Historical Peninsula: Best 10 Places to Visit In Istanbul – Part 3

In this article, we will continue with the last part of our Part 1 and Part 2 articles of the Historical Peninsula Guide.

5 ) The Historical Peninsula Tours

When exploring this heavenly peninsula in Istanbul, you might need a good guide too. By this way, you can learn better what had happened in these streets. You can learn the inner details of mosaics and everything else. Serhat Engül is one of the prominent travel guides about this.

6 ) Other Places to Visit In Historical Peninsula

In this article, we have introduced specifically the North wing which is next to the Golden Horn coasts and the East Side. But of course, there are more to see in this beautiful peninsula that won’t even fit to a whole summer. Even Fatih itself is too big for a summer.

I will give brief information about the places that we didn’t introduce properly in this article but you can find many details in our blog. 

  • Eyüp Sultan Mosque:

In Turkey, Eyüp Sultan is one of the most prominent and important holy structures. The Eyüp Sultan in the name of the mosque is actually a friend and a standard bearer for the Prophet Mohammed and was killed during the Arab siege of Constantinople. Even though the English name is written like Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, he is known as the Eyüp Sultan mostly.

The history of the mosque dates back to the Fatih the Conqueror. It was first built by the order of Fatih after five years of the conquest but because of the famous earthquakes of Istanbul it was destroyed and built again in Historical Peninsula, at 1800 by Baroque style colored stones. In Turkey, many people come to this holy place in order to make wishes. Some wish for money, some wish for marriage, some wish for their children’s marriage, some wish for a child and many more… There are lots of myths and rumors about this Mosque and they couldn’t be just a coincidence or a superstition.

This is one of the places built inside the Fatih. In this museum, the main focus is to live and watch the conquest of Istanbul in 3D.

With the technology used in this museum, you can actually see the ambiance and experience the conquest so close to the real. Inside of the museum, there are many drawings, decorations, and details about the conquest too. The museum was first opened on 31 January 2009 and it is located across the Topkapı – Edirnekapı ramparts. The most fascinating place of the museum is the panoramic painting on the ceilings. The famous painting measures 38 meters in diameter and covers an area of 2,350 square meters. But the museum in general placed on 3000 square meters and presents a 360-degree painting experience. In order to see the famous 360-degree painting, visitors should take a step of 14 meters away from the picture. Inside of this painting, there are more than 10.000 figures painted.

Fatih mosque is one of the symbolic structures situated in the middle of the historical peninsula. Fatih mosque is actually is a part of a bigger structure, Fatih Külliyesi or Fatih Islamic Complex. It was built in 1463, ten years after the glorious conquest of Istanbul. In order to complete the mosque, 7 years had to pass and the Emperor behind the order of the mosque was the Mehmet the Conqueror so they named the mosque after him. Inside of the Fatih Social Complex, you can find madrasas, a dormitory for madrasa students, hospice, library, hospital, market, hamam, and tombs but not all these structures were lucky enough to survive till this day. Only hospice, tombs, library, madrasas and the mosque survived till this day. And the reason behind these destructions is the same one that happened to the other historical structures; earthquakes and the fires of Istanbul. One other reason behind this one is a road construction which happened in the 1950’s too. The tomb of Mehmet the Conqueror and his wife still remain in this mosque. Since the courtyard of this mosque is one of the largest mosque patios, important people’s or high ranked officials funeral ceremonies take place in this great mosque. Even though it seems like a sacred place, every Wednesday you can witness a colorful bazaar around the Fatih Mosque.

Seven Tower Dungeons or the famous Yedikule Hisarı ve Zindanları is on the coastal road which goes from Sarayburnu to the Bakirköy. It was built by the Teodosios II between the 413 and the 439 years.

The dungeon consists of 7 sections: Osman II Tower: The tower in which they executed the youngest Emperor of the Ottoman Empire, Osman II. Arsenal Tower: Ottoman Empire used this section as an arsenal. Ahmet III Tower: This tower had been built by the order of Ahmet III but it was destroyed because of the earthquake. Nowadays it is impossible to reach this one. Treasury Tower: As you can see understand from the name, it was used as the treasury department during the Imperial years. Dungeon Tower: This tower was used mainly as a basic dungeon. It was burnt by the famous fire happened in Istanbul since it was wooden. Canon Tower: Even though the name suggests something another, it was used as a prison for many years. It was damaged quite bad during the fire. Flag Tower: It is the tower which is on the top of the Golden Gate. It is the strongest tower of all. On top of this, the sanjak waves. It is one of the best examples that reached to our day without any harm.

  • Fethiye Mosque and the Museum, Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque 

Fethiye Mosque is one of the buildings that located in Fatih too. Just like many half museum half mosques today, it was a church in the Byzantine era too. First of all, it was built on the fifth hill of Istanbul which has seven famous hills in the 12th century but then rebuilt and restored by the nephew of the emperor Michael VIII.

After 1453, the date of the conquest, the church was used as a nunnery at first but then Fatih let the Orthodox Christians use it gave it to the Christian Orthodox Patriarchate from 1455 until 1587. The reason behind this generous gift was to ruin the relationship between the west and the eastern churches. With its original name, Pammakaristos Church was given the name of Fethiye which means the conqueror in Turkish in order to celebrate the conquest of Georgia and Azerbaijan by the Ottoman Empire in the historical peninsula. But this time, the conqueror wasn’t the famous Mehmet, it was the Murad III during the Iranian war. In 1955 under the Republic, it became a museum but in the 1960’s, the museum became a mosque again and it is still open for worship while they are protecting the parakkleison sections as a museum.

As you can understand from the name, Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque was dedicated to the Süleyman the Magnificient’s father, Selim I who is also famous as the ”Grim”. He had killed two of his brothers, six of his nephews and three of his own sons in order to get to the throne and make sure that his son Süleyman will get the throne too. Apart from this ‘fame’, he was actually one of the most successful Sultans in the Ottoman empire and did pretty good things for the Empire. He filled the treasury with full of gold and broke a record too.

From the terrace of this beautiful mosque, you can see the Golden Horn inside of the Historical Peninsula and it is also a famous and popular destination for local people to have a picnic and etc. The mosque is located in the Çarşamba district and you can find many religious symbols in this area. Çarşamba district is also famous with the İsmail Ağa Mosque which is the headquarter of a famous Sufi sect so don’t be surprised when you see women in black chadors and men with long beards with ”Arabian” fashion clothes. One of the most important structures inside the mosque ist he huge sunken park next door.

  • Kadırga, Kumkapı, and Samatya Districts
  • Ahırkapı and Cankurtaran Districts


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