WHAT TO DO IN THE HISTORICAL PENINSULA?
Hagia Sophia amazes people who see it with its architecture, magnificence, and grand. Hagia Sophia is an invaluable work for the history of architecture and the art world. Hagia Sophia, a church built by the Eastern Roman Empire, was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmet the Conqueror. The mosque, which has adorned the Historical Peninsula with its magnificent structure for about 1500 years, was named Megale Ekklesia (Great Church) after its construction was finished. The fascinating structure has been called Hagia Sophia, that is, Holy Wisdom since the 5th century. Hagia Sophia, which was reconstructed three times by three different rulers, was converted into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1935 after the proclamation of the Republic.
Hippodrome, which has a massive area in the Byzantine period, is located in Sultanahmet Square. Instead of gladiator wars and wild animal fights that ended with the arrival of Christianity, a Hippodrome was built, where horse races and sports activities could be held. The obliques, sculptures and horse carriages of Theodosius, one of the remains of the great Hippodrome, which used to be in the form of an ellipse, can be seen in the 4th century. At the entrance of the basilica, four-horse sculptures, which were replaced with the originals removed for protection, stand out. Although it is a flat square today, it is possible to see the remains of the walls surrounding the Hippodrome. The three large columns remaining from the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet Square are still in place. The German Fountain, a gift that was sent to the Ottoman Sultan by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, should see in the square.
Basilica Cistern is a huge water cistern. The Basilica Cistern was built by the Byzantine Emperor I Justinianus in 500s to provide for water need in the region. In the cistern, which can be reached by descending 52 stairs, 336 marble columns, 9 meters high, rising from the water, causing the place to be called the Basilica Palace by the public. Below the two columns are the two Medusa Heads, one of the masterpieces of the Roman era and believed to be turned into stone. The music and lighting inside the Basilica Cistern add a mystical atmosphere to it. When you come here, you can feed the fish or throw an iron coin to make any wish come true.
It was built in 1935 by the order of the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I. Blue Mosque, which has been the heart and main mosque of the city since then, still captivates those who see it with its magnificence. This magnificent building architecture that challenges history is one of the most visited works with its story and location. It is the first and only 6 minaret mosque in the Ottoman Empire. The main dome is the most remarkable element in the mosque with its 43 meters height and 23.5 meters diameter. Hagia Sophia was inspired in the construction of the Blue Mosque, a synthesis of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. The pickaxe, which was used when the foundation was laid by the Sultan, is exhibited in Topkapı Palace. At the entrance to the mosque, the shoes are removed and placed in special compartments, and women visitors are given shawls to cover their heads.
Topkapı Palace has been the administrative center of the state and the residence of the sultans by the largest empire of the world for 400 years since Mehmet the Conqueror. Topkapı Palace was built on a huge area of 700.000 square meters. It is one of the most prominent palace museums in the world. Topkapı Palace is surrounded by the Walls of Sur-i Sultan and East Roman walls, which surround the Historical Peninsula. It is the first Ottoman palace. This magnificent masterpiece is one of the most fascinating views of Istanbul in Bosphorus and Golden Horn. Topkapı Palace, one of the most visited works in the world, was turned into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924. There are valuable historical objects and items in the palace. We strongly recommend that visitors who want to witness the history of the Ottoman Empire should see the treasure room, the section where the clothes of the sultans are exhibited, the harem and the holy relics of Islam.
THE EGYPTIAN (AKA SPICE) BAZAAR
The Egyptian Bazaar offers its visitors a fairy tale with its mystical atmosphere and is the symbol of Eminonu. Egyptian Bazaar appeals to people of all ages who want to shop with its location and product variety. One of the most lively bazaars of today, this large bazaar is one of the indispensable travel stops of many people who want to visit the Historic Peninsula. The bazaar was named Egyptian Bazaar because it was made with the income of taxes on spices and products from Egypt. In the market built with the L plan, there are four big doors and two small doors.
Grand Bazaar is one of the most important trade centers in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar hosts between 300,000 and 500,000 visitors a day, depending on the season. It offers a historical environment for shopping lovers where they can find all kinds of products. It opens to 60 streets in the center of the Historic Peninsula with 11 gates like a gigantic labyrinth. There are more than 3000 shops in the bazaar where culture and shopping are experienced together. The Grand Bazaar, which has been in existence since the Byzantine period, is known as the largest shopping center in the world with its oldest bank, the most majestic historic structure, and its 31 thousand square meter area.
The park is located between Sarayburnu and Sultanahmet. It is one of the oldest parks in Istanbul. Gulhane Park takes its name from the fact that Topkapı Palace was used as an outer garden equipped with roses during the Ottoman period. It is known as a place where sports competitions and entertainment are organized in Ottoman importance. Gulhane Park has a special importance for the Turks as it is the place where the Edict of Tanzimat is read. Gulhane park is one of the most famous and most abundant parks of the Historical Peninsula. The park, which is located in a unique location where you can enjoy the unique view of Istanbul, features the 3rd century Goths Column and Kennedy Avenue. You can sleep in the shade under the giant plane trees in the park, which is easily accessible by tram, and enjoy the coolness.
What can be done
The works of Roman and Byzantine architecture are located in the Historical Peninsula mostly. The interiors of Fatih enlive with the structures of the Ottoman Empire. Sultanahmet; Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and hippodrome host priceless memories.
Emperor Constantine chose this place as the capital for Byzantium. The key to the city was given to Fatih Sultan Mehmet here. The splendor of the empires, the reigns of the sultans, the first movements of the riots began in the Historic Peninsula. For centuries, the nations of the world have always dreamed of own this land.