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Our October Coffee and Culture walk will be led by long-standing Istanbullu and valued IWI member Lesley Tahtakılıc.
We will start with a short guided tour by a caretaker of the small but interesting and impressive Küçüksu Kasrı. The Kasrı was designed by the architect of the Dolmabahçe Palace, at the behest of the cultured Abdülmecid, to replace a wooden yalı with a building that would be a miniature version of Western-style Dolmabahçe Palace. Containing no bedrooms or hamams, it was intended as a hunting lodge, or a pleasant place to stop for a picnic on excursions into the (then) countryside. The Sultan’s brother and successor, Abdülaziz, added lavish Rococo embellishment to three sides of the building that were visible from the water, as well as the intricate iron gates and staircase that greeted arrivals by boat.
From here, we will stroll along the seashore road, crossing the pretty bridge over Göksu stream, to circle the Anadolu Hısarı (“Asian Fortress”) - the most important early Ottoman monument in Istanbul. Built between 1390-95 as an Ottoman observation post and station for troops, it served, in 1453, an important role as the eastern end of the “throat-cutter” line created by Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror), who constructed the opposing Rumeli Hısarı (“European Fortress”) to cut off vital re-supply of Istanbul from the Black Sea.
We continue by following the cobbled alleyway past an open air namazgah (prayer place) and several lovely yalıs, one of which houses a café where we'll make a stop for refreshments. Afterwards, we'll continue along the quayside lined with boats until we arrive back at the bridge where the walk will end.
© International Women of Istanbul 2017