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Cibali Istanbul

Cibali Istanbul
Cibali is a poor but vibrant and colourful area located on the Golden Horn ’s southern shores in between Ataturk Bridge and Fener .

Places to Visit in Cibali

Arhaeology Museum in Kadir Has University

It was due to the establishment of the Kadir Has University that new life was breathed into the area, although ironically it was built inside a large old tobacco factory; it also houses a small archaeology museum.

Church of St. Theodosia or Gul Mosque

The huge Gul Mosque (Camii) is nearby and was once a Byzantine church, and the remains of the old sea walls that once protected against invasions by way of the Golden Horn can still be seen.  

Other Places to Visit in Cibali

Church of Hagios Nikolaos Kucuk or Small Mustafa Pasa Hamam

History

Cibali was named after Cebe Ali, an Ottoman soldier who, during the 1453 invasion of Constantinople, broke through the Cibali Gate in the sea walls and it is believed on that day he carved the gate out by hand; his preserved tomb
is there and has been ornamented with cannonballs. Long ago many Greeks and Jews lived here in what was a wealthy and cosmopolitan area and famed for its busy taverns (meyhanes), and when the Turks moved in during the 18th century several mosques and dervish lodges were founded here.

Later it became a place of storage for waterproofing materials used on boats, which were highly inflammable, and unfortunately Cibali infamously became the starting point of many of the fires that devastated the city, and the worst of which were known as “Cibali fires”.

Location

The area sits on one side of the hectic Ataturk Bridge , built in 1940, and to cross to the north shore of the Golden Horn you go from Unkapani . Unkapanı’s name is believed to be a corruption of Odun Kapısı (Firewood Gate), or possibly from “un kapanı” meaning “wheat warehouse” that came from the time when wheat would be offloaded from the ships here. Adjacent to Cibali is the neighbourhood of Küçükmustafapaşa which was named after Küçük Mustafa Paşa a Grand Vizier to Sultan Beyazıd II.

How to get to Cibali

Fom Eminonu you can take Bus Nos. 36C, 35D or 99A; from Taksim Bus Nos. 55T or 35D; or catch the ferry to Fener and walk back towards the Ataturk Bridge.

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