Everything changes but the taste... And in Istanbul, "Eminönü is the taste!"
After walking through the European aura of İstiklal Street, formerly known as Cadde-i Kebir, descending to Karaköy by Tunnel, and taking a short walk on Galata Bridge with a historical peninsula view, the traveler reaches Eminönü. This historical district is one of the favorite destinations of tourists, local and foreign alike.
Eminönü has a nostalgic texture which leaves the impression of going back in time on someone coming here after Taksim. Here’s what Anna Groser Rilke, cousin of famous poet Rilke, who dropped by Istanbul a bit reluctantly in the last quarter of the 19th century, but fell in love with the city in a short time, has to say about Eminönü: “After this chaos and colorful world, the solemn serenity in the architecture of Yeni Valide Mosque seems like a miracle to one.” Not much has changed since those days, compared to her account. Only the name of the mosque was shortened and changed to Yeni Camii, and the old frame houses are not seen as frequently as the past now.
Even though the mobile restaurants Rilke praises to the skies vanished, you can still eat delicious lamb at heirloom historical restaurants. After finishing lunch and sipping tasty Turkish coffee at one of the coffeehouses close to the square, just like at the end of the 19th century, you can still stop by the confectioner just around the corner to sweeten your mouth. If you let your feet take you to wherever they like, you can still buy the best and freshest of everything from cheese to sujuk and fruits at the entrance of the Spice Bazaar. If you’re not exhausted, you can dive into the Spice Bazaar, and all spices of the world will be at your fingertips, just like it was 150 years ago. And again like at the time of Rilke, this walk is inevitably concluded at the Grand Bazaar.
Source: Avrupa Saraylarından Yıldız'a İstanbul'da bir hoş sada / Anna Grosser Rilke / Kültür Yayınları
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