The Golden Horn (Haliç)

The Golden Hon, seperating the European side of İstanbul like a horn shape, is a kind of natural port. The Golden Horn divides the  European side of Istanbul with its long, narrow horn shape. Since it is a natural port, Byzantine and Ottoman Navies and those interested in commercial shipping gathered there. At sunset the water's color turns into gold and today the shores are surrounded by pleasnt parks and walking paths. Up the Golden Horn, Fener and Balat districts include many wooden houses from Byzantine and Ottoman times, as well as churches and synagogues.


Balat District
This district is located between Fener and Ayvansaray on the historical peninsula. The district took its name from the word "palatiyon", meaning "palace" in Greek. Balat's history as a Jewish neighborhood dates back to Byzantine times. During Ottoman times, Balat became one of the most important socio-economic and cultural districts of Istanbul because of its architecture, churches, synagogues, craftsmen, baths, and bazaars.


Stephan (Bulgarian) Church
Belonging to the Bulgarian Orthodox minority, this church is perhaps the most interesting church in Istanbul. The people of Bulgarian origin living in the Ottoman Empire used to worship in churches belonging to the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate. In the 19th century, they received permission from the State to have their own church. At first, a small wooden church was built on the area between Balat and Fener by the Golden Horn.  Later, they took the initiative to build a bigger church. Since the ground was not very strong there, they preferred an iron framework because it was not as heavy as concrete. The project was prepared by the Armenian Hovsep Aznavur from Istanbul. An international competition was held to construct prefabricated parts. The parts manufactured in Vienna were brought by ship to Istanbul via the Danube River and the Black Sea. It was assembled in its present location in 1898.  The carrier profiles of the church were made of steel and covered with galvanized and cast sheets. All of the parts were mounted by nuts, bolts, rivets, and welding. It shows neo-gothic and neo-baroque characteristics in terms of architecture.

Aya Yorgi Church (Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate)
When Christianity was allowed as a free religion in 313, the Patriarchate moved to Galata, Istanbul and there were congregations in the Twelve Apostles Monastery (at the present-day location of Fatih Mosque), Pammakaristos Mother Mary Monastery in Çarşamba, Mother Mary Church in Fener, and in Ayios Dimitrios Church. In 1601, the patriarchate was moved to Aya Yorgi Church, which had been built as a place of worship for the Patriarchate in the 12th century. Previously used as a convent, this church was turned into a monastery together with the move of the Patriarchate. The main  part of the church was built on twelve pillars and depictions of twelve apostles were made on these pillars. Some documents such as handwritten books, decrees of sultans, miniatures, pictures, gravures, and photos are maintained in the library of the Patriarchate. The most precious relic in Aya Yorgi Church is the pillar on which the Jesus Christ was tied and whipped before his crucifixion. Visitors touch and make wishes on this pillar, which was saved from Latin despoilment during the Fourth Crusade. Silver and copper boxes preserving the bones of three major saints are also among the relics.

Rahmi Koç Museum
Hasköy Caddesi No:27 Hasköy-İstanbul
Salı - Cuma: 10:00-17:00,
C.tesi - Pazar: 10:00-19:00
The Rahmi M. Koç Museum is the first important museum in Turkey to be devoted to Transport, Industry and Communication. Located on the shore of the Golden Horn, its collection includes thousands of objects ranging from gramophone needles to ships and planes.

This building was established by Mahmud the Second in 1826 to produce clothes and fezzes for the new army that replaced the Janissaries. It was called "Feshane-i Amire".  After restoration, today it serves  the people in Istanbul as a multi-functional facility with various activities especially during the month of Ramadan.

Rezan Has Museum
Cibali Merkez Kampüsü Cibali / İstanbul / Tel: (212) 533 65 32
On the Cibali Campus of Kadir Has University, the  Rezan Has Museum is located in the remnants of a Byzantine cistern with 48 pillars dating back to the 7th century, as well as an Ottoman Bath dating from the 16th century. These are still under restoration. Various exhibitions and activities are held in the museum's halls.


Eyup District
In the Tulip Era, the Golden Horn was one of the most significant recreation spots in Istanbul because of its waterside residences, villas and gardens. In the 18th century, when the people who had lost their houses due to fires inside the city walls were moved to Eyup, the first dense settlement of Istanbul developed.  The influence of a religious atmosphere in Eyüp district immediately attracts attention. This atmosphere is completed by Eyup Sultan Mosque, and its social complex, madrasah, imaret and tombs  together with plane trees, fountains and pigeons. The cemeteries, enhancing the Islamic texture of Eyup with tall cypresses, reflect its history.

The first complex of religious structures built after the Conquest is in Eyup. It became one of the most important religious places in Istanbul when a tomb, then a mosque and other buildings were built on the area known as the grave of Ebu Eyyub-el Ensari, who was the standard bearer of the Prophet Mohammed and died during the siege of Istanbul by the Arabs in the 7th century. Particularly during the month of Ramadan and religious holiday, it hosts many visitors.  Ottoman Sultans, until Sultan Reşat, used to gird their swords here when they succeeded to the throne. It is still a tradition that the children who are to be circumcised visit Eyup Sultan Mosque.

Eyup Bazaar
The bazaar was famous for its authentic toys made of wood, terra-cota, paper and leather. Now, no toys are available here. Today, different kinds of religious objects are sold in almost all these shops, such as the Qur'an, prayer beads, prayer rugs, hijabs and caps. There are only two street hawkers selling toys there today. However, all the toys are made of plastic, which is against Eyup's culture. We found an old Eyup toy behind a bench only.  "Game" Children of today do not play with these toys anymore.