Home to many European and traders of the world, the prominent and affluent population modernized this part of İstanbul, allowing for influxes of technology, fashion, and arts. Today the eclectic mix creates a dynamic cultural fabric unparalleled by other cities. The theatre, cinema, patisserie and café culture that still remains strong in Beyoğlu dates from this late Ottoman period.
Beyoğlu was one of the first parts of İstanbul to have telephone lines, electricity, trams, municipal government and even an underground railway, the Tünel, inaugurated in 1875 as the world's second subway line (after London's Underground) to carry the people of Pera up and down from the port of Galata and the nearby business and banking district of Karaköy, where the Bankalar Caddesi, the financial center of the Ottoman Empire, was located.
The foreign communities also built their own schools, many of which went on to educate the elite of future generations of Turks, and still survive today as some of the best schools in Istanbul.
The rapid modernization that took place in Europe and left Ottoman Turkey behind was symbolized by the differences between Beyoğlu, and the historic Turkish quarters such as Eminönü and Fatih across the Golden Horn, in the Old City.
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