Part of Istanbul, founded in the 7th Century B.C., surrounded by the Golden Horn in the north, Istanbul Strait in the east and Sea Marmara in the south is referred to as the “Historic Peninsula” today. The city has always been very important for the civilizations, which reigned in the city throughout its history, due to its strategic position, which connects Europe and Asia. The city was the capital city of great empires, such as Rome, East Rome and the Ottoman. Bringing different religions, cultures, communities and works, which are their products, in an unprecedented geographical region, Istanbul was included in UNESCO World Heritage List as 4 regions in 1985. These are the Sultanahmet Urban Archaeological Site Area, which encompasses the Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Hagia Eirene, Small Hagia Sophia Mosque and Topkapi Palace; Suleymaniye Protection Area, which encompasses Suleymaniye Mosque and its surroundings and Zeyrek Protection Area, which encompasses Zeyrek Mosque and its surroundings, Istanbul Land City Walls Protection Area.
Historical areas of Istanbul, which was the capital city of three large empires, was included in UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. Istanbul, which has more than 2.500 years of history, Istanbul is situated on a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by Sea Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Istanbul was the capital city of 3 world empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. More than 120 emperors and sultans reigned here for over 1600 years. Istanbul is the only city in the world with this feature in the world. The only city, founded on two continents in the world, historical areas of Istanbul consist of four main regions: Archaeological Park (Sultanahmet and its vicinity), Suleymaniye Mosque, Zeyrek Mosque Regions Under Protection in the surroundings and Istanbul Land City Walls.
İstanbul, is a holy city, where mosques, churches and synagogues can exist side by side and almost announce their brotherhood. Istanbul is also known for its palaces, which are unique examples of different architectural styles mansions and monumental buildings, which have survived to the present day from the Ottoman times. Dolmabahce Palace, Tophane Mosque, Galata Tower from Genoans, Sultanahmet Mosque, Hagia Sophia and unique mosaics of Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, which was the state government center of the Ottoman Empire, Suleymaniye mosque, masterpiece of Architect Sinan, rising on a ridge by the Golden Horn historic Covered Bazaar, Basilica Cistern, City Walls, Wooden Houses and melodies, gliding in the domes of Hagia Eirene make Istanbul a capital of history and culture. Construction of Hagia Sophia Museum, which is one of historic places of Istanbul, was completed in 537 B.C. The building, which was built as a cathedral, became an important religious center for Christianity for 1.000 years. It was converted to a mosque when Istanbul was conquered by the Ottomans. It is known that 10.000 workers worked at the construction of the building, used as a museum today, and a fortune was spent. Suleymaniye Mosque is a mosque, constructed by Architect Sinan on behalf of Suleyman I in Istanbul between 1551-1557. Considered as journeyman period work of Architect Sinan, Suleymaniye Mosque was constructed as a part of Suleymaniye Social Complex, consisting of madrasas, library, hospital, primary school, baths, alms house, burial area and shops.
Suleymaniye Social Complex, Architect Sinan calls his “journeyman period work,” is the second largest social complex and the largest dedication of the Ottoman Empire. An important element of the silhouette of the city, the building comprises the summit of Ottoman aesthetics in terms of both architectural design and technical success, as well as its stone working, glazed tile, stained glass and art of calligraphy. Sehzade (Prince) Mehmet Social Complex, called humbly by Architect Sinan as his “apprenticeship work,” is also located in this area. Sehzade Mosque has set forth an architectural system, which was utilized again in Sultanahmet, Yeni Camii and Fatih Mosques, which were built after this mosque. Built by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, one of the students of Architect Sinan, in the 17th Century, Sehzade Mosque is the only building of the Ottoman architecture with six minarets. Built in the 6th century and stands out with its unusual design at extraordinary dimensions, Hagia Sophia survived to the present day as a masterpiece of architecture. Depictions in Hagia Sophia, made in the mosaic technique, have major importance world picture art as the most important examples of Byzantine picture art.
Hagia Sophia, to which such units as minarets, madrasa, alms house, library, public fountain, primary school and Timing Room (Muvakkithane) were added, survived to the present day with repairs. The building, which was the symbol of the power and existence of the state, has been used as a museum since 1935. Istanbul Land Walls encompass the walls, which restrict the peninsula, where the city was founded, on the land side and start from Sea Marmara and extend to the Golden Horn in the North, and their close vicinity. City wall structure consists of three main parts as the city wall structure, land city walls inner protection area and land city walls outer protection area. Consisting of land and sea walls, city walls of Istanbul are among the longest and best preserved city walls in the world. Land city walls, which are the ones, survived to the present day with the lowest amount of damage, are the most important memories of the Antiquity and the Middle Ages.