Lose yourself in the rich history of Istanbul, the most populous city in Turkey. With such broad and rich history, Istanbul is home to many historical buildings. With that, each one of them has its own unique stories and specialties.
If you want to get lost in the history of Istanbul, we compiled some of the historical buildings in Istanbul for you to visit:
With its breathtaking history, Hagia Sophia attracts tourists all around the world. Being an important Byzantine Structure, Hagia Sophia was first an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral from 537 to 1453. After the conquest of Constantinople, it was converted into an Ottoman Mosque and later used as a museum. Recently, it has been converted into a mosque once again. The structure reflects on the changes with the minarets and inscriptions of Islam, including the lavish mosaics of Christianity. Hagia Sophia is located near Blue Mosque, which is our next subject in this article.
There is no wonder why Istanbul is one of the most visited cities in the world. The majestic Blue Mosque dating from 1616, is one of the best historical places in Istanbul. It is built by Mimar Sinan, who is the favorite architect of the sultans. The mosque is built in the style of traditional Islamic architecture, with five domes, six minarets, and another eight domes. Blended of Ottoman and Byzantine styles, Blue Mosque welcomes its visitors every day besides being closed at prayer times. For non-Muslims, it is obligated to wear a cape before entry to respect the holiness of the mosque.
Topkapi Palace, built in the 1470s, served as one of the Ottoman sultans' primary residences for nearly 400 years (1465–1856) during their 624-year reign. The Ottoman Empire was ruled by Topkapi Palace for 380 years. It has kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and Harem rooms inside. The palace lost its importance as sultans preferred to live at their palaces alongside the Bosphorus shore. In 1923, it was turned into a museum.
When it was built, Galata Tower was the tallest building in Istanbul at 66.9 meters, and it was called 'Christea Turris' (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese. It is one of the oldest towers in the world, and it is one of the most significant symbols of Istanbul. Galata Tower was included in UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List in 2013. There are two elevators inside that carry visitors to the upper levels of the tower. There is a restaurant and cafe on the upper floors that have spectacular views of the Bosphorus.
Being an iconic landmark of Istanbul, Maiden's Tower's history dates back to the fourth century. Also, it has many legends that add to its history. Maiden's Tower is located on a tiny isle, approximately 200 meters from the coast of Üsküdar. There is a cafe on the islet, and the prices aren't low, but you will be paying for the location and views mostly. There is also a museum inside, and it is free to enter. You can visit Maiden's Tower every day between 9 am to 7 pm, and tickets are 30 Turkish Liras.