Cité de Péra, Beyoğlu, Istanbul

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Constantinople Goes European

It all started in 1876 when Chirtaki Efendi Zogrophos, a wealthy Constantinopolitan businessman, built the Second Empire-style Cité de Péra building on Beyoğlu‘s Grande Rue de Péra (İstiklal Caddesi) in Galatasaray Square.

The Cité de Péra was to be the Ottoman Empire‘s best, “a monument that even Paris would be proud of,” a bellwether in the revival of architecture in Istanbul. And so it was.

By the latter half of the 20th century, however, the posh boutiques on the ground floor had all moved on, as had the tony offices above.

The passage through the ground floor of the building, once the Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage) lined with flower shops, was then occupied by meyhanes (tavernas) specializing in draft beer and rowdy behavior, but alsogood food.

(See the next photo for more…)

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