Taksim Square

Taksim Meydanı

Heart of modern Istanbul is Taksim Square. It is a major tourist and leisure district but also a venue traditionally connected with the most important political demonstrations and meetings. The square was constructed on the spot of Armenian cemetery Surb Agop which used to be the largest non-Muslim cemetery in the history of Istanbul. It was founded in the 16th century after Armenian community applied to Sultan Suleiman I with the request to provide a place for burials during the epidemic. After cholera outbreak of 1865, the state had to ban burials in this cemetery. In 1930s the cemetery was destroyed, while buildings of luxurious hotels and building of TRT radio stations were constructed on the spot.

The word Taksim means "division" in Turkish. It is a kind of boundary between the old suburbs of Pera district and new districts located in the north of the city. In the south end of the square there is the hexagon structure of the water distribution station, through which water was distributed to Galata and Pera districts. The structure is an architectural landmark as it dates back to 1732.

In the centre of the square there is the Monument of the Republic, a popular place for photo shots. The monument was crafted by the Italian architect Pietro Canonica. It symbolises the proclamation of the Republic in 1923 and the salvation army. At the square you will find numerous shops, restaurants and cafes with national cuisine. In close proximity to the square there is the Church of Holy Trinity, the largest functioning Greek orthodox church in modern Istanbul that was opened in 1880.

In May 2013 Taksim Square witnessed the demonstration of opposition that stepped out against the cutting of trees in Gezi park and construction of a shopping centre instead. The plan of the state to demolish the famous Atatürk Cultural Center that is located on the square also gave rise to violent protests of the community. There are numbers and numbers of pigeons at the square, and you will have a chance to feed them. Local citizens will help you with that and sell a portion of seeds for 1 lyre. Also it is the location of the retro tram stop. The tram starts its route at Taksim Square.

Address: Taksim Meydanı
How to reach: Taksim (M1)
Coordinates: 41.037202, 28.985108