Flower Passage – Çiçek Pasaji – in Istanbul

‘Flower passage’ (Cicek Pasaji) is a historical sight in Beyoğlu district. Partially restored and reconstructed, the passage liked by the tourists and owners of several restaurants.

In the early 19th century on the territory, where a modern building is placed, was a fully wooden theater of Michel Naum and Joseph Naum brothers. After a fire in 1831 the building was completely destroyed.

In 1846, Bartolomeo Bosco sponsoring the construction of new theatre on the place of burned Naum’s brothers Theater. Giovanni Bartolomeo Bosco – famous magician from Italy, who was always a welcome guest in Istanbul. Later, the grateful people of Istanbul began to call new theater – “Bosco Theatre”. The architecture of the new building follows the basic principles of Italian Opera. The theater had three tiers with a total capacity of 1,500 seats.

Flower Passage - Çiçek Pasaji – in Istanbul

In 1870, the “Bosco Theatre” again completely destroyed in a fire. The land where theater was placed was sold to Christakis Zografos – one of the most respectable banker of Ottoman Empire. Christakis Zografos decided to build a big trading center – passage, as he has seen in Europe. He asked Kleanthis Zannos, architect from France, to design and build passage. Only after 6 long years building of passage was finished. And Christakis Zografos named passage – Cité de Péra.

On the first opening, Cité de Péra had 24 shops and 18 dwellings (apartments). Not a surprise, that the most popular shops were in Cité de Péra passage. Bakery Maison Parret & Vallaury, Japanese shop Nakumara, tobacco shop Acemyan, flower shop Natural Dulas, and others.

After small time, Istanbul residents started to call Cité de Péra simply – Christakis Passage. In the aisles between shops all places filled with flower sellers. Passage was the best place in Istanbul to find various flowers. Thanks to flowers seller, very soon Cité de Péra also known as Christakis Passage people renamed to Flower Passage – Çiçek Pasaji.

Flower Passage - Çiçek Pasaji – in Istanbul

In mid of 20th century all flower seller moved to the bigger Egyptian Bazaar. But, the name of Flower Passage is left, and now, everyone knows that building as Flower Passage – Çiçek Pasaji.

After the World War II the Flower Passage is gradually gets empty and becomes unusable, however, like many other buildings built along the Istiklal Avenue.

But, in 2005, the Çiçek Pasaji, after a long renovation once again opened its doors to the public.

Today, on the first floor there are several restaurants, loved by a tourists. Having a dinner, tourists may consider non-traditional for the Istanbul architecture, vaguely reminiscent of passages, for example of France. Also, surely visit the nearby “European passage” – a sample of the exquisite French-style passages.