News A Glimpse into Istanbul's Past: 18 Must-Visit Iconic Apartments
A Glimpse into Istanbul's Past: 18 Must-Visit Iconic Apartments
Nestled within the vibrant streets of Istanbul are hidden architectural gems that stand as a testament to the city's rich history. These apartments, each with their own unique story, have withstood the test of time and continue to evoke a sense of nostalgia with their magnificent appearance. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the fascinating stories behind 18 of these apartment buildings. From surviving different civilizations to bearing witness to Istanbul's modernization, each building is a captivating glimpse into the city's past. Join us as we explore the history and architecture of these captivating buildings that have become an integral part of Istanbul's charm.
1. Ragip Pasha Apartment
One of the richest statesmen of the period of Abdulhamid II was Sarıca Ragıp Pasha from Euboea, who served as the chief clerk of the temple. The five-story historic apartment building, built in 1900, occupies one of the corners of the street and is made in the art-nouveau style. The architect of the building, Architect Aram Karakaş, thought of something like this that adds mobility to the Ragip Pasha Apartment, when looked carefully, the windows on each floor of the building are different and all have fascinating geometric decorations.
2. Egyptian Apartment
The Egyptian breezes that you can encounter in many points of Istanbul not only affect this famous apartment building in Galatasaray artistically and architecturally, but also give it its name. The Egyptian Apartment Building, built between 1905 and 1910 and designed by architect Hovsep Aznavuryan, was built by Abbas Halim Pasha, the nephew of the Egyptian Decider Abbas Hilmi Pasha and the brother of grand vizier Sait Halim Pasha during the Ottoman period. The historical apartment building, also known as the place where II Abdulhamit and Atatürk's dentist Sami Günzberg's practice was located, where Mehmet Akif Ersoy lived for a short time and passed away, is still one of the most magnificent buildings in Beyoğlu today.
3. Doğan Apartment
Located on Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak, one of our favorite streets in Istanbul, this majestic apartment, Doğan Apartment Building, is perhaps the most famous among the old Istanbul apartments. the apartment, which was built by the Belgian merchant and banker Albert Helbig to architect Raymondo d'ARANCO between 1892 and 1894, is a building where famous names live today. Doğan Apartment, an impressive address with 52 apartments, a 330-square-meter courtyard and a rooftop floor where Istanbul is underfoot, takes its name from the son of Kazim Tashkent, the owner of the building since 1942, who died in an avalanche accident at an early age.
4. Botter Apartment
A Dutch tailor and fashion designer named Jean Botter immigrates to Istanbul and takes over Abdulhamit's tailoring. This building is being built by Raimondo d'Aronco for Jean Botter to live in. Botter has his house and workshop here. The building has 7 floors and has a tremendous importance as the first representative of the art-nouveau movement in Istanbul. Each of the stones on the facade was hand-drawn one by one by Aronco, the designer of the building. These stones attract the attention of people passing through the street with geometric motifs, Medusa heads and plant decorations.
5. Bazlamacı Apartment
This apartment, built in 1932, was abandoned by its owners as a result of the events of September 6-7, which caused a lot of pain. This topic is covered in Tomris Giritlioglu's Güz Sancısı film. The main owner of the apartment is also the owner of Olimpos Sodas. They are migrating to Athens with the tragedy of September 6-7. Gülsün Karamustafa, one of our contemporary artists living here, meets the Bazlamacı family. She makes a model of the Bazlamaci Apartment Building, which makes her think about issues such as discrimination, neighborliness, forced migration, and presents it to the Athens Museum. In this way, the whole world has heard the story.
6. Sarica Apartment
Sarıcazade Arif Pasha built this apartment, which is one of the most important buildings of Moda. The apartment was built in 1903 by architect Pappa in a neoclassical style. After the British left the building with World War I, the building operated as an Armenian Siberian School for two years. With the liberation of Istanbul, the apartment is passing back into the hands of its former owners.
7. Frej Apartment
This building was built in 1905 - 1906 by Hanna Frej to an architect named Kyriakidis. The building is made in the Jugendstil style, the equivalent of art nouveau in Germany. The Frejs, who are of Lebanese origin, are listed as the richest and most socialite family in Istanbul, so much so that they are rich enough to lend money to the state. They marry their children to the rich Glavani family like themselves and get even richer. It is known that the building was built after this marriage.
8. Sünget Apartment
Sünget Apartment Building, formerly known as Ankara Han, is a lodging, guesthouse built for German engineers and architects to stay between 1905 and 1910 while undertaking the construction of Haydarpasa Station... As a result of the Germans decamping from the building, the Turks buy the building. As a result of washing a funeral in the communal bathroom, the apartment residents do not want to use it again and it gets its current form by having everyone take an individual bath in their own apartment.
9. Harikzedegan Houses
Another name for this building is Tayyare Houses. The reason is that it was transferred to the Turkish Aviation Authority after the proclamation of the Republic. The purpose of the construction is to save people from a difficult situation after a possible fire in Istanbul. Harikzede means affected by fire. It was built by architect Kemalettin Bey between 1919 and 1922. It is known as the first social housing of Istanbul.
