Anasayfa | Blog
The Historical Peninsula is like the heart of Istanbul. Because the palaces, mosques, and streets smelling of history are unique in this region. Everyone who knows Istanbul and lives here will agree with us.
The historical Istanbul Peninsula (also known as Suriçi), which is between the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn, is the name given to the region that was built for the protection of the city, surrounded by the city walls and today covers the borders of Fatih district.
Considered the Old Town of Istanbul, this area with magnificent buildings and historical artifacts is a must-visit place and a minimum of 3 days to fully enjoy.
We have listed the important places to visit in the Historical Peninsula for you.
This is a palace that has been the administrative, educational and artistic center of the empire and the residence of the sultans for nearly four hundred years, from Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror to the 31st Sultan, Sultan Abdülmecid. Topkapı Palace, which was turned into a museum on April 3, 1924, after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, has the distinction of being the first museum of the Republic. Covering an area of approximately 700 thousand square meters, Topkapı Palace is one of the largest palace museums in the world with its structures, architecture, collections, and approximately 300,000 archive documents.
It should be seen to understand the administrative structure of the Ottoman Empire, observe the palace life, and witness its extraordinary collections. Although not a full day, this is a place that deserves 5-6 hours more.
At the top of the places to visit in Istanbul, Sultanahmet Square and its most striking structure, the Blue Mosque with 6 minarets, standing right opposite Hagia Sophia and enchanting those who see it, come. The mosque, which was built by Sultan Ahmet I in the 17th century by architect Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa, one of the students trained by Mimar Sinan, is adorned with mostly blue, green, and white Iznik tiles. These blue decorations are the reason why the mosque is called the Blue Mosque in English. It is one of the largest building complexes in Istanbul, with its complex consisting of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, madrasas, sultan's pavilion, Arasta, shops, hammam, almshouse, public fountains, tomb, hospital, school, and fountains. The tomb of Sultan Ahmet I was also built adjacent to the mosque garden.
The Hippodrome, which Constantine I had built as part of the major reconstruction works he had undertaken after he declared Istanbul the capital of the Roman Empire, was located in the area now known as Sultanahmet Square. The obelisks and columns we see in the square are the remains of the monuments located in the section called “spina”, which is located as a separation set in the middle of the Hippodrome. Although it is known that there are many other works placed on the spina for ornamental purposes, only the Serpent Column, Knitted Column, and Obelisk have survived to the present day.
The obelisk was found in an underground bed in Egypt BC. It was issued in 1500. It was brought from Egypt by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in 390 AD and erected in its current place. Thus, Istanbul had an Egyptian obelisk about 1500 years before London and Paris. Moreover, this obelisk is the largest-standing Egyptian obelisk in the world. The present height of the Obelisk is 19.59 meters and its weight is approximately 200 tons.
Right next to the Obelisk, the Serpent Column, also known as the Burmese Column, is exhibited in the form of 3 snake bodies entwined with each other. This monument is the site of 31 Greek sites united against the Persians in BC. After his victory in Platea in 479, it was erected in front of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi to express his gratitude to God Apollo. placed on the spina. One of the snakeheads was found in an excavation in the 19th century and is now exhibited in the Istanbul Archeology Museum. The other two are missing.
The construction date of the 32-meter-long Knitted Obelisk, the last of the works found in the square, is unknown; but in the 10th century VII. After it was repaired by Constantine, it was named after him. This work, which signaled the return of the horsemen competing in the hippodrome, was covered with bronze when it was repaired, but these bronzes were stolen during the Fourth Crusade.
Built by the order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, Hagia Sophia is one of the most important architectural structures in the world and the largest Eastern Roman church in Istanbul. It is impossible not to be impressed by visiting Hagia Sophia and seeing its huge dome and unique mosaics.
Today's Hagia Sophia building is also known as the "Third Hagia Sophia" because it is the third church built in the same place. Its construction began in 532 and was completed in five years, and in 537 it was opened to worship with a great ceremony. After the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, it was converted into a mosque by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. It has been serving as a museum since 1935.
Hagia Sophia is a domed basilica-type building that combines the basilica plan and the central plan in terms of architecture and is considered an important turning point in the history of architecture with its dome passage and carrier system features. A feature of this very old building is that some of the columns, doors, and stones used in its construction were brought from earlier structures and temples. The central dome of Hagia Sophia, which was the widest dome of its period, collapsed many times during the Byzantine period and has never collapsed since Mimar Sinan added retaining walls to the building. After the church was converted into a mosque in 1453, with the tolerance shown by Mehmet the Conqueror, the mosaics containing human figures were not destroyed (the ones that did not were left as they were), only the mosaics were covered with a thin plaster and plastered for centuries were thus able to escape from natural and artificial destruction. While the mosque was being converted into a museum, some of the plasters were removed and the mosaics were again brought to light.
