Located in the Eyüp district over the Golden Horn in Istanbul, this amazing hill with a mesmerizing and inspirational view over the Golden Horn comes with utmost importance for Istanbul. It was named after a French naval officer and novelist by the nickname of Pierre Loti, also known as Louis Marie-Julien Viaud. He was an officer who visited Istanbul and got caught up in its charm. As Pierre Loti was respected by the common folk and the Sultanate, the hill positioned in Eyüp where this man wrote his books was named after him. This hill at the top of Eyüp is accessible via 15 minutes of a walk through cemetery or a cableway. At the top, you can enjoy the great view of Golden Horn while sipping your tasty Turkish coffee.
Pierre Loti was born into a protestant family in southwestern France in 1850. Following his childhood, Loti signed up for the naval school in Brest. Gradually he rose in his field of work as a naval officer while visiting various parts of the world as a part of his job. As Louis Marie-Julien Viaud also had a keen interest in writing, he wrote about his experiences, romanticizing and novelizing different people and places he had seen in his visits. His first work was titled “Rarahu” in which he shares his interaction with the Polynesian culture on the island of Tahiti. In fact, Loti gained his name when he mispronounced the red flower “roti” for loti.
One of the most famous works of Pierre Loti is called “Aziyade,” a diary in which he shares his thoughts, observation, and experiences in Istanbul. Unlike many foreigners in Istanbul, Pierre Loti choose to live in the sacred lands of Eyüp, as many others decided to live in Pera. The importance of such an act is that; Eyüp is home to a famous religious icon and considered a sacred site for the Islam faith. Well, due to such importance, entry to such site was forbidden for people from other religions. But even with such restrictions, Pierre Loti found peace and beauty in a hill over Eyüp, which the common folk greatly welcomed him. He was hosted by great hospitality in the area where he had lived. Pierre Loti was fond of sitting and enjoying the great view of Golden Horn on a café in the hill while writing his novels. After he had left Turkey, common folk started to call the place after his name, as the people respected him. Later on, he visited many African countries along with Japan and successfully continued on both his careers. His works were greatly appreciated by the French people as he was chosen for the Académie Française award in 1891. He, later on, paid a visit to Istanbul, writing a short novel before he visited the Holy Lands in the Middle East. Becoming a captain in 1906, Pierre Loti passed away in 1923.
As of our day, the hill that Pierre Loti once regularly visited and wrote his novels has become a common landmark for the people of Istanbul and lovers. Hill is easily reachable by a joyful cable train ride, and there are cafés located on the hill where you can enjoy your coffee viewing the Golden Horn. Pierre Loti Hill managed to maintain the historic structure it possessed throughout the years, creating an unforgettable experience for its visitors. If you ever come to Istanbul, make sure to pay a visit to Pierre Loti.