Date of inclusion on the World Heritage List: December 6, 1985
List reference: 356 Criteria: Cultural
Love for continents: ISTANBUL
The historic areas of Istanbul, the capital of three great empires, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
Istanbul, which has more than 2,500 years of history, is located on a peninsula surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
The historical areas of Istanbul, the only city on two continents, consist of four main areas: the Archaeological Park (Sultanahmet Square and surroundings), Suleymaniye Mosque, Zeyrek Mosque (Christ Pantocrator’s Church) and their surrounding nature reserve and the City walls of Istanbul.
Istanbul is a holy city where mosques, churches and synagogues live side by side and even declare their brotherhood. Istanbul is also known for its palaces, villas, and monumental buildings – each a unique example of architectural styles inherited from the Ottomans. Dolmabahce Palace, Tophane Mosque, Galata Tower (Christea Turris) built by the Genoese, Sultanahmet Mosque, Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), one of the monumental buildings of Christianity, the unique mosaics of Ayasofya, Topkapi Palace, the administrative center the Ottoman Empire rises high above the Suleymaniye Mosque on the Golden Horn, the masterpiece of the imperial architect Mimar Sinan, the historic Kapali Carsi (the Grand Bazaar), Yerebatan Sarnici (the basilica’s cistern) and the music that plays in the domes by Aya Irini (Hagia Eirene) dances. make Istanbul the capital of history and culture.
Ayasoyfa was built on one of Istanbul’s most historic sites and the current buildings were completed in AD 532-537. It was built as a cathedral and was the main center of Christianity for about 1000 years. After the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul, it was converted into a mosque. The building is currently used as a museum and a huge sum of money is known to have been spent and ten thousand workers worked on its construction.
The most important feature of the Sultanahmet Mosque compared to the Haiga Sofia is that it is the only mosque that consists of 6 minarets. The mosque with more than 36 windows is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznlk tiles.
The Topkapi Palace served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and is now home to the world-famous Kasikci diamond (Spoonmaker’s Diamond). The palace is currently a museum that displays unique artifacts from the glorious history of the Ottoman Empire.
Yerebatan Sarnici (the basilica’s cistern), which was built between 527 and 567 to provide water to the nearby settlement, is located in the Archaeological Park. According to Greek mythology, Medusa turned to anyone who dared to look directly at her. The head of Medusa carved on the column base can be seen in the shallow water of the cistern and is one of the most visited attractions in the park.
Hundreds of mansions and wooden houses in Zeyrek and Suleymaniye, which form an important part of the historical areas of Istanbul, have survived to this day.
Istanbul, with its history and natural beauties, was a source of inspiration for numerous artists. Countless poems have been written and songs composed for Istanbul. Istanbul, which has a fascinating beauty thanks to its historical and cultural wealth, awaits those who want to experience the great love of the continents.