The Jasmine House, the Honeysuckle House, and the Rose House…at one time, the officials of the highest rank from Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia lived in the mansions on this street, which is very much like a flower garden. The history of Soğukçeşme Street stretches back to the 8th century. It eventually received its name from a fountain that was built in the year 1800. It includes a cistern dating from the Roman Empire, water depots, and antique Istanbul houses, existing in unique harmony with the historical character of its vicinity.
While taking a tour at Soğukçeşme Street, you may experience a longing to live here yourself. And, indeed, you have the chance to do it, even if only for a short time. The houses received extensive renovations in the 1980s, are now open as hostels. Moreover, the Roman Cistern has been converted into a tavern. The houses are an excellent example of traditional Turkish architecture, and they are decorated in the classic style of the 19th century. Among the first details that catch one’s eye is the velvet curtains, the wardrobes, and the large mirrors.
Istanbul Library is yet another important location on Soğukçeşme Street. The library was founded by Çelik Gülersoy, a famous lover of Istanbul who spearheaded many important, worthy projects for both the street and the area, and whom we sadly lost a few years ago. More than 10,000 rare books on Istanbul are housed in the library, which was opened to visitors in 1990.