Istanbul's wooden houses

This wooden house is in the Istanbul neighbourhood of Zeyrek
This wooden house is in the Istanbul neighbourhood of Zeyrek

Almost all Istanbul's Ottoman-era houses were made of wood, and even up to the twentieth century the city was still a sea of wooden construction. However, fire damage eventually wiped out many of the buildings, and today there are only a few areas of the city where you can still see these traditional wooden structures. Fortunately the government is working hard to conserve and restore the buildings that remain.

It's a little off the beaten track, but head to Edirnekapi, where there's a number of restored and redecorated wooden houses. Edirnekapi lies on Istanbul's western edge, near the remains of the old Constantinian walls.

If you'd prefer to stay closer to town, head west from the Blue Mosque to the Kumkapi district. Wander around the back streets and you'll discover a number of crumbling Ottoman houses. This is a quiet and authentic place where you will meet very few tourists.


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