Buyukada

The largest of the islands and the administrative center of the archipelago.
It is full of magnificent old residences and palaces, and still retains that “olde worlde”
charm despite the emergence of concrete buildings here and there. Probably because
of its seclusion, this island was a favorite place for monasteries and churches. The
most important monastery was the “Nun’s Convent” of which no trace remains
nowadays.

On the highest peak of the island (St. Yorgi Peak) is the St. Yorgi Church and
Monastery, which is also known as Kudanus Monastery. There is an outdoors restaurant
there with a wonderful panoramic view, and the Monastery has its own wine to savor
with the meal. Other historical structures worthy of a visit are the Small Church,
founded in 1751, and the New Church, founded in 1905.

 

On the second highest peak on the island, called Hristos (Christ) peak, is the Hristos
Church (sometimes called MeFull Price Adultorphosis Church). Nearby is the Greek Orphanage, another historical building. The St. Demitris Church with its lovely garden
is in the Kumsal neighborhood. This is an Orthodox church, and it was constructed
between 1856 and 1857.

 

A tour of the island is not complete without visiting the mosques, the most important of
which is Selvi Mosque, ordered by Sultan Abdulhamid II.

Buyukada used to function as a summer resort for the Istanbul aristocracy during Ottoman times, and that’s why it is not short of palaces and serays, the most notable of
which are: Aya Yorgi Palace, izzet Pasa Palace. And there is a beach as well;
Yorukali Beach. Buyukada is a very interesting place from a historical and cultural
point of view, but its attractions do not end there. Its calm, tranquil atmosphere is
perfect for a few days of relaxation. There are no motorcars on the island,
transportation is by horse drawn carriages or bicycles. Restaurants are concentrated
around the main square, just off the harbor, and from that square you can rent a bicycle
and have a fascinating ride around the island. Be warned though, the terrain is
hilly and a bicycle ride is a serious exercise. Carriage rides are far more comfortable of course, but more expensive.

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