It all started when Chirtaki Efendi Zogrophos, a wealthy Constantinopolitan businessman, built the Second Empire-style Cité de Péra building on Beyoglu’s Grande Rue de Péra (Istiklal Caddesi) in 1876.The Cité de Péra was to be the Ottoman Empire’s best, “a monument that even Paris would be proud of,” a bellwether in the revival of architecture in Istanbul. And so it was!By the latter half of the 20th century, however, the posh boutiques on the ground floor had all moved on, as had the tony offices above. The passage through the ground floor of the building, once the home of flower shops, was then occupied by meyhanes (tavernas) specializing in draft beer and rowdy behavior, but also good food.
Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see the other names of Istanbul) is the largest city of Turkey and the third largest city in the world. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province.It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.