Monday, December 15, 2014

Jewish quarter of Balat in Istanbul, Turkey

Balat located in old city of Istanbul is richest in history, unique architecture and characteristic. It is one of the places in the UNESCO World Heritage List. However, not many tourist visit this area as it is basically unknown and indeed not many tour bring the tourist here. The tour will usually make an easy move by providing the sight around Sultanahmet and Galata area for commercial reason. Balat was previously a neighbourhood of the Jewish rich but they have moved to district of Sisli in 1960. After that the neighbourhood populated by immigrants of low income. During year 2005, Balat area has been listed in UNESCO World Heritage and a huge redevelopment project has been planned for the area. Exploring Balat is challenging if you don't know the area well as the people there don't speak in English and the street might not be in Google Maps. I don't think that I will discover/visit this place if it wasn't introduced by the local tour that I took in Istanbul.

View of a street in Balat, Istanbul.

Traditional houses in Balat, Istanbul.

The houses here looks very old with narrow stairs.

Some of the colourful houses.

The area provides beautiful view as the houses were build on slope.

Clothing hang over a street.

Children playing in Balat neighbourhood. Since the area is hilly, the children enjoyed playing sliding down the street.

Reached the town.

Liceo Greco church. Very unique architecture in Balat.

GPS/Coordinate: 41.031627, 28.946493
Public transport: Taxi/Ferry at Balat jetty.


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