The more than 100 years old Stamboul Villa is probably the most famous villa in Kollupitiya. It belongs to the Macam Markar clan, a rich family dealing in gems, real estate and tea. Sir Mohamed Macam Markar counted a large part of the British royal family to his customers. He sold the world famous and biggest blue sapphire in the world (466 ct.), called the ‘Blue Giant of the Orient’ to an anomynous American collector and King George V bought from him the most beautiful and clearest 105 carat Chrysoberil  Cat’s Eye in the world. The family is originally from Galle, but moved to Colombo around 1870, when the main harbour was switched from Galle to Colombo by the British. They started a gems & jewellery shop in the arcade of the Grand Oriental Hotel. The lavish Stamboul Villa was built by Muhammad Macam Markar, born in 1877 and consul for Turkey from 1903 till 1923, the end of the Ottoman Empire. He has named his villa after the capital of the Ottoman Empire: Istanbul. The street on which the villa is established on a private road, called Stamboul Place, running from the Galle Road at the corner of Mac Donald to the Marine Drive. (see also Galle Face Court)