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. The Divanyolu was the beginning point of the Mese, meaning the main street of this city was  built as part of Eastern Rome by the Emperor  Constantine. On this main street, in Çemberlitş, Beyazıt and Aksaray, there were squares then like today. In Aksaray, this main street bifurcated; the south end extended towards Yedikule and the north one to Edirnekapı. The Ottomans preserved the street between Beyazıt and Sultanahmet, and called it the Divanyolu since the viziers, soldiers and other officials passed on this way on their way to or from the  Divanı Hümayun (Council of Ministers)  in the Palace. Because Janissaries also passed  this way,  later the part between Çemberlitş-Beyazıt was named after them.

Hacı Beşir Ağa  Fountain

The water, kept in reservoirs and cisterns by the Byzantines was brought into use by means of public fountains, fountains, pools, and dykes after the Conquest.  At that time, wealthy people were virtually competing to go down in history and to acquire merits by building extremely beautiful charitable structures such as these waterworks.

Built In 1745,  Beşir Ağa Public Fountain Is among 14 fountains Besir Aga built. It is one of the most beautiful examples of this architectural style. The Divanyolu starts from the point where this public fountain and the Million Stone stand.

Köprülü Külliyesi

The Koprulu Kulliye is located on the Divanyolu. It was built by Köprülü Mehmet Pasha In 1661. The masjid, madrasah, tomb, fountain, public fountain, library, inn, and shops were placed in a wide area. The big Inn in this small complex shows us that this part was developed commercially in the 17th century. The masjid with eight corners also served as a classroom as a feature of the time. Arcaded and domed rooms of the madrasah surround the masjid in an L-shape. The tomb has  eight corners. These corners were supported by pillars. The spaces between the arches are bronze latticed. Here Köprülü Mehmet Pasha, Fazl Ahmet Pasha and Ayfle Han›m were also buried. The fountain is on the wall of masjid facing the street.

Tomb and Cemetery of Sultan Mahmud The Second

This tomb is located on the corner where the Divanyolu  and Bab›ali Street intersect in Çemberlitafl. It was built by Abdülmecit in 1840 for his father Mahmut the Second.

The architect was Karabet Balyan. It was built by Ohannes Da€yan and Bo€os Da€yan,  in 1840. Later Sultan Abdülaziz and Sultan Abdülhamit the Second were also buried in the  tomb of Sultan Mahmud the Second. The tomb is a simple structure in the  empire style in an octagonal shape and in a European style. Accessed by steps, the tomb has eight corners and its dome was decorated with garlands and flowers. The interior of the structure is surrounded by marble calligraphy by Mehmet Haflim. It includes a public fountain and a cemetery as well. The tomb of Sultan Mahmud the Second has interesting features with its dome, ensigns and window bars which are distinctive examples of forged iron.


After the conquest of Istanbul, Çemberlitafl was one of the most important and popular districts during the Ottoman era. The settlement included wooden houses and historical buildings but was damaged by frequent fires. Most of them have survived until today through  restoration but unfortunately many of them were destroyed.


(Column of Constantine)

Because of the capital city changed from Rome to Constantinople in A.D. 330, the Column of Constantine  in Çemberlitafl was erected in the middle of a big oval area located on the second hill of the city in honor of Constantine. The area, known as the Forum of Constantine, was surrounded by galleries with columns. Çemberlitafl has also been known as the burnt pillar. It is now shorter than its original form. There used to be a statue of Constantine the Great posing like the sun god on top of the column. The porphyry blocks of the pillar were wrapped with  iron rings because it had cracked over time due to fires. The marble capital dates from the  12th century, and the built up part below dates from the  18th century. It was believed that there was a small room at the bottom including relics from early Christianity. The main way passing by it has been used since Constantine the Great.

