In Beyoğlu district, Taksim Square (Taksim Meydanı) is the central spot of the European side of Istanbul. It is also the venue for various events such as concerts, ceremonies, demonstrations and meetings. The Republic monument with state founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is also located here.
The name of the square derives from Arabic and means “division”. The 23-km-long long-distance water line, which was built in 1731, led the water from Taksim into the districts Beyoğlu, Kasımpaşa, Galata, Fındıklı and Beşiktaş. After modern waterworks were built in the 1880s, the central piping system gradually lost its importance and was closed in 1950. The historic cistern is still there.
Taksim Square is also an important transportation hub in Istanbul. From here, several busy roads lead in all directions, including the Tarlabaşı Avenue to Fatih, the Republic Avenue (Cumhuriyet Caddesi) to Şişli, the Inönü Street towards Beşiktaş and the famous Istiklal Caddesi (pedestrian zone) to Tünel. Here is also the central starting point of various bus lines and the Istanbul Metro.
North of the square adjoins the extensive Taksim Park (Taksim Gezi Parkı). After the Second World War, commercial buildings and hotels emerged here. The multi-storey building of the Marmara Hotel, which was built in 1969, has become an independent landmark of the square.
The nostalgic tram (Nostaljik Tramvay), which runs from the Tünel Square along the pedestrian street of Istiklal Caddesi and turns back to Taksim Square, is more important from a touristic point of view.