Located along the Bosporus on the Asian side of the city, Beykoz has a very unique character which is hard to find in other districts. While you are in Beykoz, you can feel as if you are far far away from a big city, in an old fishing town where life is calm and peaceful.
Beykoz is close Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge which is also known as second bridge among people who live in Istanbul. Kavacık is the neighbourhood where bridge ends. You may see tall office blocks, cafes, restaurants like all other places of Istanbul but if you drive only 10 min away from centre, you’ll see that Beykoz has something different.
Beykoz is very rich in terms of greenery and has long coastline along Bosporus & Black sea. When you are on the way to Beykoz following the road by the Bosporus, Anadoluhisarı welcomes you and if you follow the way, you’ll end at the seaside where Bosporus and Black Sea are combined. Besides, while following the coastline, you’ll notice that you are getting away from civilization and going into nature inch by inch.
Beykoz was captured by Yıldırım Bayezid before Constantinople’s fall. With its streams, recreation spots, large forests and seasides, Beykoz became a favourite place for elite class of Ottomans quickly. It’s known that sultans built many summer palaces in Beykoz and organized hunting parties in Beykoz.
Tokat Kasrı and Hidiv Kasrı are most famous summer palaces in Beykoz. Tokat Kasrı was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet and used by all the sultans after him too. Hidiv Kasrı was built by last Hidiv (title of Egyptian Governor) Abbas Hilmi Paşa in 1907. Palace, having 1000m2 closed area was built in Art Nouveau style by Italian architect Delfo Seminati. Now, there’s a restaurant inside of the palace which offers Ottoman dishes and a garden which is used as a park where people enjoy food under the shadows of trees.
Anadoluhisarı is first neighbourhood welcoming you to Beykoz. Göksu River meets with Bosporus here. Area is famous for the fortress which has the same name with the neighbourhood. Anadoluhisari (Anatolian Castle) was built before the second Ottoman Siege of Constantinople by Sultan Bayezid. After Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul, castle became useless. Castle redecorated in 1993 but today it is closed to visitors. Only 5 min away by walk, there’s a Marmara University Anadoluhisarı Campus which has Faculty of Management, Faculty of Political Sciences and Sport Academy.
Located next to Anadoluhisarı, Kanlıca is one of the most famous neighbourhood of Beykoz. Kanlıca is famous of its special yogurt which is eaten with castor sugar. It’s so popular that you can see many people having Kanlıca yogurt while walking around.
Historical mansions in Kanlıca are very famous and most expensive houses in Istanbul. In the evenings, Kanlıca offers very nice atmosphere. There’s a very old Turkish song which mentioned about that feature of neighbourhood. Its translation is something like “a life is given for a night in Kanlıca- the mystery of Istanbul is being solved in Kanlıca-moonshine plays with water, lights begin to talk-even old loves awake in Kanlıca.
Paşabahçe is 5 minutes away from Kanlıca by car. Paşabahçe definitely looks like old Greek fishing town despite of a big mosque welcoming you. There’s an also church 5 minutes away from coastline. There’s a narrow street pass by Mosque and it goes to seaside where there’s pier, cafes and a pub. There’re small boats at shore and Bosporus is just behind them. You can have drink and enjoy the view. If you want to chill out or muse, in front of pier is one of the best place in Istanbul.
Photo Credits: S Tsui