Ortaköy is the small neighborhood of Istanbul with its treasures. It has been known as the dynastic district since sultans and princes lived for years.
This is the European leg of the Bosphorus Bridge connecting the continents. The slope of the Bosphorus is next to Yıldız and Çırağan Palaces. It is hiding a glorious past in her bosom. Known as Argion in ancient times, this fishing village became known as Aya Fokas and Mesa Hora during the Byzantine period. Ortaköy also hosted the Daniano Palace of the Byzantines. After the conquest, it became the favorite places of the Ottoman dynasties. Due to their proximity to the palaces, the Pashas built their mansions and mansions in this region.
The neighborhood is lively and lively at all hours of the day. A crowded meeting place.
The symbols of 3 religions, centuries-old places of worship side by side. There are two Catholic, two Greek Orthodox churches, two synagogues and two historical mosques in the district.
Ortaköy Mosque ( Büyük Mecidiye )
At the end of the square, one of the symbols of Istanbul is erected in all its glory. Known as Ortaköy Mosque. Real name is Great Mecidiye. It welcomes its guests at the end of the pier with its elegant architecture. One of the selatin mosques of Istanbul. In other words, it is one of the mosques built by the Sultans. Built in 1854 by Sultan Abdülmecid, architect Nigoğos Balyan, Great Mecidiye Mosque is one of the most outstanding examples of the transition from classical Ottoman architecture to modern architecture.
One of the most important features of the mosque, which was built in the style of Baroque, is that it was designed to receive sun by 4 sides. As with all selatin mosques, there is a sultan’s throne here. In other words, a special section devoted to the prayers of the sultans. When Sultan Abdülmecid came here, he was performing his worship in this section. Sultan prepared the calligraphy plates of the mosque himself. With the signs of Allah and Muhammad on the wall of the mosque, islamic confession on faith on the pulpit was written by Sultan Abdülmecid. It is possible to see the signature of the sultan. Ortaköy mosque is not only the symbol of Ortaköy, but also Istanbul with its unique location on the Bosphorus. Location>>
Hagia Fokas Church
A little further from the mosque, on the main street of Ortaköy, the Hagia Fokas church stands out, which bears the same name as the monastery, which named the district during the Byzantine period. Location>>
The Muslim population began to settle in Ortaköy during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, that is, after 1520. The first Muslim work in the district is known as the Hüsrev Kethüda bath, which was signed by Mimar Sinan.
Hüsrev Kethüda Bath
After serving as a bathhouse for 300 years, it is used as an event venue today.
Hüsrev Kethüda bath was used as a double bath. This means that there was a women’s and men’s division. At the time, the doors of these two sections were opened to different streets in such a way that they could not see each other. Hüsrev Kethüda bath is the last bath built by the master of masters Mimar Sinan in Istanbul. Mimar Sinan designed the bath to receive light in different colors at any time of the day. Location>>
Ortaköy was the settlement of sultans in the last period of the Ottoman Empire. Some of the mansions built for them and bearing the signature of the famous architects of the period, Balyans, are still standing.
Esma Sultan Mansion
There is a Sarkis Balyan work close to the square in Ortaköy. Esma Sultan Mansion. The mansion, which only has outer walls standing today, was given to the daughter of Sultan Abdülazizi, Esma Sultan as a wedding gift. Esma Sultan was born in Dolmabahçe Palace in 1875. When his father, Sultan Abdülaziz, was removed from the throne, he was placed in the harem of Yıldız Palace and was married to Circassian Mehmed Pasha at the age of 16. This wedding mansion was a dynasty property until 1915. It was used only as a warehouse for many years. Only the outer walls of the mansion, which was devastated by the fire in 1975, survived. The building, which has been transformed into an event venue using steel and glass, now hosts glorious weddings and invitations. Location>>
Esma Sultan Mansion’s neighbor is Architect Sarkis Balyan’s own mansion. The known Balyan family not only changed the surroundings of Istanbul in the 19th century with the works it signed but also gained the appreciation of the sultans. Sultan Abdülaziz liked the architecture of Beylerbeyi Palace so much that he gave this land in Ortaköy to the palace architect.
In 1860, Sarkis Balyan built his own mansion on this land, which was the gift of the sultan, in order to be able to watch the palace, which is his work, directly across the street. Built-in 1860, the mansion is now used as a hotel after its restoration.
Ziya Kalkavan Maritime High School, Galatasaray University, Kabataş High School
Gift palaces stop side by side on the coastline of Çırağan Avenue, which extends from Ortaköy to Beşiktaş. There are three well-established educational institutions in the old Ottoman Palaces today. Ziya Kalkavan Maritime High School, Galatasaray University and Kabataş High School. All of them are currently teaching in the old Ottoman palaces.
When the dynasty members did not fit in Dolmabahçe and Çırağan Palaces, the need for a new palace started and new palaces were built between Çırağan Palace and Ortaköy Mosque. These structures were called Feriye, which means side by side. In the palace, people whom the sultan deems appropriate were accommodated.
Sultan Abdulaziz, who was lowered from the throne, stayed in the Feriye Palace, where he gave his last breath. On June 4, 1876, the inanimate body of the Sultan was found with his wrists cut. Members of the dynasty continued to live in these palaces until the caliphate was lifted.
Feriye Police Station
At the point where the Çırağan Palace and Feriye Palaces end, there is the Feriye police station, the old Ottoman police station. Those who came to the palace came here first. If permission came from here, they were allowed to enter the palace. Feriye outpost 19th century. One of the last examples of Ottoman architecture. Today, it serves as a restaurant. It is possible to eat the most exclusive flavors of Ottoman cuisine by breathing the history and watching the Bosphorus.
Night Life in Ortaköy
On the coast of Ortaköy, there are quality and popular night clubs by the sea. Entertainment in the night clubs, where celebrities and foreign tourists often go, continues until the morning. Ruby and the House Cafe, located on the seafront of Ortaköy, Ortaköy is one of the favorite places of nightlife in Ortaköy. You can also take dinner and music night strait tours with boats leaving the beach, especially in summer evenings.
How to go to Ortaköy?
You can go to Ortaköy, one of the popular districts of Istanbul, by IETT Municipality buses from Beşiktaş and Kabataş, by using the Tram (T1 line) between Bağcılar and Kabataş to get to Kabataş.
If you come on the Anatolian side; You can come to Kadıköy by the City Lines Ferry, by boats from Üsküdar to Beşiktaş and arrive 20-25 minutes on foot or by IETT Municipality Buses.
You can also reach Ortaköy via yellow buses from Taksim via Beşiktaş.