- Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia Mosque is the best place to start touring the Historic Peninsula, the apple of the eye of Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia, which was built 3 times in the same place as one of the most well-known places of worship in the world, took its final form in 537.
On the day when Hagia Sophia was opened for worship, Emperor Justinian said, “Thank God for giving me the opportunity to build such a place of worship,” and the Prophet in Jerusalem. It is rumored that he shouted, “O Suleyman, I have passed you,” referring to the Temple of Solomon.
- Topkapi Palace
The Ottoman Empire is one of the empires that reached the largest borders in the world and maintained its dominance for centuries. Topkapi Palace, where this deep-rooted history and magnificent structure was ruled for 400 years and where the sultans and their families lived, is waiting to be seen in the Historic Peninsula with all its splendor.
- Grand Bazaar
One of the most popular stops of the Historic Peninsula is the Grand Bazaar in Beyazıt, which has been standing for 550 years. Known as the Grand Bazaar by foreigners, the Grand Bazaar is famous for its streets where you can get lost and the jewelers that shape the world gold market.
- Bozdogan Aqueduct
Few of the aqueducts built to supply water to the cities in the Roman Period have survived to the Haydarpaşa Train Station.
Located in Unkapanı, in the heart of Istanbul, Bozdogan, or Valens Aqueduct as it is known by the world, has a length and durability that is rarely seen in the world. It has been watching Istanbul for over 1,500 years, even though we hardly notice it when the traffic is flowing under it today.
- Basilica Cistern
The cistern, which was built to meet the water needs of the palace in the Byzantine Period, amazes those who see it even today with its eye-catching columns and Medusa statue.
The Cemberlitas column, erected on one of the seven hills of Istanbul in 330 AD, in honor of Emperor Constantine I, gave its name to an entire district over time.
The Cemberlitas column, where the busts of Byzantine Emperors were once placed, is still one of the most remarkable structures in Istanbul, even though it was badly damaged during the Crusades.
- Galata Tower
Today, the Galata Tower, where long queues are expected to climb to the top and watch the Istanbul view, is one of the most important symbols that draw the silhouette of Istanbul.
8 Rumeli Fortress
Rumeli Fortress , which was built in 90 days by the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, in order to cut the aid that could come from the Black Sea to Byzantium during the Conquest of Istanbul, is one of the most popular historical buildings of the city. The structure overlooking the Bosphorus is also known as Boğazkesen Fortress, in accordance with its purpose.
Rumeli Fortress, a magnificent structure with its three big towers and ramparts, is located right across Anadolu Fortress, at the point where the two shores of the Bosphorus come closest to each other.
The fortress, where outdoor events such as Rumeli FortressConcerts were once held, is now open to visitors as a museum. The cannons, cannonballs used in the conquest of Istanbul and a part of the chain that is said to close the Golden Horn are still on display at the Rumeli Fortress Museum.
- Yoros Castle
Yoros Castle, which has a bird’s eye view of the Black Sea from Beykoz, which is covered with lush forests, is one of the important historical structures in Istanbul from the Eastern Romans.
The castle, which remained in the hands of the Genoese for many years with the weakening of Eastern Rome, was conquered by Yıldırım Bayezid in 1391.
You can enjoy breakfast on the Bosphorus in the cafe, which is located just below the Yoros Castle, one of the most important spots where you can enjoy the best view of the Bosphorus.
Although it is forbidden to enter the castle due to the ongoing archaeological excavations, you have to take the risk of climbing a little longer to see the magnificent walls of the castle and the magnificent view of Yoros Castle.
- Anatolian Fortress
Anatolian Fortress, which was built during the Yıldırım Beyazıt period to control the entrances to the Bosphorus and to protect the Göksu Valley, has been hosting the most beautiful views of the Anatolian Side overlooking the Black Sea since 1395.
Anadolu Hisarı is one of the most peaceful places in Istanbul with its fishing boats, cafes and restaurants on its shores.
- Yedikule Dungeons
“The seven duvels are worse than the dungeons of Yedikule…” says Yeni Türkü, Yedikule Dungeons, which was once the last stop of all the bandits of Istanbul.
- Haydarpasa Train Station
Haydarpasa Train Station is the elegant and magnificent structure that stands out when passing from Eminönü to Kadıköy.
- Dolmabahce Palace
This Dolmabahce Palace, which was built by the Ottoman Sultan Sultan Abdülmecit on the shores of the Bosphorus in 1856, is one of the most important landmarks of Istanbul with its magnificent appearance bearing traces of Western architecture.
