Balat is a focal point between Ayvansaray and Fener on the shore of the Golden Horn in Fatih district of Istanbul. The name ‘Balat’ comes from the palace word meaning “Greek palace”, because of Balat’s proximity to the Blaherna Palace on the walls, the district is known by this name.
The Balat-Fener tour, one of the oldest districts of Istanbul, will make you feel like a tourist in your own city. You can start your cruise by admiring the colorful Greek houses as you go down from the top of the neighborhood.
Those living in Fener, where the Greek Cypriot population dominates; the conqueror left their homes a short while ago, but they returned with the announcement that Fatih Sultan Mehmet would not interfere with their understanding of life and worship. We share the places that must be seen in this old Greek and Jewish neighborhood for you.
1- Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
The main patriarchate of all Orthodox churches has been operating in the same place since 1602. The patriarch’s bed from the 5th century, Hz. A column that Jesus is considered to have been whipped in Jerusalem and three coffins of Azize are among the valuable items found in the church.
2- St. Stephen Bulgarian Church
This church, which is quite interesting, is built in the same way as the second building in the world. Parts made in Vienna were built in a small garden, brought over the Danube River. The historical structure is also very important in architecture.
3- St Mary of the Mongols – Bloody Church
The building, dating back to the 7th century, is the only Byzantine church preserved untouched. Name; The daughter of the Byzantine emperor, Maria Despina Palaiologina. After the death of her husband, Mongol emperor, she came to Istanbul and built this church and monastery and lived there.
4- Fener Greek Male High School
This rather large red brick building, built in 1881 using materials imported from France, was also sometimes called the “Red Castle”. From the magnificence of the school, you can see how wealthy this area was in the past. If you succeed in getting in, a perfect view will be waiting for you!
5- Balat Bazaar
Balat Bazaar, surrounded by small shops, where the buildings belonging to different periods are located; Old Bazaar, known as Çifıt Bazaar. Agora Meyhanesi is also mentioned in many songs.