The Architecture of Istiklal Street

This pleasant pedestrian street in the Beyoğlu district attracts millions of visitors; seeking its shops, restaurants, bars, and nightlife has got above all an architectural essence remaining from the late Ottoman era. A panorama of architectural styles deserves the visitors’ attention.

Istiklal street CERCLE D’ORIENT
CERCLE D’ORIENT

Istiklal Architectural Styles

Those buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries were designed in European architectural styles such as the Neo-Classical, Neo-Gothic, Renaissance Revival,  Beaux-Arts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Turkish National Architecture styles from the early years of the Turkish Republic are still forming a wonderful panorama for the street visitors. The panorama that starts from the northern end of Galata at Tünel Square and ultimately ends at Taksim Square could be enjoyed boarding the leisurely going traditional tram

Tramway-Isteklal-Avenue
old tram of Istiklal street

The street rich Architecture is attributed to the European diplomats, traders, and businessmen that settled in the Taksim area in mid 18th century; when Istiklal Caddesi was named ‘Grand Rue de Pera’. Along with that elite came the still existing variety of religious buildings of Catholic churches such as Santa Maria, St. Anthony of Padua Cathedrals, the Greek Orthodox church of Haghia Triada, and the Jewish temple.

Istiklal Panorama

Important Buildings

  1. CERCLE D’ORIENT- 1882

2. ASMALI HAN (Inn)

3. ALEPPO PASSAGE

4. CICEK PASSAGE

5. APARTMENT of St. ANTHONY CHURCH

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1. CERCLE D’ORIENT

Cercle D’Orient0

The Orient Circle building was built in 1882, to host a members’ club for the senior foreign nationals as well as senior ottoman officials. Although this has changed in the republic era, the building is still one of the most notable structures of Taksim… thanks to its architecture and massive mass; of 45-meter with 21 meters’ depth and a height of five stories unfirming with Istiklal skyline.

The layout:

Entrance through Istiklal street takes place in the middle axis with shops arranged in the form of passages on both sides. While the club occupies the first floor, the typical floors have lounges lined up on two sides of a the longitudinal.

The structure:

The building is mainly a brick masonry system, while the façade and the ceilings are of precast elements covered with plaster.

In an axial and symmetrical approach, the edifice is divided into eleven modalities highlighted with grooved columns. The façade has wide decorative stone consoles and a parapet continuing above the building; human and animal figures made with the high relief technique

2. The Asmali Han (Inn)

The Ismali Inn With its wonderful Neo-Classic elevation style has an Arabic design inner court that attracts hundreds of customers every day aiming for its restaurants and cafeterias

The Asmali Han

3. ALEPPO PASSAGE

ALEPPO PASSAGE
ALEPPO PASSAGE

The building dates back to 1885

Later in 1904, a part of the building was turned into a theater, that is still keeping a historical value reflecting the traditions of that period

4. CICEK PASSAGE

 CICEK PASSAGE
CICEK PASSAGE

This wonderful corner elevation building of half-round shape and balcony catches the eyes with its Beaux-Arts and Neo-classical style. From inside, the passage between apartment floors and 20 shops continue the symphony of the Neo-classical motifs

5. The Apartment of St. Anthony church

 Apartment of St. Anthony
Apartment of St. Anthony

The church of ”St. Anthony of Padua”, along with its adjacent Apartments were designed by the architect Giulio Mongeri and completed in 1912 in Neo-Gothic style. This style was widely used between the mid-nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, the major aspect of which is the central hall known as the portego, which evolved into a long passageway that was often opened by a loggia with Gothic arches. The style of elevation with its rose windows  

Brief

Since 1990’s, the pavements for full pedestrianization restoration, İstiklal street became the center of fine arts and Architectural styles in Istanbul, especially with numerous old and newly opened art galleries, bookstores and shops. Not to mention the re-installation of the historic tram that can be seen in other toristic pedestrian area such as in Kadicoy

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References:

1. ISTANBUL – ISTIKLAL STREET RESEARCH

Istanbul – Istiklal Street Research

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