Each city has a unique skyline symbolizing its history. The panoramic view of the Istanbul peninsula from the Anatolian side creates the skyline of Istanbul. Istanbul's skyline is a magnificent view where Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Irene, and Hagia Sophia are all together. When viewed from the Golden Horn or Pera, that is, from the north, the Blue Mosque on the southern outskirts of the city will come out of view. However, from another angle, the Süleymaniye Mosque and the Fatih Mosque built on the site of the second largest church of Byzantium, the Havariyun Church, will be included in the picture. New Mosque and Rüstem Paşa Mosque on the shore of the Golden Horn, Nuruosmaniye Mosque, and Beyazıt Mosque and buildings that have witnessed the history of Byzantine and Ottoman Empires are other structures included in this magnificent image. Let's look at the architectural wonders that make up the skyline of the city.
Topkapi Palace, the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for about 400 years, covered the Golden Horn and Bosphorus coast with Sultanahmet. Its original area was 700,000 m2. Its construction started in 1465, during the reign of Mehmed the Conqueror. It is located on the acropolis hill, the first place established in Istanbul, with a spectacular view overlooking the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, and the Marmara Sea.
Blue Mosque was built by order of Sultan Ahmed I. It consists of a prayer hall and a fountain courtyard, both of which are square-like planned. Built by architect Sedefkar Mehmed Aga, the mosque is decorated with blue, green, and white Iznik tiles. It is the first mosque in Turkey with six minarets.
Hagia Irene is a Byzantine church and museum located in the outer courtyard of Topkapi Palace, near Hagia Sophia. It is the second-largest Byzantine church after Hagia Sophia. According to ancient sources, it was built in the early 4th century, during the reign of Constantine I, using the remains of the Roman-era Artemis, Aphrodite, and Apollo temples. Hagia Irene, located within the same courtyard wall with Hagia Sophia, was burned together with Sampson Zenon during the Nika Uprising in 532. Emperor Justinian rebuilt Hagia Irene along with Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia fascinates visitors with its magnificence, size, functionality, and interior decorations. It was transformed into a mosque under Ottoman rule after being used as a church for 916 years. Hagia Sophia, the largest church of Byzantium, became the city's chief mosque after the conquest of Istanbul. The first Friday prayer was held here. Hagia Sophia was built by the two best architects of the period, Isidoros and Anthemios, by order of Emperor Justinian. According to historians, the construction of Hagia Sophia started in 532 and was completed in 537. It was opened with a grand ceremony.
Suleymaniye Mosque, designed by Mimar Sinan, was built between 1551-1558 by the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent's order. It is one of the most important examples of Classical Ottoman Architecture. The dome of the mosque, which has four minarets, two of them with three balconies, and two of them with two balconies, is 53 meters high. The garden of the mosque, which has an area of approximately 6,000 square meters, has 11 doors. Around the garden, seven madrasahs known as Suleymaniye Madrasahs have been established.