Places to Visit: Pierre Loti Tepesi / Pierre Loti Hill

Julien Viaud known as ‘Pierre Loti’, a French naval officer and novelist who lived between 1850-1923, made his first visit to Istanbul at the age of 26.

He was so enchanted by the Ottoman culture and beauty of Istanbul, he became a regular visitor to the city. During his visits, he was staying at Eyüp district which is by the Golden Horn bay. He fell in love with an Ottoman lady and named one of his novels with her name, Aziyadé.

Loti has written another book, La Turquie Agonisante (Turkey in Agony) and has been regarded as a sympathiser of the Ottomans. He was welcomed by the Sultan Mehmet Reşat on one of his visits with an official ceremony.

Later in 1921, the new parliament sent him message of gratitude for his support of the Independence War and named an avenue and a coffee house on Eyüp hill with his name.

The famous cafe entitled with the name of Pierre Loti, a famous French writer, is reached on getting to this ridge on which the perfect view of Golden Horn can be watched.

The real name of Pierre Loti, who lived in Istanbul for long years and was a real Istanbul lover, was Julien Viaud.The historical cafe is the most ideal place to watch this mentioned view.

It is said that, in those years Pierre Loti used to come this cafe often, named as “Rabia Kadın Kahvesi” in those years, and write his novel “Aziyade” overlooking Golden Horn.Today, this district, still kept as an original Turkish settlement by being restorated, consists of many spaces serving as a tourist facility.The district is also mentioned in Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname ( travel book) as “Idris Köşkü Mesiresi”. There are many historical artifacts and building in Pierre Loti, commonly visited by tourists and travelers who come to Istanbul in 19th century. Double-epigraphed, wooden “Kaşgari Tekkesi”, dated 1813 and located on the way from the tourist facility to Eyüp Mosque, is one of these structures.Another important Persian-epigraphed building, at the right corner of the service area and located at a trivium, is “Çolak Şeyh Hasan Türbesi.” A part of this building is çilehane(çilehane is a place in which a dervish undergoes and suffers to strength his patience.) and Çolak Hasan Dede’s grave is here too.The historical building, on the same way with “Çolak Şeyh Hasan Tekkesi”, is “Sıbyan Mektebi” or a nursery school in today’s context. (Today, that school is used as a prayer room that belongs to the service area.)The grave of a whirling dervish called “Iskender Dede”, passed away in 1589,takes place in Pierre Loti Tourist Facility located forefront Sıbyan Mektebi that was built by Ottoman history writer İdris-i Bitlisi.One of the two water wells infront of Iskender Dede is the famous “Dilek Kuyusu” (a water well for wishes) Evliya Çelebi writes about this water well in his Seyahatname and says: the people who look in to the well, can see their own wishes they keep in their hearts. There is also a drinking fountain next to the frontage of Sıbyan Mektebi.In addition, a cistern, supposed to be built in Byzantine period, survives in the middle of the garden area in the tourist facility.