10. Akaretler Sıra Houses
This is one of the favorite photo spots of tourists: Sıraevler, known as the first public housing project of the Ottoman Empire. The most distinguished people of Istanbul used to live as tenants on this street, where traffic is intense today. It is known that Akaret, the name of the district, means property that brings rent. The architecture is Armenian Sarkis Balyan. In 1875, during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz, the Dolmabahçe Palace was built on the principle of lodgings for the accommodation of the workers in the Dolmabahçe Palace and the Aziziye Mosque was built with the income of these rents.
11. Ralli Apartment
Ralli Apartment, which is one of the most special and historical apartment buildings of Nişantaşı, is of great importance especially in terms of art history. Fahrelnisa Zeid, one of the pioneers of abstract painting in Turkey, opened her first solo exhibition here in 1945 and her second one here in 1946. It represents the ”art déco“ and ”art nouveau' styles.
12. Hidivyal Palace
While many old apartments in Beyoğlu have been turned into hotels, the change of Hidivyal Palace has been somewhat reversed. Hidivyal Palas, which opened its doors in 1841 as one of the most luxurious hotels in Istanbul under the name of Hotel d'Angleterre, changed hands in 1895 and received names such as Mısır Oteli and Hidiv Oteli. Famous for its French restaurant overlooking the Bosphorus, which passed into the history books with its two- and three-language staff, wines and dishes when it was first opened, and famous guests, especially Pierre Loti, this building today houses the Lebon Bakery and the Armada Restaurant.
13. Deniz Palace
Deniz Palas, located right next to the Sadi Konuralp Street exit of the Şişhane metro, today hosts IKSV, the most important institution in Istanbul's cultural and artistic life, and Salon, the foundation's concert venue, under the name of the Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building. Deniz Palas, built in 1920 by architect Georges Couloutros as an apartment called Kirzade Apartment, is one of the examples of art nouveau style in Istanbul.
14. Kamondo Apartment
The story of the Kamondo Family, a Sephardic family that built many important historical buildings in Istanbul, works that still serve the residents of the city today, such as the Kamondo Stairs, is a little tragic. All the members of the family who left Istanbul, which they loved very much and contributed a lot, and settled in Paris during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, died during World War II by being sent to Auschwitz. Although it is not known exactly what date and by which architect the Kamondo Apartment, the family's residence on Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak, was built, there are two important information known about it. One is that the architect Gabriel Tedeschi, the sultan's dentist Hantz Von Der Heyde and the artist Abidin Dino also lived here; the second is that the famous Kamondo Stairs were built so that Avram Kamondo could easily leave this apartment building and go to the bank building on Vojvoda Street.
15. Barnathan Apartment
Pera is one of the destinations that hosts the first apartment buildings of Istanbul. The 130-year-old Barnathan Apartment Building located on Şahkulu Street is one of them. The building, one of the first 5 apartment buildings in Istanbul, has been restored in accordance with its historical origin and now welcomes its visitors as a cafe, restaurant and cafe.
16. Cercle d'Orient
The Cercle d'Orient, built in 1883, was commissioned by Abraham Pasha, who played an important role in the relations of the Ottoman Empire with the West at that time. The building bearing the signature of Alexandre Vallaury, a French-born Ottoman citizen, is located on the 19th floor. at the end of the century, it became the most frequented place of Beyoğlu. The building, which has a monumental facade, was decorated with human and animal figures. Many different shops were opened in the building, which changed hands over time and was broken into pieces. The building whose name changed to “Big Club” with the proclamation of the Republic; It is also of historical importance in the sense that it is the first address of classic places such as Emek Cinema and Inci Bakery.
17. Decugis House
The apartment built by the French Décugis family as a winter residence in 1881 is one of the examples of the Art Nouveau style. The owner of Décugis House, one of the first stone buildings in Beyoğlu, Mr. Henri Hypollite Décugis, has lived in this house for 60 years with his family. Hypollite Décugis, who was engaged in the antique trade, was a very well-liked person in the environment because of his work ethic and honesty. The exquisite building designed by Alexandre Vallaury, whose signature is found in many buildings in Beyoglu, has a neo-baroque style. Today, the upper floors of the building, which has a restaurant on the lower floor, are used as a hotel.
18. Pera Palace
Pera Palace Hotel, located on Meşrutiyet Street, is currently used as a museum hotel. When the Orient Express, which is the subject of novels and movies, started Istanbul-Paris train services, a hotel in accordance with European standards was needed and the construction of Pera Palace Hotel was started in 1892. The iconic building, bearing the signature of Alexandre Vallaury, has an eclectic style that combines Art Nouveau, neoclassical and orientalist architectural styles. The hotel is an indispensable address for those who want to see the rooms of famous guests such as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Agatha Christie, to experience the era and timeless history.
Have you ever been to any of these buildings before? Tell us in the comments!
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