The Great Fire of Pera in 1870

On June 5, 1870, a horrendous fire in Pera which is known as “The Great Fire of Pera” today, destroyed a large part of the district. It is also known as “The Great Fire of Constantinople”. Pera, today’s Beyoğlu, located on the European side of Constantinople (now İstanbul), separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn, was the district of diplomatic residences and European society around 1870. Actually, now, it still is.

The great fire destroyed two-thirds of the quarter, burnt down countless buildings, and killed many people – perhaps thousands. Many hotels, nightclubs, theaters, and embassies went up in flames. British embassy, which already burnt down once before in the great fire of 1831, was also destroyed. Because of the wooden buildings and the strong wind, the fire spread rapidly.

According to the Manchester Weekly Times, a weekly newspaper published from 1828 to 1922 in Manchester, England, “…sheets of the flame extended a mile in length”. The fire was put out after thirteen hours. But, even after then, some burned houses continued falling down and killing yet more people. According to Glasgow Daily Herald (founded in 1873, it is the longest-running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world), cannons were used to bring down such dangerous buildings.

The fire was also covered by the Western newspapers – here is a compilation below.

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What To See In One Day In Istanbul

You came to Istanbul for a meeting, or a work appointment, or vacation, and you have only one free day. Where to go, what to see, in only one day in Istanbul?

Last September, I had a guest from London, UK. He came to Istanbul for shooting a short film, and he had only one free day. Fortunately, most of the fascinating sights of Istanbul are in the historic peninsula, which means they are close to each other and can be seen in one day.

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Top 5 must-see places in Istanbul

Straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, Istanbul is one of the major tourist destinations in Europe. The city’s strategic location has made it one of history’s most important cities. So there’s plenty of historic places to see, and to feel the exotic atmosphere. Here are the top five most rated tourist attractions and must-see places in Istanbul.

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Rumeli Feneri Castle

In the North end of Istanbul, near a village near the Bosphorus‘s Black Sea end named “Rumeli Feneri”, there’s a Medieval Genoese castle: the Rumeli Feneri Castle.

Rumeli Feneri literally means “Greekland Lighthouse” in the Turkish language. The village is named after a historical lighthouse still in use which is located on the European side of Bosphorus’ Black Sea entrance in Istanbul, Turkey. Rumeli (or Rumelia) is the former name for the Turkish lands in Europe. The lighthouse was built by the French in order to provide safe navigation for the French and British warships entering the Istanbul Strait from the Black Sea during the Crimean War (1853-1856).

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St. Anthony of Padua Church

St. Anthony of Padua Church is the largest church of the Roman Catholic Church in Istanbul. It is located on İstiklal Avenue (see notes 1) in the historic Beyoğlu (Pera) district, the social and cultural center of Istanbul.

It is also known as the Sant’Antonio di Padova Church, S. Antonio di Padova, St. Antoine, or locally as Sen Antuan.

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