Aya Yorgi Monastery
Büyükada, the largest of the Princes’ Islands, is visited by hundreds of thousands every year. Apart from touring the island by bike and feeding yourself with delicious fish, there is one more thing you need to do in Büyükada: to go to the Aya Yorgi Monastery.
Aya Yorgi Church, with its old church built in 1751 and its later additions, is located in Yücetepe, the highest point of Büyükada.
There is a widespread belief that wishes come true in the church, where many people from different faiths gather to meet in common prayers and wishes on April 23 and September 24 each year.
Apart from these dates, you can visit the church away from the crowds and fulfill an old tradition by making your wish without speaking and climbing Azap Yokuşu. In addition, an exquisite view awaits you at Yücetepe Country Casino.
- Fener Greek Patriarchate
The Fener Greek Patriarchate, also known as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, is located in Balat, on the shores of the Golden Horn.
The Patriarchate, which was moved to its current location on the Grand Vizier Ali Paşa Street in 1602, gained its present appearance with the restoration carried out in the 1800s.
- Heybeliada Seminary
Although it has not provided education in Heybeliada in recent years, the historical Heybeliada Seminary, which defies centuries without losing anything of its splendor, is one of the important historical structures you should see on the island.
In the school, which is mostly not open to visitors, the doors can be opened to visitors on occasion of special concerts and events held from time to time during the summer months.
- Kuleli Military High School
Kuleli Military High School is one of the important architectural structures that draw the silhouette of Istanbul. The second largest Turkish flag in Istanbul is located right behind this structure, which overlooks the Bosphorus from the Çengelköy coast.
- Maiden’s Tower
There are countless legends about the coy beautiful Maiden’s Tower, which we passed while crossing the Üsküdar-Beşiktaş motorbikes…
Maiden’s Tower, one of the most romantic symbols of Istanbul, was restored in 2000 and started to serve as a restaurant. Proposing marriage in the Maiden’s Tower, which can be reached in 5 minutes by boat from Üsküdar beach, has become one of the customs of Istanbul. There is no requirement to eat at the restaurant to visit the Maiden’s Tower.
To go to the Maiden’s Tower from Üsküdar Salacak and Kabataş by boat, from Üsküdar Salacak pier every day between 09.00-18.45; There are only weekend flights from Kabataş between 09.00-18.45.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul
Having been the capital of the Ottoman Empire for centuries, Istanbul displays its deep-rooted past and splendor like an expensive necklace with its unique architectural structures. It is possible to see the most important reflections of Ottoman architecture, wealth and aesthetics in mosques, each of which takes people on a spiritual journey with their beauty.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul
The first mosques in Istanbul were created by converting some of the Byzantine churches into mosques after the city was conquered in 1453. In this way, the need for places of worship of the Muslim population of the city was met in the short term, but the need for mosques, which emerged with the increase in the Muslim population, was instrumental in the emergence of the most magnificent works of Ottoman architecture.
“How many mosques are there in Istanbul?” Footnote for those wondering: Today, there are more than 3 thousand mosques in Istanbul, and the number of mosques to visit in Istanbul is not small at all. It is not possible to see all of these mosques, most of which defy centuries, but a few examples representing the most beautiful mosques of Istanbul must be seen.
- Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque, which was built by Mimar Sinan between 1551 and 1557 by Suleiman the Magnificent, in other words Suleiman the Magnificent, is located in Beyazıt.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul: Suleymaniye Mosque
The Süleymaniye Complex, built on a large area; It consists of the Suleymaniye Mosque, along with madrasas, a cemetery, a hospital, a primary school, a bath, a library, a soup kitchen and shops. The tombs of Mimar Sinan, Suleiman the Magnificent and Hürrem Sultan are located in the Süleymaniye Complex.
The best way to get interesting information about the Suleymaniye Mosque is to go and see the mosque in person. Many creative ideas, such as ostrich eggs that protect the mosque from insect and scorpion invasion, and the production of ink from the soot of acoustic and oil lamps that Mimar Sinan calculated with empty cubes for weeks, will double your admiration.
- Blue Mosque
If you ask what is the most famous mosque in Istanbul, you will get the answer of the Blue Mosque from many people. Known by the whole world as the Blue Mosque, the Blue Mosque is famous for its 6 minarets and the blue Iznik tiles that adorn its interior.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul: Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque, which was built by the architect Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa between 1609 and 1617 by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I, is located right across the Hagia Sophia and challenges it with its beauty. One of the most important works of classical Ottoman architecture, the Blue Mosque takes its magnificence not from its size but from its elegance.
- Eyup Sultan Mosque
Eyüp Sultan Mosque, one of the most important mosques in Istanbul, is located in the Golden Horn. Hz. It is believed that Ebu Eyyûb el-Ensari, who was the standard bearer of Muhammad, was martyred during the siege of Istanbul in the 7th century and was buried here. Eyüp Sultan Mosque, which was built right next to Eyüp Sultan Tomb, was built by the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1458, after the conquest of Istanbul.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul: Eyüp Sultan Mosque
The mosque, which hosted the sword-wielding ceremony of many Ottoman sultans, especially Fatih Sultan Mehmet, is visited by tens of thousands of people on weekends, religious holidays and oil lamps.
- Ortakoy Mosque
Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, located on the shore of the Bosphorus, is known as Ortaköy Mosque among the people because it is located in Ortaköy Square. Close to the European leg of the 15 July Martyrs Bridge, the mosque, with its small but elegant appearance, forms a backdrop for one of the most beautiful views of Istanbul.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul: Ortakoy Mosque
Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, built in neo-Baroque architectural style, was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecit to Nigoğos Balyan and Garabet Amira Balyan. The mosque, whose construction was completed in 1853, takes on a magnificent view with its unusually large windows, with the colorful lights of the Bosphorus illuminating the interior.
These historical mosques, which were built in different districts of Istanbul in different centuries, with the imagination of different architects, continue to impress millions of people from all over the world.
- Fatih Mosque
Fatih Mosque, the first selatin mosque of Istanbul, that is, the mosque built by the sultan, was built by Architect Yusuf Sinan (Sinan-ı Atik) 10 years after the conquest of Istanbul. Located on the 4th of Istanbul’s 7 hills, Fatih Complex includes madrasas, hospital, caravanserai, almshouse, library and bath.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul: Fatih Mosque
The mosque, which was built on the hill where the tombs of the Byzantine Emperors are located, was designed as one of the biggest indicators of the beginning of the Ottoman Era in Istanbul.
Unfortunately, the mosque we visit today is not the original structure that Fatih Sultan Mehmet had built. The mosque, whose construction was completed in 1771 instead of the mosque that was destroyed by the 1766 earthquake and has survived, carries Baroque breezes. Many famous states in the burial ground where Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s tomb is also located.
- Eminonu New Mosque
The construction of the Yeni Mosque or Valide Sultan Mosque, located on the shore of the sea in Eminönü, was started in 1597 by Sultan III. It started with the order of Murat’s wife Safiye Sultan, but in 1665, the sultan of the time IV. It was completed with the donations of Mehmet’s mother, Turhan Hatice Sultan.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul: Eminönü Yeni Mosque
In fact, the 400-year-old mosque was named “New Mosque” because it was built after the Süleymaniye and Sultanahmet mosques.
Although the interior architecture of the Yeni Mosque is not as successful as the Süleymaniye and Sultanahmet mosques, it is still one of the most popular mosques to visit in Istanbul. Yeni Mosque, one of the important symbols that draw the silhouette of Istanbul, is also famous for its pigeons. For those who pass by Eminönü, it has become a tradition to feed the birds in front of the Yeni Mosque.
- Nuruosmaniye Mosque
Nuruosmaniye Mosque, on your left as you walk from Çemberlitaş to the entrance of the Grand Bazaar, is located on the 2nd hill of Istanbul. Although its dimensions are slightly smaller than other historical mosques, Nuruosmaniye has an aesthetic that must be seen with its elegance and eye-catching stained glass windows.
Historical Mosques to Visit in Istanbul: Nuruosmaniye Mosque
Nuruosmaniye Mosque is equipped with numerous details reflecting Ottoman aesthetics, from the prayers on the handles of the entrance door to the priceless calligraphy plates inside. The mosque has a special importance as it is mostly covered with marble and is the first baroque mosque of the Ottoman Empire.
- Arab Mosque
Even though it is hidden inside the hardware market in Karaköy, one of the mosques with the most different architecture in Istanbul is the Arap Mosque. Drawing attention with its square-shaped high tower, Arap Mosque is of great importance as it is the place where the first azan was recited in Istanbul.
It is estimated that the mosque, which is thought to have been built in 717 during the 7-year period when the Umayyads besieged Istanbul, was converted into a church by the Byzantines. The building, which was reopened for worship as a mosque with the conquest of Istanbul, is worth seeing even for the magnificent wood carvings on its ceiling.