One of the unique places in the world is Sultanahmet Square. One of the most important districts of Istanbul with its mosques, churches, historical buildings and monuments, Sultanahmet Square is a must-see in Istanbul. This uniqueness of Sultanahmet Square stems from its thousands of years of history as well as being an important center in every period.
This place, which dates back to the Roman and Byzantine Empires, is the area where the palaces of the states, important religious buildings, and cultural monuments are located.
The area known as the Hippodrome in the Byzantine period was called the Horse Square in the Ottoman period. Today, it is called Sultanahmet Square because it has the biggest mosque in Istanbul.
Tourist groups usually start to fill the square in the morning, to examine the monuments and enter museums. There are thousands of people from every country, every religion and every language.
The first place visitors visit in Sultanahmet Square is the Blue Mosque, one of the icons of Istanbul. For more information about the Blue Mosque, check out our article on the Blue Mosque.
The mosque was built in 1616 with the order of Ottoman Sultan I.Ahmet, and it is the largest mosque in Istanbul with 6 minarets. This building, which was designed as a large complex at the time of its construction, covers a vast area today. At the door of the Blue Mosque which is one of the few works in the world with its glamorous architecture, there are chains that are put in order to leave the person out of the mosque.
Local and foreign tourists visit Sultanahmet Square every day. In this sense, Sultanahmet Square is not only a tourist attraction but also a spiritual center.
Opposite the Blue Mosque is Hagia Sophia, which is about a thousand years old. Hagia Sophia, the original Byzantine cathedral, today serves as a museum. Hagia Sophia is a must-see for visitors to Sultanahmet Square.
Three different monuments from the period in which Sultanahmet is known as a hippodrome attract the attention of visitors.
Obelisks and Fountain
The construction date of the knit obelisk, which is a 32-meter column, is not known. It is claimed that the bronze layer on which gold letters were stolen was stolen by the crusaders.
The story of the Egyptian Obelisk with hieroglyphics on the south side of the square is more interesting. Pharaoh of Egypt III. This obelisk made by Thutmose. It was brought to Istanbul by the Byzantine emperor Theodosius.
The third building in the square is the Serpentine Column brought from the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, one of the oldest buildings in Istanbul.
At the end of the hippodrome is the German Fountain, which was brought by the German Emperor Wilhelm II as a gift to Istanbul. Throughout the day, all of these monuments attract countless people.
Known in the neighborhood of hotels and restaurants, Sultanahmet has a wide variety of options to feed people. Bagels, chestnuts and corn are some of our traditional snacks as in every corner of Istanbul.
Sultanahmet Square and its surroundings are full of Istanbul’s most important landmarks. Especially as the number of cruise ships approaching the ports of Istanbul is increasing, the number of visitors coming to see Sultanahmet is increasing. Every street of Sultanahmet is full of history from a distance to the recent past. Neighborhood houses with ancient ruins and living spaces that have been restored or not. There is still life on the streets of Sultanahmet. The old neighborhoods are probably the same as they were hundreds of years ago.
Just behind the Blue Mosque, you will see the Arasta Bazaar. Arasta, which is the name given to the department where there are shops selling the same product in the bazaars, has given its name to this great bazaar here. Arasta bazaar consists of a narrow street and has 70 shops in it. In the Ottoman period, Sipahiler(Warriors) also knows the sipahiler as a bazaar because of the materials used by the sipahiler. but today it is a place where carpet, rugs, leather goods, tiles, scarves, and scarves are sold with countless original souvenirs. On the buildings remaining from the Byzantine period, 17th century. The bazaar, which was thought to have been built in Turkey, is one of the places frequented by domestic and foreign tourists.
One day in Sultanahmet is not complete without a visit to Gülhane Park for many people. This 163-acre park is one of the breathtaking areas not only of Sultanahmet but also of Istanbul. Gülhane, which was the garden of Topkapı Palace during the Ottoman period, was turned into a park in 1912. Since that day, this park is one of the rare places where Istanbulites and foreign tourists spend a calm and peaceful time in this city.
Unlike other pillars and pillars in Istanbul, the Goths Column, which has remained unchanged from the Roman period to the present, is located at the Sarayburnu exit of the park.
Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern, which is very close to Sultanahmet Square, are the must-see places in Sultanahmet Square.
For more information about Topkapi Palace, please check out our Topkapi Palace article.