The Hagia Sophia Museum is famous for its exterior as well as the Sultan's Tombs. Here, the reigns of Sultan II. Selim III. Murad, Sultan III. There are the tombs of Mehmed, I. Sultan Mustafa, Sultan İbrahim, and the Şehzadeler Tomb.
The Basilica Cistern, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565), is one of the most magnificent historical structures of Istanbul. It is also known as the Basilica Cistern, as there was a Basilica in the place where the cistern is located. Covering a total area of 9,800 m2, the cistern has a water storage capacity of approximately 100,000 tons. There are 336 columns, each 9 meters high, inside this cistern, which is descended by a 52-step stone staircase. Most of the columns consist of one piece.
The Basilica Cistern was used for a while after the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans in 1453 and water was supplied to the gardens of Topkapi Palace, where the sultans lived. It was understood that the Ottomans, who preferred running water instead of stagnant water due to the cleaning principles of the Islamic rules, did not use it after establishing their own water facilities in the city. It was rediscovered by P. Gyllius and introduced to the Western world. In the Republican Era, the cistern was opened to visitors in 1987 after being cleaned by the Istanbul Municipality and built as a sightseeing platform.
The cistern, in which 7000 slaves were employed during the construction, was completed in 38 years. The tears on the pillars, on the other hand, point to the slaves who died during the construction of the cistern, according to a rumor. With its perfect atmosphere and special historical texture, it is impossible not to be enchanted and a little chilled while visiting the Basilica Cistern.
There is no other park in the heart of Istanbul that smells so much history. Gülhane Park, located in the Fatih district and with a total area of 163 decares, was the outer garden of Topkapı Palace during the Ottoman period. The Tanzimat Edict, which was the first concrete step of democratization in Turkish history, was read in Gülhane Park on November 3, 1839, during the reign of Abdülmecit, and therefore it is also called Gülhane Hatt-ı Hümayunu. It was turned into a park in 1912 and opened to the public.
At the entrance of the park, on the right, there are the busts of the mayors and the mayors of Istanbul. There is no tree on both sides through the middle of the park. There are resting places and a playground on the right and left of this road. There is a statue of Aşık Veysel on the right of the slope that curves down towards the Bosphorus, and there is the Goths Column from the Romans at the top towards the end of the slope.
In the Sarayburnu section, there is the first statue of Atatürk erected after the Republic. Atatürk showed the public Latin letters for the first time in this park on September 1, 1928.
Istanbul Archeology Museum is among the largest museums in the world, with over one million artifacts belonging to civilizations within the borders of the Ottoman Empire, from the Balkans to Africa, from Anatolia and Mesopotamia to the Arabian Peninsula and Afghanistan.
It is the oldest building built as a museum in Turkey. It was established as the Imperial Museum in the 19th century and opened to the public on 13 June 1891. It consists of three main units: the Archeology Museum (main building), the Museum of Ancient Oriental Works, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum.
During the construction of the Spice Bazaar Yeni Mosque in Eminönü, it was built to generate income for this mosque. Sultan III. The construction started by Safiye Sultan, the mother of Murat, on 10 Muharrem 1006 (1597), after a long pause, was completed by Sultan IV. It was completed by Mehmet's mother, Hatice Turhan Sultan.
In the bazaar famous for its herbalists, natural medicines, spices, flower seeds, rare plant roots and shells, nuts, delicatessen, etc. are sold.
Built in 1460 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, one of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, the Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered bazaars in the world, located in the middle of Istanbul's Beyazıt, Nuruosmaniye, and Mercan districts. There are approximately 4,000 shops in the Grand Bazaar. It is estimated that it hosts close to half a million people during the busiest hours of the day. Hosting 91 million tourists a year, the bazaar is the most visited tourist attraction in the world.
The two old buildings with thick walls from the 15th century, covered with a series of domes, became a shopping center in the following centuries by covering the developing streets and making additions. In the past, this was a bazaar where certain professions were located on every street and their handicraft production was under strict control, and commercial ethics and customs were highly respected. All kinds of precious fabrics, jewelry, weapons, and antiques were offered for sale with complete confidence by families specialized in their fields for generations. It is built in such a way that the width of all shops is the same. Competition between vendors was strictly prohibited. Products could not be priced higher than the state determined.
Today, the Grand Bazaar consists of eight main gates, 65 streets, and nearly 4000 shops in a closed area of 40,000 square meters. The two most striking places of the Grand Bazaar are the Cevahir Bedesten, which consists of 15 sections, and the Sandal Bedesten, a wonder of design, surrounded by 50 domes.