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One of the main squares of the island, with the statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
|• Total||5.4 km2 (2.1 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Büyükada (meaning "Big Island" in Turkish; Greek: Πρίγκηπος or Πρίγκιπος, rendered Prinkipos or Prinkipo; and alternatively Πρίγκηψ or Πρίγκιψ meaning "Prince" or "Foremost") is the largest of the nine so-called Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, with an area of about 2 square miles (5 km2). It is officially a neighbourhood in the Adalar (Islands) district of Istanbul Province, Turkey.
Büyükada consists of two peaks. The one nearest to the ferry landing, İsa Tepesi (meaning Jesus Hill in Turkish), formerly Hristos (Χριστός, the Greek name for Jesus Christ), is topped by the former Greek orphanage, a huge wooden building now in decay. In the valley between the two hills sit the church and monastery of Agios Nikolaos and a former fairground called Luna Park.
Byzantine Emperor Justin II had built a palace and monastery on Büyükada in C.E. 569. A convent on Büyükada was the place of exile for the Byzantine empresses Irene, Euphrosyne, Theophano, Zoe and Anna Dalassena.
There are several historical buildings on Büyükada, such as the Agia Yorgi Church and Monastery dating back to the 6th century, the Agios Dimitrios Church, and the Hamidiye Mosque built by Abdul Hamid II. The pier was constructed and designed by Armenian architect Mihran Azaryan.
Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid was born in 1901 on the island.
The population of the island today is about 7,000 people. As on the other eight islands, motorized vehicles – except service vehicles – are forbidden, so visitors explore the island by foot; by riding a bicycle (numerous bicycle shops rent them with hourly prices); or in horse-drawn phaeton carriages which function like taxi cabs, also offering "round-the-island" sightseeing tours.
Visitors can take the "small tour" of the island by a phaeton, leading to the point from where it is a strenuous climb to Agia Yorgi (St. George, in Greek Άγιος Γεώργιος), a tiny hilltop church with a magnificent panoramic view, and a café in its garden that serves wine, chips and sausage sandwiches, this being a part of the "classic" Agia Yorgi experience.
- Büyükada at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality website
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- Büyük Ada Travel Notes (Turkish)