Kuzguncuk, Istanbul’s Little Raven

Kuzguncuk, Istanbul's Little Raven

Kuzguncuk is a colorful Bosphorus district on the Asian coast of the Bosphorus, situated after Uskudar, towards the Black Sea direction. This is a pretty neighborhoodsurrounded by huge plane trees, mansions and wooden houses, where you can feel the traditional Bosphorus life.

Its name comes from Hrisokeramos, which means Golden Tile. It is rumored that it got its name from a church with its roof covered with gilded tiles that was built hereduring the Byzantine period.

Kuzguncuk (8)

Kuzguncuk (8)

On the other hand, the word kuzguncuk means "little raven" or "barred window of a prison door" in Turkish. The other legend about the name is said to have come from aholy person named Kuzgun Baba, who lived in the area during the time of Sultan Mehmet II or from the corruption of a previous name, Kozinitza.

Kuzguncuk (1)

Kuzguncuk (1)

The most distinctive feature of Kuzguncuk is that people from different beliefs, which we can also call it “the brotherhood of religions”, live together with great neighborly relations, and many mosques, churches and synagogues are lined up side by side reflecting this feature.

Armenians began settling in Kuzguncuk in the 18th century and had become a sizable group by the 19th century.

The Armenian Church of Surp Krikor Lusavoriç, builtby Boğos Ağa Şalcıyan in 1861, and the Hagios Panteleimon Church, built by Architect Nikola in 1892,the New Mosque (1852) in its garden, and the Beth Ya’akovSynagogue (1878) on Icadiye Street are among the top sights that best reflect this atmosphere of  tolerance.

Kuzguncuk_Hagios Panteleimon Church

Kuzguncuk_Hagios Panteleimon Church

 

Kuzguncuk_New Mosque

Kuzguncuk_New Mosque

 

Kuzguncuk_Surp Krikor Lusarovic Church

Kuzguncuk_Surp Krikor Lusarovic Church

It was in the 17th century when Jews began to settle in the Kuzguncuk district. In the 20th century, 800 Jewish families were living in the area. There are also
Beth Nissim Synagogue and a Jewish cemetery surrounded by walls on the slopes of the area called Nakkastepe, on the north side of Kuzguncuk.

Kuzguncuk_Beth Nissim Synagogue

Kuzguncuk_Beth Nissim Synagogue

Adorned with an elegant minaret, the Üryanizade Mosque was built by Üryanizade Ahmed Esad Efendi during the reign of Abdulhamid the Second.

Kuzguncuk is admired as a traditional neighborhood where old-fashioned values still exist today. Small shopkeepers continue to serve customers providing a personal connection.

Kuzguncuk (2)

Kuzguncuk (2)

Botanical Gardens of Kuzguncuk is a 16,445 square meter garden was given to the General Directorate of Foundation by the Greek Ispiro Sore, naming it after his son, Ilya’s Garden. It is a community garden where you will find various vegetables planted and grown by the locals and shared with all who live in the area.

Kuzguncuk_Botanical Gardens

Kuzguncuk_Botanical Gardens

The bakery popular from the TV series in 90s, Ekmek Teknesi, is located on İcadiye Street.

Kuzguncuk_Ekmek Teknesi Bakery

Kuzguncuk_Ekmek Teknesi Bakery

Want to check out my gallery?

Here's Kuzguncuk Gallery

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