Fatih is a unique district that makes Istanbul become Istanbul. Fatih is an unprecedented district with its rich history, cultural diversity, and cosmopolitan structure. The city of Fatih, which is also called the Historical Peninsula, has a deep-rooted and ancient history. Fatih is also called Suriçi because of its appearance surrounded by seas on three sides. Fatih has hosted many civilizations over thousands of years and is nowadays the most important historical and tourist center of Istanbul.
Fatih is a 'history-smelling' district that has hosted many civilizations because it serves as a bridge between Asia and Europe. Fatih has hosted various settlements since the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze ages. The first finds related to the history of Fatih belong to the Neolithic era. In light of these historical findings, Fatih has been home to different civilizations for about 8500 years.
The first important civilization in the Historical Peninsula was the Megarians, occupied in maritime trade. The Megarians settled in the Sarayburnu region to establish a colony, then they founded the Byzantine city in this region. The Historical Peninsula was under the rule of the Byzantines until the conquest of Istanbul in 1453.
Fatih, which came under the Ottoman Empire's rule in 1453, is one of the most important Turkish historical districts today. Fatih Sultan Mehmet started to have the Fatih Mosque and its madrasa built ten years after the conquest. After the building, the residents started calling the region by the name of the mosque and madrasa over time. For this reason, the district of Fatih was named after the 7th Ottoman Sultan, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who conquered Istanbul.
During the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror, several restorations were made to the city's development. First, the damaged walls were repaired, and the neglected Hagia Sophia was restored and turned into a mosque. Second, the Sahn-ı Seman Madrasahs were established within the Fatih Madrasa. The Fatih Madrasa is important because it formed the foundations of Istanbul University. The third is the Grand Bazaar, the most important trade center in the entire region. Lastly, Topkapi Palace, one of the most magnificent palaces in the world and the center of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years, was built in Fatih. With all these features, Fatih was the unique district of education, trade, administration, and history at the time.
Many historical buildings that come to mind in Istanbul are located in Fatih. During the Ottoman period, important historical monuments were built in the region by sultans because it was the border where the capital was located. Especially, Suleiman the Magnificent, one of the Ottoman sultans, had magnificent works built on the Fatih borders.
Finally, although the district of Fatih has seen severe earthquakes, fires, and diseases, the district has preserved its importance from the Byzantine period to the present day. Every place you step in the Fatih district will allow you to learn about different historical periods and meet different cultures.