Beyoglu Istiklal Street
Beyoglu and the Istiklal Street are two popular places among people from every age category, from teenagers to elderly people. The Istiklal Street is the meeting place for the lovers and friends. The district starts with the statute of Ataturk in Taksim Square. The prominent landmark of Taksim Square is the Marmara Hotel, a tall building which is another meeting place for the people. The Istiklal Street is a pedestrian street which is approximately 3-4 km. long. The cobber stone street reminds one of the old days...There are cozy cafés, restaurants, shops, bookstores, movie theaters, music stores on this street. Most of the movie theaters are located here. There are small back streets where you can discover little but friendly cafés. When one comes to the halfway of the street, the area changes its name to "Galatasaray" which is also the name of the Junior High School which gives training in French and the major soccer team of Turkey.
St. Anthony ChurchWhen one continues to walk along the Grande Rue de Pera, reaches the beautiful gothic Catholic Church of St. Anthony. It was constructed in 1907. This church resembles Notre Dame de Paris very much but much smaller. It is still active and also concerts and special events take place here.
Historically, Pera is the name of the district where foreign people used to reside. The former name of this street was Grande Rue de Pera. There are many consular buildings in Pera, including Russian, Swedish, French, American and British Consulate General. Most of the buildings in Istiklal Street are from mid-19th C to late 19th C and carry a French influence. French Baroque and neo-classical style were two leading styles in these buildings. Foreign people who worked in Istanbul usually lived in this area and shaped the neighborhood in a very European way. There are old Russian and French Restaurants hidden in the small streets of Pera which gives the taste of the old days.
Today, this lovely street hosts couples who come to relax after a long working day, tourists, young students and anyone who wants to take a peaceful walk and watch around. With its nice cafes, restaurants and cozy bars, it's an indispensable spot for Istanbul people...