Greek High School in Fener/Balat


Wouldn’t be nice to be a student here in that cute building? Fener Rum Lisesi has about 50 students right now. It was the first time I had been in Fener/Balat area last week and I sure will go again for more explorations… I must admit the photo below is not the best one to take but here is what I have now. The district has cute narrow streets with too many historical buildings to digest. As far as I know there is one big project to protect the whole ara is in progress. On the main street there are lots of pastanes. I don’t know why they have so many pastanes but they look good for a glass of lemonade in Istanbul’s hot summer days…


5 Comments so far

  1. ERATO (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 6:29 pm

    this is the “megali tou genous sxoli”, one of the most famous greek schools ever, now in such a decline.. the photos from the inside are like you have been transported to the 30s!!! they let me in last year, and were kind enough to give me the tour, because i was coming from home… anyway, fener was the neighbourhood of istanbul that impressed me the most when i visited your city last summer, and being an architect, i would definately buy property there if i was an istabulit. in a decade or so it will be the next ortakoy i think…and it is ever more beautiful. if only it’s relationship to the bosporus was better..
    for greeks fener has also a huge sentimental value. but you must know this already. plus, it does’n matter much.

  2. Meral (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 8:39 pm

    It is a very impressive building but unlike most impressive buildings, it does not have that “crushing” effect (maybe because of its colour). It is splendid…
    It is also delight to keep an eye on it when walking at the shores of Golden Horn.
    The staff is very helpful and nice. Once we were adoring it while resting on its garden walls also, they let us in, provide us with information, even guided us to patriarchate.

    I agree with Erato: Fener is more beautiful than Ortaköy, because Fener hasn’t been ruined as much as Ortaköy.
    I hope the people who are in charge of administrating İstanbul can manage to preserve these beautiful districts by wise plans and implementations, rather than ruining this city with skyscrapers, unnecessary roads, etc. But that is hoping too much, isn’t it?

    Another reason to like Fener: Kavafis’ family was from Fener:) This may seem a far-fetched reson for you, but I can’t help to think Fener was running in his veins though he was so far away, from way back in Alexandrai when he was writing all those beautiful poems.

  3. ERATO (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

    Meral, I didn’t know Kavafi’s family came from fanari…
    istabulits never seize to amaze me…we all have grown with the impression you ignore anything greek – best senario – and hate it, the worst..
    stereotypes, you may say – and i shall agree.

  4. metecem (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 7:24 am

    just a small note about “pastane”…

    people who grew up in turkey or let’s say istanbul know that back then in the 60s and 70s the best place to meet up with friends and especially with lovers…

    The “pastane” always had an innocent effect on meeting the lover.. people were in front of all others, yet they were private..

    anyways, one would go to the “pastane” and order two “muhallebi”s and it would take hours to finish them and during this time the couple would chat…talk about the future and plan stuff ;)

    I don’t know why this place has so many of them but maybe it’s because the greek population there was far more liberated than the turkish one, thus making more use of the pastane.

    You know, young people, full of love and joy, sharing life in limited spaces….

  5. ERATO (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 8:26 am

    and another comment: the power and beauty of architecture that can provide places with such qualities as the ones you describe… being in front of all others and yet, feeling privacy! liberated or not, i wouldn’t know the way pastanes are not at all a typical mark of greek architecture whatsoever. it’s more like english bay-windows i think

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