Büyükada - Center

The Ferry İskele

Büyükada Centre - Historical Ferry BerthThe lead-domed terminal building of the regular ferry, distinguished by its octagonal passenger hall, was designed in 1899 by the architect Mihran Azaryan of Izmit and completed in 1915. The tile revetment was made by Mehmet Emin Efendi of Kütahya. The upper floor was used as a cafe in the years 1918-23; from 1923-50 it was the District Office of the Republican Party’s Adalar (Islands) branch; in 1950-51 it housed the island’s first indoor cinema. The building was restored in 1999-2000, when Çelik Gülersoy of the Turkish Touring and Automobile Club created an elegant cafe on the upper floor, with a large balcony commanding a view of the Asian shore of the Marmara, an ideal spot to take refreshments before or after touring the island.


Fish Restaurants on the Shore

Büyükada Centre - Fish Restaurants on the ShoreGülistan Caddesi, the shore road that runs past the ferry iskele, is lined with restaurants and cafes, as are the streets that lead off from the ferry landing. Iskele Meydanı, the square in front of the ferry iskele, is flanked on its left by the Saydam Planet Hotel, formerly the Hotel Delakuridis.



The Village Square - Clock Square

The Village Square - Clock SquareThe village square one block in from the ferry landing is Saat Meydanı. At its center is the conical-capped clock tower erected in 1923, the year that the Turkish Republic was founded. On the right side of the square, at the beginning of 23 Nisan Caddesi, is the Hotel Prenses Büyükada, formerly the Ankara Palas Oteli, a comfortable modern hotel with Art Deco detail.




The Church of the Panagia

The church of the Panagia is at the far end of Fayton Meydanı. The church is dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God (Koimisis tis Theotokos), whose feast day is August 15, one of the major holy days of the Greek Orthodox Church. The original site of the church, which was founded in 1735, was near the Greek cemetery on the southern slope of Isa Tepesi. It was erected on its present site in 1793 and was renovated in 1871. The central icon on the carved wooden iconostasis is a Deesis, in which Christ is flanked by the Virgin and St. John the Baptist. Other icons on the screen depict Sts. Paraskevi, Dimitrios, Barbara and Nicholas. The iconostasis is also adorned with three friezes representing biblical scenes in chronological order. The intricately carved wooden ambo, or pulpit, is noted as one of the finest in all the Greek Orthodox churches in Istanbul; its adornments include paintings of the four evangelists, and the carved wooden figure of a bird whose widespread wings served to hold the Gospels.

The Metropolitan Church of St. Dimitrios

The Metropolitan Church of St. DimitriosThe other church is at the corner of Zagnos Paşa Caddesi and Alaçam Sokağı. This is the Metropolitan Church of St. Dimitrios (Hagios Dimitrios), the patron saint of Prinkipo. Since 1923 St. Dimitrios has been the seat of the Metropolitan Bishop of the Prinkiponisa, whose aegis extends over all the Greek Orthodox churches of the Princes’ Isles, which were previously part of the Metropolis of Chalcedon (Kadıköy).

The church was designed by the Greek architect Fistikos Kalfa and built in 1856-60. When the foundations were being laid workers unearthed an ancient column capital, now displayed in the courtyard, with a relief monogram of the emperor Justin II (r. 565-78). The church is a large three-aisled basilica in stone with three entryways, flanked by vaulted arcades. The nave is separated from the side aisles by twin colonnades of four columns each, capped by wooden Ionic capitals and linked by arches. The main altar is dedicated to St. Dimitrios and the two side chapels to St. Pandeleimon (Hagios Pandeleimon) and the Prophet Elijah (Hagios Profitis Ilias). The central vault of the main aisle has a medallion portrait of Christ Pantocrator, the All Powerful. The gilded pulpit, which is built against the second column on the left, is decorated with portraits of the four Evangelists. The baroque patriarchal throne stands against the third column on the right. The elaborately carved iconostasis is made of marbled plaster. The icon of St. Dimitrios in the nave, dating from the seventeenth century, is clad in beautiful silverwork. The icons in the two side chapels are also exceptionally fine works.

The Roman Catholic Church of San Pacifico

The Roman Catholic Church of San PacificoThe Roman Catholic church of San Pacifico is in Meşrutiyet Mahallesi about 350 meters south of the iskele, at the intersection of Lala Hatun Sokağı and Yeni Sokak. This is a large basilica in the neo-Gothic style, with a wooden roof, built by the Franciscans in the years 1865-6. Above the altar there is a large painting by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista depicting San Pacifico, flanked by Sts. Ignatius and Sophia, as they fly over the Princes’ Isles.







The Hesed Le Avram Synagogue

The Hesed Le Avram SynagogueThe Hesed Le Avram Synagogue is in Yalı Mahallesi, about six hundred meters east of the iskele on Pancur Sokağı, one short block south of Zagnos Paşa Caddesi. The synagogue, founded in 1903, is distinguished by the tripartite ogive Moorish arches in its façade and the copper-covered dome over its prayer room.



Hamidiye Mosque

Büyükada Merkez - Hamidiye CamisiThe most notable mosque on Büyükada is Hamidiye Camii, which is four hundred meters south of the iskele on Ada Camii Sokağı. The mosque was built in 1892-3, and is named for Sultan Abdül Hamit II (r. 1876-1909). The main entrance, approached by a double stairway, is on the second floor of a three-storeyed structure that gives access to the prayer room, which is square in plan and covered by a dome.








Museum of the Princes’ Islands - Çınar Museum Ground

Museum of the Princes’ Islands - Çınar Museum GroundThis includes the temporary exhibitions of the Museum and the Adaevi, the cultural enterprise of the Islands Foundation. The Çınar Museum Grounds opened on 31st July 2010 with two exhibitions, following three- months of preparation. Ada Sahillerinde Bekliyorum (From the Shores of the Islands) and Adalılar (Islanders)exhibitions were open for one year.

Bookmark and Share
You are here: Home What To See? Büyükada - Prinkipo Büyükada - Center