Napoleon: “If the world were a country, its capital would be Istanbul.”
Throughout history, dozens of civilisations have had or wanted to have Istanbul. Those who lived here left a lot of historical artefacts behind them. These works added excellence to Istanbul’s beauty. Some of the objects survived, while others did not. Here are the nine buildings that have not yet existed in Istanbul but have a place in history.
The Polygon Palace was built in the years 1888-89 to test the rifles taken from the Germans during the reign of Abdülhamid II. Polygon-i Hümayun, Sultan to watch the shots and rest when necessary. The building was demolished in 1956 in order to build the gas building. Since 1995, the area has served as a garage for IETT buses.
With the conquest of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia Church was converted into a mosque. In the same way, the priest rooms next to the church were transformed into a madrasa. But the main madrasa buildings were built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1466. These madrasa buildings have been used for many years. The medreses were repaired by Sultan Abdulmecid in 1846-49 to the Swiss architect Gaspare Fossati. The madrasa was transformed into an orphanage after 1924. In 1934, in the framework of the arrangements made around Hagia Sophia, it was demolished by order of Aziz Ogan, Director of Antiques and Museums. The first professor madrasa was Molla Hüsrev. Ali Kuşçu, one of the most important mathematical scholars of the period, also taught here.
Dieterle and Hammond were the architects of the theatre building, which was built by Sultan Abdulmecid on 12 January 1859. The interior decorations of the building were made by Sechan, the Paris Opera’s decorator. Plenty of gold was used in the interior decoration of the theatre. The theatre, which has a hall where diplomatic meals can be given, has a capacity of 300 people. The poet’s marriage, which was accepted as the first Turkish theatre piece of our literature, was written to be played here. After a while, the building was closed due to budget restrictions. In 1863, after a massive fire, it was given to the Has Ağırlar(Barns) and was used as a tobacco store for many years. In 1939, while the Ayaspaşa- Dolmabahçe road was establishing, it was utterly demolished.
One of the most important works of Nevşehirli Damad İbrahim Pasha, Sıbyan Mektebi is one of the pieces of the Pasha’s complex in the Babıali. It is located on Aşir Efendi Street and behind the Great Post Office. İbrahim Hakkı Konyalı visited here in 1938 and mentioned some notes about his being abandoned. The school survived until 1968. However, in 1968, despite the objection of several times, it was destroyed by the willingness of the Foundations Administration.
Taksim Barracks was an old graveyard. At the same time, this is the place where Gezi Park is located today. This region is the region where the works of the modernization efforts of the Ottoman army took place. One of the works was the Taksim Artillery Barracks, which was built between 1803 and 1806 for the artillery class of the Kapikulu soldiers. The building was destroyed in 1807 during the Kabakçı Mustafa Rebellion. During the March 31st uprising, it was severely damaged. In 1921, the entrepreneur called Çelebizade Tevfik Bey turned the courtyard into a stadium. The Turkish National Football Team played its first game against Romania in 1923 in Taksim Stadium. The first competitions of different sports branches were also made here. During the time of the governor and mayor of Lütfi Kırdar, in 1939, it was demolished and replaced with a square named “İnönü Gezisi”.
İbrahim Hakkı Konyalı, in an article he wrote in 1940, described Sadabad Palace with its 79 rooms as Turkey’s largest wooden building. Sadabad Palace is located on Eyüp Sultan Caddesi. The construction was completed in 1722 in just 64 days. During the Patrona Halil Rebellion, it was devastated mainly. However, it was repaired in 1743, i.e. during the reign of Mahmud I. In 1917, used as a school, and later used as an orphanage. Between 1941 and 1942 it was demolished, and in 1953 the Construction School was built.
One of the primary works of Abbas Ağa which is one of the essential and famous Harem Aghas of the 17th century, Kızlar Ağası Bath, also known as Abbas Ağa Hamam, was located on the left of Laleli to Aksaray. In Evliya Çelebi diaries it is said that this place is one of the great baths of Istanbul. The building was destroyed in 1916 due to road construction.
Part of the Fatih Complex, the Çukur Hamam (Turkish Bath) was a bath with a colour marble and had a large dome. According to the classification of Evliya Çelebi, Çukur Hamam was a place preferred by the “irreligious and unbelievers”. The baths suffered considerable damage during the earthquake in 1766. Towards the end of the 19th century, the bath was utterly lost with the Cibali Fire in 1918.
The İplikhane-i Amire Factory was established in 1827 in the framework of the Westernization policies of the state during the reign of Sultan Mahmud II. This place has met the need for the sailing of ships as well as soldiers’ underwear and dress needs. The military needs were met while the revenue was obtained from the foundation treasury. However, in the following years, the renewal of the technology has caused the transition from steam to the power of ships in England. Later, it was used as a prison, military barracks and a warehouse. From the 1970s onwards, were destroyed part by part. A division of the area was used for the road, and the other parts were used for the park and Eyüp High School.