Ashes and Dust Now

Tepebasi Theater – Tepebasi The landmark we will talk about this week, Tepebasi Theater, doesn’t exist… At least not since 1971. Today only traceable on the Internet or books on old Istanbul, experts suggest that the theatre was built by the order of Ridvan Pasha around 1890s, and its architect was Hovsep Aznavur. Ridvan Pasha…

Home of the Revolutionist Poet, Home of Capitalism

Saint Pierre Building (Sen Piyer Han) – Karakoy This week we are in a fairy tale. We are feeling pretty lucky to be able to visit Saint Pierre Han (a large commercial building) that is mostly abandoned, and most definitely closed to public. According to records, one of the most famous revolutionist poets of the…

Genoese Heritage

St. Benoit High School and Church – Karakoy This famous school’s background is dated back to Genoese nuns’ decision to open up a school to educate the poor children in 1362. The school was taken over by Italian Benedict monks in 1427, and French Benedict monks in 1450. In 1540, Suleiman the Magnificent gave the…

Middle Ages in Istanbul

Crimean Church – Beyoglu This week we have visited this quite gothic looking Anglican church. While the outside of the church is more impressive then the inside, it is still worth a visit if you can spare the time. The Crimean Church’s congregation is quite un-Crimean: African immigrants from different countries take care of the…

No Trespassing

Huber Villa – Tarabya This week we visited the Huber Villa, used as a presidential campus since 1985. And when we say visit, we mean figuratively. We were not one of the lucky fifteen that got to tour the villa during the 2010 Culture Capital Program; even taking these pictures got us warnings 🙂 Designed…

Through Dusty Paths, We Look Back at a Glorious Past

El Hamra and Melek Cinema Halls This week we are in Beyoglu and we follow dusty paths to two former cinema halls that even Istanbulites have forgotten. As we have mentioned on our Facebook Page, Muhsin Ertugrul’s Ankara Post premiered at these two cinema halls on September 29, 1929. Our first stop is El Hamra…

The Oldest of the Mosques

Beyazit Mosque This week we visited the second selatin mosque (done by the Sultans after a victory) of the city, Beyazit Mosque, ordered to be built by Sultan Beyazit II, and completed in 1505. Since Fatih Mosque’s original design was changed later on, Beyazit Mosque can be considered as the oldest mosque of the city…

The Mosque, Mustafa IIIrd Couldn’t Name After Himself

Laleli Mosque – Aksaray This week we visited Laleli Mosque that Mustafa III had it be built for him between 1759-1763. Involved in westernization efforts, Mustafa III ordered this mosque to be built by Mehmet Tahrir Agha. The bazaar under the mosque was built in the cellar of the mosque and was discovered in 1950s…