Istanbul the beauty of Europe
For modern Constantinople, being named European Capital of Culture 2010 is one of the most important opportunities in its recent history.
Istanbul, a city between two worlds, gateway to the east with one eye always on the west. Immortalized by Pierre Loti in his novel “Aziade”, the city with the “yellow” light he so loved is in a festive mood. The people of Istanbul are pleased by the nomination because they feel it may help to ease Turkey into the European Union. They’ve been building new cultural and arts centres, such as the Museum of Innocence that tells the story of daily life in the city since the 1950s, organizing festivals, and renovating various historical sites, including the iconic Saint Sophia museum. Now Istanbul is ready to welcome artists from around the world.
Exhibitions, concerts, operas, literary and cinema events, street arts and traditional celebrations are all on the menu. The legendary Pera Palace, where Agatha Christie wrote “Murder on the Orient Express” and where Mata Hari, Greta Garbo and Ernest Hemmingway all stayed, is reopening after three years of renovation. Built in 1892, the hotel is right at the heart of the historical district of the city, which has become a very fashionable area.
Pera Palace. www.ilesdumonde.com
Programme de la ville : www.istanbul2010.org
Text : Catherine Bézard