The historical peninsula, also known as Surici, is a place rich in culture and history and home to great empires such as Egypt, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. From the sea side of this region there is the Golden Horn, the Bosporus and the Sea of ​​Marmara, and from the land side – the city walls built by the Byzantines to protect the city. Today, this region is within the borders of the Fatih district. There are many beautiful places on the Historic Peninsula that immediately come to mind when it comes to “walking around Istanbul”. We have told you in detail what to visit on the Historic Peninsula. Here is a guide to the Historic Peninsula.

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1. Sultanahmet

The Blue Mosque and its square, which are among the must-see places in Istanbul, are one of the most visited places by tourists. Along with the excellent architecture of the Blue Mosque, the culture, history, and art around it is superb. The Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet in the 17th century, is decorated mainly with blue, white and green Iznik tiles. This mosque is called “The Blue Mosque” in English because blue decorations predominate in the mosque. This magnificent mosque in terms of history and architecture is one of the largest and most priceless building complexes in Istanbul, along with its complex and school, consisting of shops, a Turkish bath, a canteen, a madrasah, arast, public fountains, a tomb. , hospital, Sultan’s pavilion, fountains.

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2. Topkapi Palace

Historic peninsula

Topkapı Palace was the artistic, educational and administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for almost 400 years, from Fatih Sultan Mehmet to Sultan Abdulmecid. Topkapı Palace, which was converted into a museum on April 3, 1924, about a year after the founding of the Republic of Turkey, is the first museum in the history of the Republic. The structures of Topkapı Palace are spread over an area of ​​about 700,000 square meters. Topkapi Palace, one of the largest museum palaces in the world, has many things that smell of history and culture, such as Ottoman glass and porcelain, the Sultan’s portrait section, palace weapons, the holy relics section, the Enderun Library, and the treasure section.

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3. Obelisk


The obelisk is a beautiful work, standing on a marble platform brought from Egypt 3500 years ago and made in Istanbul. The square on which the obelisk is located was a hippodrome where horse races were held during the Roman Empire. The Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine wanted one of the obelisks erected at the entrance to the temple of Amun to be erected in Rome and the other in Istanbul. Thus, the Obelisk, one of the most important works of the Historical Peninsula, was brought to Istanbul from Egypt 3500 years ago and installed on this square.

4. Spice Bazaar

Historic peninsula

The Spice Bazaar, one of the oldest bazaars in Istanbul, is located in Eminenu. The construction of this bazaar was completed in 1597 III. It was started by Murat’s mother, Safiye Sultan, to generate income for the Yeni Mosque. IV. At the direction of Mehmet’s mother, Hatice Turhan Sultan, the bazaar took on its present form. The construction of the bazaar took 63 years and most of the products that entered the bazaar came from Egypt. That is why it is called the Spice Bazaar. The Spice Bazaar, which immediately comes to mind when you think of the Historic Peninsula, stands out as a place where thousands of nuts, medicinal herbs and spices have been sold since the day it was built.

5. Basilica Cistern

Historic peninsula

The Basilica Cistern, located on Seogukceshme Street, is popularly known as the Yerebatan Palace because of the many marble columns that rise above the water. The Basilica Cistern was built in 526-527 to meet Istanbul’s water needs. Inside is the Column of Tears and an inverted statue of Medusa. The Column of Tears is an impressive piece of art created to commemorate the thousands of slaves who died building the cistern. The statue of Medusa, on the other hand, was built to protect such large structures of the time. As many of us know, Medusa is a character in Greek mythology who turns the people she sees into stone. According to rumors, the purpose of the inverted statue of Medusa is to prevent people who see her from turning into stone.

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6. Hagia Sophia

Saint Sophie Cathedral

Hagia Sophia, built at the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, is one of the most unique religious buildings in the world. Hagia Sophia is a patriarchal cathedral with a basilica plan built between 532-537. After the Ottomans conquered Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet converted Hagia Sophia into a mosque. It was converted into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1934 and served as a museum until 2020. In 2020, the status of the museum was canceled and given the status of a mosque.

Located on the Historic Peninsula, Hagia Sophia is a basilica-type domed building that combines the central plan in terms of architecture and is considered an important turning point in the history of architecture with its domed passage and bearing system features. It is also a tourist, symbolic and spiritual center of attraction for Christians.

7. Grand Bazaar

grand bazaar

Built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1460, the Grand Bazaar is still one of Istanbul’s most important shopping centers despite hundreds of years of existence. The bazaar has countless inns and shops that have burned down many times from the past to the present. As if every door in this bazaar opens to different worlds. Undoubtedly, there is at least one thing in the Grand Bazaar that can attract everyone.

Let’s tell you the legend of the Grand Bazaar. According to this legend, there are tunnels under the Grand Bazaar and these tunnels lead first to the Basilica Cistern and then to Kynaliada. People who knew these secret tunnels were pressed to the Koran and swore an oath not to tell anyone about these tunnels.

8. Beyazit Square

Historic peninsula

Beyazit Square, which attracts attention with the magnificent gates of Istanbul University, was a palace square during the Ottoman period. Although it has been destroyed many times over the years, it has been enlarged and expanded to be better than ever before. After walking around Beyazit Square, you can also visit Beyazit Mosque, Nuruosmaniye Mosque and Beyazit Booksellers’ Bazaar. The Beyazit Mosque was built in 1505 by Sultan II. It was built by Beyazit. It is also located next to Beyazit Square.

9. Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Historic peninsula

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum, founded as the Imperial Museum in the 19th century, has been open to visitors since June 13, 1891. First, the museum, which manages to impress those who see it with its architecture, contains more than 1 million exhibits related to civilizations living within the borders of the Ottoman Empire, from the Balkans to Anatolia, from the Arabian Peninsula and from Afghanistan. to Africa. The Istanbul Archaeological Museum manages to impress everyone who loves history or not.

10. Suleymaniye Mosque

Historic peninsula

The Suleymaniye Mosque was built by Mimar Sinan in the name of Suleiman the Magnificent between 1551 and 1557. This mosque is part of the Suleymaniye complex, which consists of a cemetery, an elementary school, a hospital, a library, a bathhouse, shops and a madrasah. According to Mimar Sinan, the Suleymaniye Mosque is a mosque that will not be destroyed until the end of time. So much so that it did not suffer the slightest crack during the earthquakes experienced from the past to the present.

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