One of the first choices of local and foreign travelers who want to explore the history and culture of Istanbul is the historical peninsula which never loses its beauty. Historical Peninsula has many must-see attractions in Istanbul. The area, also known as Suriçi, is surrounded by the Golden Horn, Bosphorus, and the Sea of Marmara. In this region, located in the south of Golden Horn, there are historical districts such as Eminönü, Beyazıt, Sultanahmet, and Sirkeci. This peninsula has an impressive past that sheds light on the history of Istanbul because Istanbul was founded and developed in this region. In other words, the magnificent history of the city started here. The oldest settlement in Istanbul, the peninsula has the word “historical” before its name, implying the glorious past behind it. The peninsula has numerous important historical artifacts and ruins. Faced with earthquakes, fires, and invasions throughout history, the peninsula has been rebuilt over and over again; its damaged parts have been repaired and it has never lost its beauty. The historical peninsula was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1985. It reflects the unique architectural beauties of the Ottoman and Byzantine periods with the historical artifacts it contains. Today, the historical peninsula dazzle people with its impressive history.
The first settlement on the peninsula was established in 685 BC by the Greeks from Megara under the name of Byzantion. Throughout history, this settlement hosted different empires and was called by different names such as Dersaadet and Nova Roma. Today, we call this place, the impressive symbol of history, Istanbul. On the lands of the peninsula, there are city walls built to protect the city during the Byzantine period. This region is within the borders of Fatih district.
The city built on this peninsula was so important to the empires that reigned over it; it was the capital for centuries, witnessed world history, and became the key point of old Istanbul. Until the 13th century, Istanbul became the richest city in the world and the most important trade center thanks to the Theodosius Port located in the south of the peninsula. This port was discovered during the excavations for subway construction.
Many historical artifacts that come to mind when Istanbul is mentioned are located in the historical peninsula. The palace, mosques, obelisk, and fountains are symbols that reflect the history of the historical peninsula. Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Suleymaniye Mosque, Sultanahmet Square, Gulhane Park, Basilica Cistern, and Grand Bazaar are some of the numerous historical beauties the peninsula has. After a journey to the Ottoman times in Topkapı Palace, you can get fresh air in Gulhane Park, and then shop in the Grand Bazaar, which has been very important for the Istanbul trade for years, and enjoy the beauty of the historical peninsula. If you want to see all the treasures it has, it is not possible to visit the entire historical peninsula in one day, you need to plan a trip for yourself for a few days, and now is the right time to make this plan!