The exit from the upper Tünel station in Beyoğlu is fronted by a small square from which İstiklâl Caddesi (known as the “Grand Rue de Pera” prior to Independence) heads 1.5km north towards Taksim Square.
Along İstiklâl Caddesi is the sadly empty and neglected Botter House, a fine Art Nouveau apartment building with a carved stone facade and wrought-iron balcony designed by the Italian architect Raimondo D’Aronco. Further up on the right is the Palais de Hollande at İstiklâl Cad 393. Built in 1858 on the site of the home of Cornelis Haga, the first Dutch diplomat in Constantinople during the fifteenth century, it now houses the Consulate to the Netherlands.
Many other buildings lining İstiklâl Caddesi are also typically European, like the Mudo shop at no. 401, with a beautifully preserved Art Nouveau interior. The oldest church in the area is St Mary Draperis at no. 429, which dates from 1789, although the Franciscans built their first church on the site in the early fifteenth century. Better known is the Franciscan church of St Antoine at no. 325, a fine example of red-brick neo-Gothic architecture. Originally founded in 1725 it was demolished to make way for a tramway at the beginning of the century and rebuilt in 1913.
The famous Çiçek Pasaj (Flower Passage) had its heyday in the 1930s when the music and entertainment was supplied courtesy of anti-Bolshevik Russian émigrés. These days it’s home to a collection of attractive but rather overpriced and touristy restaurants. Far better is Nevizade Sokak, a street dedicated to fish restaurants (all with outside tables), and incredibly lively bars and clubs and, further south near the Tünel entrance, the similar but trendier streets around Asmalımescit Sokak.