x0x Pierre Loti Coffee House charms with its splendid scenery
- x0x Pierre Loti Coffee House charms with its splendid scenery
* A coffee house in Eyup, one of the historical districts in
Istanbul, is named after French writer Pierre Loti, a lover of
Istanbul and Turks
* The tea and coffee seems to taste different in the Pierre Loti
Coffee House, which has a gorgeous view over the Golden Horn
Do you like discovering Istanbul? Do you like watching the sunset? Do
you like having fun with your friends and loved ones under blossoming
trees? Then come to the historical Eyup district in the historical
peninsula. Your travel will begin on the coast of the Golden Horn and
end on a hill adorned by centuries-old trees, and you will fill with
excitement and admiration. The splendid scenery and the smell of
flowers will charm you. You will not be able to take your eyes off the
scene of the coasts of the Golden Horn and the Bosporus.
The Bahariye Islands on one side, and centuries old tombstones on the
other side, add a different character to this hill known as Pierre
Loti. When the sun goes down on the Golden Horn, a perfect panorama
appears. What makes Pierre Loti different from other beautiful places
in Istanbul is the coffee house established during the time of the
Ottomans. It can easily be reached by car or on foot.
Not only tourists, but also the people of Istanbul show great interest
in the coffee house, and people rush there on weekends. During the
summer months, the terrace of the coffee house is filled to capacity.
Postcards, gift-items and books are sold for tourists at the entrance
of the coffee house.
Pierre Loti Coffee House is surrounded by history
Most of the roads to the coffee house pass by the Eyup cemetery, which
traces back to the Ottoman era. In the cemetery, spread over an area
of 250,000 square-meters, sultans, grand viziers, commanders,
captains, members of the palace court, scientists and artists are laid
to rest beside ordinary members of the public.
It is claimed that important people wished to be buried in this
cemetery because they wanted to be close the grave of Eyup El Ensari,
one of the best friends of the Prophet Muhammed. There is also a
library, which keeps thousands of documents, and an open air museum on
the Pierre Loti Hill where the Eyup cemetery is located.
Pierre Loti, Eyup and the unforgettable woman Aziyade
This cafe, which should not be missed by visitors to Istanbul, was
named after famous French writer Pierre Loti. The coffee house, where
tea and coffee are prepared on a coal fire and where waiters wear
Ottoman-style clothing, has a long history. According to rumors, the
original name of the coffee house was "Rabia Kadin." It is not known
why the coffee house was named after Rabia Kadin, who was a member of
the Vahidizade family and who died in 1762. It is also claimed that
the cafe was opened by Ragip Aga and named after him for sometime.
Pierre Loti, whose real name was Julien Viaud, visited a number of
foreign countries, since he was a naval officer, and he came to
Istanbul when he was young, in 1876. Being affected by Istanbul, the
Ottoman culture and life, he fell in love with a woman named Aziyade.
He wrote about the days that he spent with her and collected the
stories in his book, Aziyade. His novel was acclaimed by many critics
and he became famous. He then continued writing novels and authored a
number of important books.
His love survived in his book
Aziyade died a short time after her lover left Istanbul. When Loti
returned to the city, the French writer lost morale because of her
death. He learnt that Aziyade was buried in Topkapi Cemetery and
visited her grave every time he came to Istanbul.
Loti, who frequented the cafe, watched the view for hours and savored
his memories. During his stay in Turkey, the writer loved wearing a
'fez' ( Turkish hat ) and walking around with prayer beads, just like
a Turkish man. It is not known how and when the coffee house came to
be named after Loti, who liked Turkish coffee very much.
The coffee house is an historical artifact
Today the owner of the historical coffee house is Nedim Altintoprak.
He has been operating the Pierre Loti Coffee House for 35 years.
The director of the Pierre Loti Coffee House, which is popular in
every season, is Ferhat Cokbicer. Cokbicer, who has been working there
for 15 years, said that mostly French, Italian and Spanish tourists
visit the coffee house, which has a 60-person closed seating area and
a 200-person open seating area. Cokbicer said: "Most people, who come
here on weekends, have to wait for an empty table. We have not done
anything to widen the place to add tables, because the coffee house is
considered to be an historical artifact. Therefore, we are not given
permission for restoration or rearrangement."
Bids for new facilities will be accepted
Behind the coffee house there is a facility which consists of hotels,
restaurants and cafes, and it is expected to be opened in the next few
months. Work has been continuing to open the facility, which will
bring a new appearance to Pierre Loti. The facility, which spreads
over a 10,000 square-meter area, cost around TL 2.5 trillion.
Buildings, which are covered with wood, will be used for
accommodation. There are 84 rooms in the two-storey buildings. The
facility also consists of cultural and shopping centers, along with
hotels, restaurants and cafes.
Eyup Municipality Culture and Tourism Director Irfan Caliskan said
that the bids for the buildings will be accepted. Caliskan, who stated
that Eyup and Pierre Loti would meet all the demands of tourists after
the facilities are put into service, also said: "There is another
project for Pierre Loti. When the teleferic line project between
Pierre Loti and the Golden Horn is put into effect, the place will be
more interesting. Pierre Loti has a different scene from other similar
places. The reason why it is chosen by tourists is that there is an
exotic atmosphere here. Particularly French tourists visit here. After
reading Pierre Loti's books, they are curious kahve2.jpg (29020 bytes)
about what attracted his attention. They are affected by the scenery
and the nostalgic atmosphere when they visit here."
Coffee House culture
Coffee houses were very important in the Ottoman culture. They are
places where people drink tea, coffee or beverages, smoke narghile
(water pipes) and play games such as backgammon and dominoes. In the
past, people organized entertainment or read books together in the
coffee houses. It was very popular to drink coffee among the Ottoman
people in the middle of the 16th century. Coffee houses were opened
all over the country. Different attitudes of sultans towards tobacco
and coffee sometimes caused coffee houses to be closed. There were
many coffee houses in the Besiktas, Tophane, Bogazkesen, Halicioglu
and Eyup districts in Istanbul. Some of them are still being operated.
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