"My Belle Fener". Another photo story of Istanbul. Part #1

in Haveyoubeenhere3 months ago (edited)

Hello, folks!

Today, I came for those of you who like to travel, discover new places, and learn new things from your own experience. What about one more defanged tour?



It is the Greek district located in the European part of Istanbul. "Fener" is a Turkish version of the name of the Byzantine district "Fanar" (Greek: Φανάρι), which literally means "lantern". Also, Bulgarian "fener" and Russian "fonar" (фонарь) are old borrowings of the same word.

In Byzantine times, the area was called "Fanar" because there was a lantern on the column, which served as a lighthouse.

[//]:# (!pinmapple 41.030796 lat 28.949501 long "My Belle Fener". Another photo story of Istanbul. Part #1 d3scr)

This is a very charismatic, hipster, and contrasting place where I'd definitely love to return by myself. It was the last day of my recent trip to Istanbul. The last morning in Istanbul was rainy as if the city was saying goodbye to me and crying...

Passers-by are few, cafes are empty, and I feel here not a guest, but a local.


The residence of the Ecumenical (Constantinople) Patriarch located here. He is the archbishop of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Actually, the presence of Greek culture here is immediately obvious. Architecture, captions in Greek. Although nowadays only 2,000 of them live here.




Some houses are apparently abandoned or desperatelly need an urgent repair and restoration.




Greeks have been living in these lands since the middle 2nd millennium BC. The city of Byzantium, which later became Constantinople and then Istanbul, was founded by Greek colonists.

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the area was inhabited by the majority of the Greek population of the city, which did not resist, so Fanar was not looted, its population escaped the massacre, churches were preserved. Later, most of the churches were taken away by the Turks and turned into mosques.

Anyway, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror wanted to maintain good relations with the Greeks. But even more, he wanted to get rid of the influence of Rome on local Christians. Therefore, he restored the church administration of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In the photo below, Greek Orthodox Lyceum Fener Rum Lisesi (Kırmızı Lise), the eldest Greek school in Istanbul, founded in 1454. It stands on the top of the hill and looks like a small castle, isn't it?



Nearby is the Church of St. Mary of Mongolia - The only Orthodox church in the city of the Byzantine period, which was never used as a mosque. And the secret of this hangs on the wall next to the entrance. This is a security certificate issued and signed by the Sultan himself.




So, what happened? The history of the relationship between Greeks and Turks is very old, complicated, and ambiguous. After the defeat of Greece in the Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1922, as a consequence, there was a forced exchange of populations of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.


This was the end of the so-called catastrophe of Asia Minor, a concept that in Greek history means the most tragic event of modern Hellenism - the end of three thousand years of Greek history of Asia Minor and the expulsion of the indigenous Greek population from their ancient places of dwelling.

And then? Long story short: as a result of the persecution of the Greeks between 1925 and 1955, the Greek population of Istanbul decreased from 270 thousand to 100 thousand, and after the Istanbul pogrom on September 6-7, 1955, the Greek population of the district "Fanar" almost completely left and was replaced by Turks. It's a very depressing story.


But life here goes on! Let's grap an umbrella, a camera and seek alive colors on this rainy day!






And this is all for today. Hope you'll like our walk and you'll come again soon to read and view the second part. I promise you no more sad stories but a walk through a very nice area.

Stay tuned!


And here I collected all the posts about Istanbul. Enjoy!

My Istanbul vacationsm.jpg

Day 1 - Exploring the city.
Little Hagia Sophia
Day 2
Amazing Haya Sophia
Grand Bazaar
Istanbul. Lost City. Part #1
Istanbul. Lost City. Part #2
Southern night in Istanbul
Walk On By Tops Istanbul Birds Stories of Istanbul cats - for #Caturday

Captured with Sony A6400 and 18-135 kit lens. All photos used in my posts are taken and owned by myself. If you wish to use any of my images please contact me @zirochka.

All photos used in my posts are taken and owned by myself. If you wish to use any of my images please contact me @zirochka.


This place has a lot of character and history. It’s like a fancy slum. Greet photos. I like how you even captured the raid drops and the classic cat on edge by the window.

You noticed the cat! What an eye 🧡 And you're right, it has a character.

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Yes, I have very sharp eyes. 👀
My pleasure, very high quality content dear:)


Ех, красотище. Спасибо за экскурсию. Хоть и увидел не своими глазами, все же было очень красиво и интересно!!!

Спасибо за отзыв!
Далі буде 😉

Love the waterfall stairs 😂

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Oh really? I am surprised, and thanks again 😊😇

I think I should always ask you what's your favorite 😎

I'm really attracted by charming paintings & architectures in your pictures, especially the colour just makes it perfect. It's fantastic city. Thanks for sharing :))

And thank you for such kind words! That day was colourful and contrasting, a short but unforgettable experience

Cool travel story. Yeah, I've been to Istanbul a few times, many pleasant corners are there with a touch of antiquity.

Agree, I can't wait when I go there again :)
Thanks for your comment!

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These images are loaded with history and you told it very well!

Thank you so much for the nice comment!
Cheers <3

Great photos showing quite a different side of the city. Thank you for sharing.

Glad to hear you liked it!
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I love that mural in the first photo! And the next three or four photos are so pretty and charming! That's the kind of scenes that make me want to visit the city someday! 😃 That is such a steep street beside the Greek Orthodox Lyceum! 😮 But what a stunning building, looking much like a castle, indeed! Such a sad history with the Greek people, though, especially since they were there first. 😢 Thank you for sharing another photo series with great info about this historic location!

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