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Üsküdar is a large and densely populated district of Istanbul, on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus right opposite the heart of the great city, next to Kadıköy. It is home to about half a million people

Uskudar has areas of greenery which can be an escape from the density of the city, including the Çamlıca hills and the Bosphorus coastline, and the area also has a number of important historical sites to visit, especially the palace at Beylerbeyi.

Fethi Paşa Korusu is a large park on the hillside coming right down to the Bosphorus shore slightly beyond Üsküdar in the area called Paşalimanı. It is named after Fetih Ahmet Paşa an Ottoman prince who among other things was responsible for industrialising the glassworks of Ottoman Turkey, and had a home in the area. The parkland is in fact privately owned and let to the state on condition that it is preserved as a park. The owners are the estate of pioneer Turkish industrialist Nuri Demirağ. There is a cafe in the park, a stone waterfall which children climb on and a small stage area where on Friday evenings in summer a band of amateur musicians give open-air concerts at sunset. At weekends the young lovers of Üsküdar collect here to stroll and cuddle in the shade.

Üsküdar is home to many historical mosques and Ottoman buildings, many built for the ladies of the harem, and many built by the famous architect Mimar Sinan. One of the first things you see on arriving by ferry are the two large mosques on either side of the ferry port; the Mosque of Mihrimah Sultan; and Mimar Sinan's Şemsi Paşa Mosque, the daughter and wazir of Suleiman the Magnificent respectively. Şemsi Paşa has a small library building in the courtyard and here one can sit and enjoy the sea breeze off the Bosphorus. Also in the centre of Uskudar you will see the fountain of Ahmet III, an impressive marble structure.

Going uphill above Uskudar and to the right as you come away from the coast, in the area called Doğancılar, there is the attractive mosque of Valide Sultan, which is very similar in style to the work of the great architect Sinan, and not far from here there is the beautifully tiled, Çinili Camii.

The religious monuments include the Aziz Mahmud Hudayi Tekke (Aziz Mahmud Hudayi (1541-1628) who is buried in Üsküdar was the founder of the Jelveti Sufi order) and the Nasuhi Effendi Tekke (Nasuhi Effendi being the founder of the Nasuhiyye Khalwati Sufi order, and the grandfather of the late American Music Industry icon, Ahmet Ertegün).

Üsküdar ("Scutari") became famous during the Crimean War as the location of the British Army hospital modernized by Florence Nightingale from 1854 to 1857. This is now the Selimiye barracks and can be visited today, one room has been reconstructed as a museum to Florence Nightingale.
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