Taksim Square is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network. Taksim Square is also the location of the Monument of the Republic, which was crafted by Pietro Canonica and inaugurated in 1928. The monument commemorates the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, following the Turkish War of Independence.
Taksim is a popular destination for both tourists and the native population of Istanbul. Istiklal Street, a long pedestrian shopping street, ends at this square, and a nostalgic tram runs from the square along the avenue, ending near the Tünel (1875) which is the world’s second-oldest subway line after London’s Underground.
Surrounding Taksim Square are travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, pubs, and international fast food chains such as Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King. It is also home to some of Istanbul’s grandest hotels including the InterContinental, the Ritz-Carlton and The Marmara Hotel.
Taksim is also a favourite location for public events such as parades, New Year celebrations, or other social gatherings. Atatürk Cultural Center (Atatürk Kültür Merkezi), a multi-purpose cultural center and opera house, is also located at Taksim Square.