The Istıklal Avenue or Street is one of the most popular place in Istanbul. The Istiklal lies between Galata Tower and Taksim Square. Untill 1988, the street was a road and then the street was pedestrinized by the local goverment. The Taksim area was where the non-muslims had been lived during the ottoman empire and also they provided water. Through 19th century, many foreign ambassador and consulates moved to Istiklal and Taksim area then they made it very popular place. It is said that Istiklal and Taksim were the first place where the westernization began in Turkey. Today, the Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square have lost nothing from the popularity. All along the street, there are many branded stores, bars, restaurants are opened until the late time.
Taksim: Beyoglu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture, from a century before. Europe’s second oldest subway, Tunel was built by the in 1875, must be also one of the shortest, offering a one-stop ride to start of Taksim. Near to Tunel is the Galata district, whose Galata Tower became a famous symbols of Istanbul, and the top of which offers a tremendous 180 degree view of the city. From the Tunel area to Taksim square is one of the city’s focal points for shopping, entertainment and urban promenading: Istiklal Street is a fine example of the contrasts and compositions of Istanbul; fashion shops, bookshops, cinemas, markets, restaurants and even hand-carts selling trinkets and simit (sesame bread snack) ensure that the street is packed throughout the day until late into the night. The old tramcars re-entered into service, which shuttle up and down this fascinating street, and otherwise the street is entirely pedestrianised. There are old embassy buildings, Galatasaray High School, the colourful ambience of Balik Pazari (Fish Bazaar) and restaurants in Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage). Also on this street is the oldest church in the area, St Mary’s Draperis dating back to 1789, and the Franciscan Church of St Antoine, demolished and then rebuilt in 1913.
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