Büyükada

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For the island near İzmir, see Büyük Ada.
Büyükada
One of the main squares of the island, with the statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
One of the main squares of the island, with the statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Büyükada is located in Turkey
Büyükada
Büyükada
Coordinates: 40°51′28″N 29°07′12″E / 40.85778°N 29.12000°E / 40.85778; 29.12000Coordinates: 40°51′28″N 29°07′12″E / 40.85778°N 29.12000°E / 40.85778; 29.12000
Country  Turkey
Region Marmara
Province Istanbul
District Adalar
Area
 • Total 5.4 km2 (2.1 sq mi)
Population (2000)
 • Total 7,320
 • Density 1,400/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 34970
Area code 0-212

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.

Geography[edit]

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.

History[edit]

The house inhabited by Leon Trotsky (1929–1933) as it appears today.

Byzantine Emperor Justin II had built a palace and monastery on Büyükada in C.E. 569.[1] 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.[2]

Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid was born in 1901 on the island.

After his deportation from the Soviet Union in February 1929, Leon Trotsky also stayed for four years (1929–1933) on Büyükada, his first residing place in exile.

For the first half of the 20th century, the island was popular among prosperous Turks, Greeks, Jews and Armenians.[1]

Today[edit]

The historic Splendid Palace Hotel (1908) near the port of Büyükada.

The population of the island today is about 7,000 people.[1] 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.

The ferry port of Büyükada.

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.

Ferries and ships depart from Bostancı, Kartal and Maltepe on the Asian side, and from Kabataş on the European side, to Büyükada.

Places of Interest[edit]

Buyukada has many historic churches, monasteries and mansions that tourists can visit. The main churches in Buyukada are: Church of the Panagia, Church of Hagios Demetrios, Franciscan Church of San Pacifico and Church of the Surp Astvadzadzin Verapolium. Hagios Georgios Koudonas and Sotiros Christou are the two monasteries available on the island.

The island has a large number of historic mansions however the most popular once are: Con Pasa, Yelkencizade, Fabiato and Mizzi Mansions.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Liesl Schillinger (July 8, 2011). "A Turkish Idyll Lost in Time". New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Büyükada Pier". Buyukada Island Travel Guide. Retrieved 8 October 2011. Today’s masonry structure constructed in a place of former wooden pier, built at Büyükada in 1899, was designed by Mihran Azaryan. 
  3. ^ Buyukada Istanbul

External links[edit]

  • Büyükada at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality website