The most famous historical areas in Istanbul
It has become usual to describe Istanbul as the bridge between East and West. Ruled by a series of empires spanning across Asia and Europe, this city is a melting pot of different cultures and a place full of contrasts.
Istanbul is home to a fascinating mix of extraordinary history, nightlife, religion, food, and culture and although it is not the country's political capital, Istanbul offers tourists of all faiths something beautiful at every turn. But it is undoubtedly a destination that should be at the top of the list for all history buffs.
With Istanbul being one of the world's largest cities, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to deciding which historical sites to visit. So we have collected the most famous of these areas in this article.
Known as the Blue Mosque - a reference to the blue tiles that decorate its interior - it was built - still in operation today - in the early 17th century during the reign of Ahmed I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire between 1603 and 1617.
One of the most famous mosques in the world, the design has inspired many other mosques, including the Muhammad al-Amin Mosque in Beirut.
Perhaps no other building epitomizes Istanbul's status as a crossroads between Europe and Asia as Hagia Sophia.
Located opposite the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Hagia Sophia served as a Greek Orthodox church for nearly 1,000 years before being converted into a mosque in the 15th century during the city's Ottoman rule. It then became secular in the early 20th century and opened as a museum. To re-announce this place as a mosque again in 2021
The Hagia Sophia impressed the world even by modern engineering standards and was the largest building in the world at the time of its construction in AD 537.
This palatial palace was once the residence and administrative residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Construction of the palace began in 1459, just six years after the Muslim Ottomans captured the city at a watershed moment that marked the end of the Byzantine Empire and dealt a blow to Christian lands.
The palace complex consists of hundreds of rooms but only a few of them are available to the public today.
Located in the cobbled district of Galata, not too far from the aforementioned mystical lodge, this tower was the tallest building in Istanbul when it was built in 1348. Its construction dates back to before the Ottomans arrived in the city and were originally known as the 'Christ's Tower'.
Ironically, the building was damaged by several fires in the 18th and 19th centuries, although it was used by the Ottomans to detect fires in the city since 1717.
This room is larger than the several hundred ancient cisterns located in Istanbul. Another pre-Ottoman site was built by the Byzantines in the 6th century. You've heard of the two Medusa heads that serve as bases for two pillars in the tank!
Several scenes from the movie Hell, based on Dan Brown's novel, were filmed in this basilica.
This group of nine islands is located an hour boat ride from the city in the Sea of Marmara. They take their name from the fact that the islands served as a place of exile for princes and other members of the royal family during the Byzantine period, and later for family members of the Ottoman sultans as well.
It is where the exiled Leon Trotsky lived between 1929 and 1933.
Only four islands are available to the public, but those islands alone provide enough for history buffs. With motor vehicles (except service vehicles) banned from the islands, horse-drawn carriages are the main mode of transportation, along with the 19th-century Ottoman mansions and country houses that can still be found in Buyukada, giving Visitors feel like stepping back in time.
In addition, there is an abundance of churches and other religious buildings located on the island
One of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar is a must for anyone who enjoys a place to bargain. Construction of the bazaar began in the mid-15th century, shortly after the city was captured by the Ottomans, and today it is home to more than 4,000 shops.
Located some distance from the lights and landmarks of central Istanbul, this former Greek Orthodox church is well worth the effort to find. The interior of the building is covered with some of the oldest and most beautiful Byzantine mosaics and frescoes found in the world today.
Built-in the 4th century, it predates Islam but is now located in one of the city's most conservative Muslim neighborhoods.
Turkey's presidential palace, National Assembly, and ministerial buildings are all located in Ankara, but as the country's largest city, Istanbul is certainly not immune to political activity. Taksim Square played a central role in this activity, providing a venue for many demonstrations during the years of Turkey's independence. It gained worldwide fame from here.
Perhaps there are thousands of places in Istanbul so that it is not limited to what has been mentioned. Many tourists who have shared their experiences of traveling to Istanbul say that a full month is not enough to visit all the attractions and splendor of Istanbul!
Are you thinking of visiting it?