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Eyüp is the most sacred place in Istanbul – it is where Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the standard bearer of the Prophet is said to have fallen during an Arab siege of the city in AD 670, a spot miraculously discovered during the final, successful Ottoman siege of 1453. As the holiest of holy places, it became the most desirable place to be buried on the European side of the Bosphorus. Eyüp is home to one of the city's largest cemeteries and lends its name to the district around the tomb of this Muslim saint. Nearby is the famous Pierre Loti Café, with a classic view of the Golden Horn.
GETTING THERE Catch the ferry from Karaköy or Eminönü, and sail up the Golden Horn in style. The Eyüp-Piyerloti Aerial Cable Car takes less than three minutes and is part of the city's transport sustem, and accepts Eyüp-Piyerloti Aerial Cable Car.
ACCOMMODATION There are no hotels in Eyüp, but there are lots of decent places at the entrance to the Golden Horn, an easy boat ride away, such as the Vault in Karaköy, the SubHotel in Tophane, and the Sirkeci Mansion in Sirkeci.
The approach from the sea was unforgivably spoilt by a new main road, but once inside the precints of the Eyüp Mosque (rebuilt in the late 18th century), this is a place with atmosphere. The Eyup-Pierre Loti Aerial Cable Car saves you the hike up the hill to the Pierre Loti Café, with its famous view down the Golden Horn, which you can see through a telescope in the cafe grounds. The French naval officer and Orientalist left an indelible mark on the city. The Zal Mahmut Pasha Mosque is another fascinating Sinan essay. The sacred shrine of Eyüp himself is covered with distinctively designed Iznik tiles specifically made for the mosque. A janissary band often plays on Fridays. Several old mansions on the hill have been converted into hotels, and the Aziyadé restaurant is named after one of Pierre Loti’s novels.
Catch the ferry from Karaköy or Eminönü, and sail up the golden horn in style. The Eyüp-Piyerloti Aerial Cable Car takes less than three minutes and is part of the city’s transport sustem, and accepts Eyüp-Piyerloti Aerial Cable Car
The easy way is to take a taxi to the Pierre Loti Café, then walk down through the cemetery.
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