Count de Bonneval (Claude Alexandre de Bonneval) is a
soldier of French descent. After the conflict with Louis XIV, King of France,
he took refuge first in Venice and then in the Ottoman Empire. He decided to
become a Muslim in Ottoman lands and changed his name to Ahmet. Afterward, he
established the world's first mortar battalion, the Humbaracı Ocağı. “Humbara”
means box-shaped bomb filled with gunpowder and metal pieces. Over time, the
name “Kumbara (Piggy Bank)”, in which coins are stored, derived from
this term and also gave its name to the street where Count de Bonneval lived.
In other words, Kumbaracı Yokuşu, one of the oldest streets in Istanbul
connecting Istiklal Street and Tophane, is named after Humbaracı
Ahmet Pasha, who lived between 1675 and 1747. The magnificent mansion,
where Humbaracı Ahmet Pasha lived in the 1700s, burned down in the great
Istanbul fire in 1870 and became completely unusable. One of the buildings
built in the same place, The Story Hotel Pera, witnessed the history of Beyoğlu
and hosted famous names of the period. In 2010, the building was converted into
a hotel with 24 large rooms with high ceilings by a modern approach, while preserving
its originality and historical texture. The building has been serving its
guests since that time.
Asmalı Mescit is the most popular place of historical Pera, which does not like to succumb to time and always reminds itself for not to be forgotten. Also, it is the most well-known neighborhood of Beyoğlu. With its nightclubs and bars, it is the meeting point for those who enjoy entertainment. Its historical texture is combined with today's modern lines and is now home to restored boutique hotels, eating and drinking places, and entertainment areas. The heart of Istanbul's nightlife and the mirror of Beyoğlu, Asmalı Mescit both entertains and reveals its cultural heritage down to the smallest detail.