Galatasaray Square, Istanbul

Halfway between Taksim Square and Tünel Squarealong İstiklal Caddesi in Istanbul‘s Beyoğlu district is Galatasaray Square, named for Galatasaray (“Galata Palace”), the first official European-influenced high school in the Ottoman Empire.

Of course, today Galatasaray is more famous as the name of Galatasaray Sports Club, one of Istanbul’s foremost football (soccer) professional teams, in their yellow-and-red uniforms.

You can easily recognize the square by the huge wrought-iron-and-gilt gates to the Galatasaray Lisesi on the SE side of İstiklal Caddesi.

Galatasaray Square is where the nostalgic İstiklal Caddesi tram cars pass one another on the ride between Taksimand Tünel. It’s also the mid-point stop on the route, so you can get out here.

The entrances to the storied Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage) filled with restaurant-tavernas, and the and Beyoğlu Balık Pazarı (Fish Market) packed with gourmet shops and delis, is just north of the square.

From Galatasaray Square, Meşrutiyet Caddesi runs northwest, then southwest and parallel to Istiklal through the district called Tepebaşı, passing the grand British Consulate-General, the Pera Museum, the Pera Palace Hotel and the Palazzo Corpi (former US Consulate-General) on its way to Şişhane Square.

You can pick up a copy of my humorous travel memoir, Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea, at Homer Kitabevi(bookshop) just down the hill from Galatasaray Square on Yeniçarşı Caddesi. More…

—by Tom Brosnahan

Taksim Square

Tünel Square

İstiklal Caddesi


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