The district takes its name from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari the standard-bearer and friend of our prophet Muhammad. In short, it is called as “EYÜP”. Before the conquest of Istanbul, the scholar of Sultan Mehmet II (Mehmed the Conqueror after the conquest of Istanbul), Aksemseddin said the grave of Abu al-Ansari was in this district. Five years after the conquest of Istanbul, a mosque was constructed in the district and was dedicated to him. The first settlement outside the city walls was here near the Golden Horn.
The development of the district had so attracted the sultans that they wanted to be buried here, and had their tombs constructed here even before they died. In addition, the coronation ceremony of the Ottoman Sultans was held at Eyüp Sultan Mosque. EYÜP SULTAN MOSQUE The mosque complex includes a mausoleum where Eyüp Sultan is buried. It is believed that he died during the first Arab Siege of Istanbul in the 670s. The large yard of the mosque with grand plane trees is always full on Fridays, religious festivals, in Ramadan by pilgrims and circumcised children. Eyüp Sultan Square is always lively and colourful.
You may find cafes and restaurants presenting Ottoman dishes in the vicinities of the square. The fountain pool in the centre of the square cools its visitors even in the hottest weather. The streets reaching to the square host the stands which sell Islamic souvenirs and famous Eyüp toys. Spiritual gifts such as Quran in wooden boxes, scarves, caps, fragrances, verses, prayer beads, rings, etc. can be found here throughout the year.
The Coronation Road “Cülus Yolu” is the historical road on which all the Ottoman Padishahs from Mehmed the Conqueror to Vahdettin were girded sword on horses. This road symbolised the sovereignty of the Padishahs. According to the tradition, Padishah sails to Eyüp by caique; is greeted by the viziers and statesmen at the beginning of the road, and then he mounts his horse at the mounting block in order to visit Eyüp Sultan. Seyhulislam would gird the Padishah with one of the four Caliphs and pray for his victory over enemies of the state or religion with God’s Assistance.
After the ceremony, the Sultan rides his horse to Topkapı Palace scattering largesse to the crowd. The mounting block is still on the Coronation Road open to public view. At the yard of the complex, which is composed of school, public fountain and tomb, there was an imaret distributing food the poor. The imaret still continues the 200 year of tradition with the contribution of Eyüp Municipality.
Feshane is before Eyüp Sultan on the main road next to the Golden Horn, it was established as a factory in order to produce fez for reorganised Ottoman Army in 1813. The building hosts temporary exhibitions, Feshane Days, various activities during Ramadan, etc. During Feshane Days, various cities of Turkey introduce themselves inclusively. Every city has 7 days. If you recognise a city’s banner, go and visit them. You will both learn about the city, taste the local dishes and buy symbolic souvenirs, foods, etc. It is an organisation like a tourism fair
When you come to Eyüp, you should absolutely climb Pier Loti. If you go by car, you will see old wooden houses some of which are used as accommodation at the end of the slope. Pier Loti in which you may overlook the Golden Horn has one of the most beautiful views of Istanbul. The hill takes its name from a French writer Pier Loti who came to Istanbul in 1876. The small wooden house, where Pier Loti lived, is a museum today; and he wrote his book Aziyade telling his love a Circassian beauty in this house. There are photographs and articles of the writer on the walls of the museum. If you want to breathe the history you may sit and sip your tea or coffee. If you prefer open air and enjoy the magnificent view, you will see that all the tables are full. You may go up to Pier Loti hill by cable car enjoying the view between 08:00-22:00. You may also walk up to the hill in 20-25 minutes. Drinking tea or a cup of coffee will help you forget your tiredness. Also you may prefer water pipe if you desire… Don’t worry, It will worth waiting for a free table.
HOW TO GO
One may use land route or sea route. There are ferries from Üsküdar, Karaköy, Kasımpaşa, etc. If the weather is good, I recommend you to reach Eyüp using sea route enjoying the Golden Horn. Have a pleasant trip…