Atik Ali Pasha Külliyesi

(Social Complex)

Located on Janissary Street in Çemberlitafl, Atik Ali Pasha Social Complex is one of the oldest Ottoman works in ‹stanbul. It was built by Grand Vizier Had›m Atik Ali Pasha in 1496.  It has a mosque, madrasah and tomb but its imaret, caravanserai and lodge have not survived to the present day. Atik Ali Pasha Mosque was made of kufeki ashlars in an upside-down T plan. At the skirts of the great dome, which is 24 m high and 12.50 m. wide, there are  16 windows.  The dome stands on four giant pillars. This dome is supported by four small domes and a giant half dome from the mihrab (chancel) side. The mihrab and mimbar (pulpit) were made of white marble. The congregation pew has 5 domes. There is a single balcony minaret on the right. There is an unknown tomb and some marble graves from the 17th century in its enclosed graveyard. The madrasah is on the opposite side of the mosque.

Koca Sinan Pasha Public Fountain

Koca Sinan Pasha is known as the conqueror of Yemen and Tunis. There are a tomb, madrasah and  public fountain in the social complex. The architect was Davut Ağa. The grave stones in the social complex are significant. It has a distinctive octagonal. public fountain with a wide conical roof. It was based on a marble platform which is a half meter high and has pillar capitals decorated with muqarnases, wrought iron, and five water spigots from five windows.

Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha Külliyesi (Social Complex)

Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha Public Fountain

Protruding as if it were challenging the construction plan, the public fountain of Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha Social complex, built In Çarfl›kap› in 1684, is one of the biggest, the most beautiful and the latest of the classical public fountains.

Istanbul Conquest Society Yahya Kemal Institute

Active for 55 years, the Istanbul Conquest Society is one of the longest established foundations of the  historical peninsula. At the beginning, its name was the 500th Conquest Anniversary and later the  Istanbul Celebration Society, including the Yahya Kemal and Istanbul Institutes. The society bought the  rights to Yahya Kemal’s private belongings after his death and built the Yahya Kemal Institute.

 Nuruosmaniye Caddesi

This street is located in Cağaloğlu and witnessed many important events in Ottoman history. Along this street, there are still many carpet shops, jewelry stores and  souvenir shops. It is a frequented by many tourist groups and is one of the major centers of Istanbul.  The street leads to the Grand Bazaar.

Nuruosmaniye Mosque and Külliyesi

(Social Complex)

This mosque is at the entrance of the Grand Bazaar. The complex was started in 1749, during the reign ofSultan Mahmud the First, but could not be completed until 1755. The architect of the complex was Sinan Kalfa. It is composed of a baroque style mosque, madrasah, imaret, library, tomb, fountain, and public fountain. Also, a few shops nearby belong to it. The Nuruosmaniye Mosque has a distinctive place in Ottoman mosque architecture. It is an absolutely unique baroque style masterpiece especially with its three dimensional stone decorations. It has  only one dome with thirty windows at the skirt. The mosque is lit with 174 windows. The scriptures on the dome and walls are the most significant elements as interior decoration. It has two minarets with two balconies.

For the first time, stone ensigns instead of lead were used on top of these minarets. The madrasah and the imaret are located on the north of the mosque, so when it is entered from the Grand Bazaar side they are on the right. The position of these altogether forms a crescent shape. The public fountain is on the right of the complex entrance gate. The fountain and public fountains were dominated by the baroque style. The tomb and library stand behind the sultan’s pew. The Nuruosmaniye Library, located in the mosque courtyard together with its elegant building, is still serving readers with its precious handwritten work. It includes almost 7.600 valuable books.


Pierre Loti was born in Rochefort, France in1850. He became a naval officer in 1873 after finishing Maritime School. He came to Istanbul In 1876 as a naval officer and stayed  for almost eight months. Pierre Loti wrote that he was fascinated by this city and found the real peace here he was seeking. Loti fell in love with Istanbul and an Ottoman girl. He was always a beloved friend of  the Turks and the Turks have always known and remembered his friendship. Pierre Loti rented a house in Hasköy first but later began to reside on the Divanyolu.

The street where his house was  and a café around the Eyüp Graveyard were named after him.