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Kilyos, the seaside resort near Istanbul

on 12/02/2015

Kilyos

The beach resort of Kilyos is located on the Black Sea on the European shore of Istanbul and belongs to the district of Sariyer. Very fashionable until the 80s, it was once one of the favourite spots of the upper class. Today it welcomes the youth and families of Istanbul.

Situated around 30 kilometres away from the city centre and its constant buzz, Kilyos belonged to the district of Catalca until the 30s when it was connected to Sariyer.

Its original Greek name was Kilya (sand) and it was once a small fishing village already inhabited during the Roman Empire.

For a while it was dominated by the Genoese who built a citadel there. The fortress was renovated during the reign of Sultan Mahmut II and is today located in a military zone. It served as a hospital during the Crimean War and was also used during the First World War and the British occupation. In its centre there are 8 cannons, a water tank and a 26 metre high monumental tree.

Kilyos was also inhabited by the Levantines who considerably developed its population. When tourism started developing in Istanbul in the 60s, Kilyos became one of the most popular places of leisure for a good twenty years.

It is particularly pleasant to visit Kilyos during weekdays and outside the summertime. Every Saturday a small market takes place in the main square, offering great produce, as well as a variety of cheeses and olives and even a few clothing items and household utensils.

Across the square you will see the two impressive minarets of the central mosque of Kilyos that was built in 2005. Its prayer hall is bathed in light and harbours some interesting decorations.

Numerous small restaurants offer kebabs and koftas, as well as freshly caught fish.


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