The Cité Française


The French Arcade, originally the Cité Française, is in the Kemankeş neighborhood of Karaköy. It connects Kemankeş Avenue (formerly Gümrük Street) and Galata Mumhanesi Street, its primary entrance being at No. 53 on the former and its secondary entrance at No. 116 on the latter. The arcade has four doors; the ones in the middle bear the date of construction, 1860. The original builder of the structure is unknown; it was purchased many years ago by the Narmanlı family of Erzurum, among the first entrepreneurs of the Republic, and is now owned by Fahri Narmanlı and shareholders. The building’s architect is not named in the sources. It has been certified by the High Commission on Monuments in 1988 as a historically significant, protected structure. When seen from the direction of Kemankeş Avenue, the arcade appears as two independent blocks joined by a passageway. The right-hand block is twice as broad as that on the left. The gate of the passageway is only as high as the ground floor. An example of İstanbul’s neo-classical architecture, the French Arcade has a simple facade whose only ornamentation consists of cast iron doors. They are of fine workmanship, have baroque pediments, and are shaped like arches. The pediment of the gate on Kemankeş Avenue has a medallion inscribed with the site’s original name, Cité Française; below it is a more recent inscription in Turkish, Fransız Geçidi İş Merkezi (French Arcade Commercial Center).


Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, 34425 Beyoğlu - İstanbul