Resfeber Istanbul Tours 2023

Historical Places of Istanbul and Their stories

Istanbul is a city full of historical beauties. And It can be difficult to get detailed information about the place you are visiting. Especially when you visit Istanbul alone or with a tour guide in a large group tour. However, in this article, we will touch onhistorical places of Istanbul and their stories. Think of it as if you are traveling with a private guide and leave yourself to the rest of our article.

1) Hagia Sophia and It’s Minarets

Let’s start with the most famous historical place of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia mosque, This building, which served as a church for 916 years, was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans. Built as a mosque, one of the minarets of this building is of different color and red, and another is thinner than the others. This is not a common situation when looking at other mosque structures, generally, all minarets are the same. The reason for this is based on the architectural understanding of the Ottoman Empire.

In the Ottoman period, mosques with more than 1 minaret could only be built by the sultan and his family. Building 1 minaret in Hagia Sophia would make the mosque appear as if it belonged to someone in people. if the minarets were more than one and the same, the people might think that this mosque belonged to a sultan. To solve these problems, 4 minarets were built in the Hagia Sophia mosque and were built differently from each other. Thus, when the Ottoman people looked at this mosque, they understood that it did not belong to a single person or a sultan. The first minaret was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet from wood, and the second minaret was built by Bayezid II. The world-famous Mimar Sinan built 2 new minarets and built a new minaret instead of the wooden minaret.

2) The Only Iron Church in Existence In the World: Bulgarian St. Stephen Church

Bulgarian St. Stephen Church, whose construction was completed in 1896, is made entirely of iron. There were 3 churches built from iron in the world. These churches were located in Turkey, Argentina and Austria, but only one of these churches survived. The main skeleton of this church, which was completed in 1898 during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz, is made of steel and covered with metal sheets. All parts are connected by nuts, bolts, rivets or welds. In 2011, this building was renovated and reopened to visitors. We certainly recommend you to see this unique structure.

3)The Watcher of the Bosphorus: Rumeli Fortress and Its History

Rumeli Fortress was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1452 in order to prevent attacks from the Black Sea before the conquest of Istanbul. Located in the narrowest part of the Bosphorus, this structure was completed in only ninety days. In addition, the three great towers of the fortress have the largest bastions in the world.

Rumeli Fortress is one of the most important historical places of Istanbul. Today, there is a museum inside this fortress. In the museum, there are artifacts such as cannons, cannonballs and a part of the chain that Eastern Rome closed the Golden Horn during the conquest of Istanbul.

4)The sad mansion of Istanbul: Zeki Pasha Mansion

The mansion seen in the photo was built in 1899 by Zeki Pasha, one of Sultan Abdulhamid II’s favorite commanders. However, the people around the sultan spread the rumor that Zeki Pasha would stockpile weapons in this building, and the sultan did not allow Zeki Pasha to stay in this mansion. Zeki Pasha, who could not stay in his dream house, finally have convinced the sultan to stay in the mansion for 1 day. However, since there was no heating in the building, the pasha caught pneumonia in this mansion and died. In the following years, the people living in the mansion have experienced sad stories and did not stay in this mansion for a long time. the mansion is still on sale today.

This mansion is one of the most expensive houses in the world and one of the three most expensive houses in Istanbul.

5)A 1457-Year-Old historical Place: Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I between the years (527-565 AD). It is a giant structure covering a rectangular area of 140 meters in length and 70 meters in width. It houses giant columns and various Roman sculptures such as the head of Medusa, which is the subject of many legendary stories. We definitely recommend you to see fascinating environment of this cistern. The Basilica Cistern has been under restoration since 2017 and has just been reopened. You can see the newest version of the Basilica Cistern in the photo.

6)Europe’s Fifth-Largest Castle: Phanar Greek Orthodox College

In the construction of the building, red bricks and granite brought from Marseille were used. Despite being a school building, the building has often been referred to as “Europe’s fifth-largest castle” because of its majesty. The school is one of the most magnificent buildings in Istanbul with its architectural structure and historical value. In accordance with the agreement made between Patriarch Gennadios and Fatih Sultan Mehmet, a school was established within the borders of Phanar in 1454. The Ottoman Empire provided wide opportunities to this educational institution. Many administrators, chief translators, patriarchs and religious officials were trained in this school.

The school turned into a classical high school after 1861. In the period of the Turkish Republic, it was named Phanar Greek Orthodox College. We have compiled some of the most beautiful and valuable structures of Istanbul and handled their interesting aspects. Istanbul has many unique and interesting historical places, don’t forget to follow us to discover these unique places! You can also explore these kinds of historical places with a professional guide.

Also, you can check our history tours which can be personalized with a choice of 200+ different local guides.

Istanbul's Historical Heritages and Their Interesting Aspects
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Istanbul's Historical Heritages and Their Interesting Aspects
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