Sultanahmet is one of the world famous districts that hosts many magnificent historical and touristic monuments in it where also many of the old Turkish movies have been shooted.Let’s have a look at these historical and touristic monuments we have mentioned above ,also each of them are separate subject of an article.
When the name Sultanahmet is said, Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque ) with its unique 6 minarets comes to the mind.
The Hippodrome, once called the Horse Square, stands with all its greatness next to the Sultanahmet Camii. In the time of Byzantine Empire , this place was a gigantic hippodrome where ancient races were done with the chariots which could only be seen now in the old movies.
There are two majestic monuments which date back to the ancient times in this square.
They are known as the obelisks also they are the oldest stone pillars in this neighbourhood. In the middle of these two obelisks, you can see a historical monument called the Serpentine Column , which has lost its wholeness throughout the years.
The German Fountain, which was given as a gift by the German King, is also in this square.
On the left side of this square, there is The Museum of Turkish İslamic Arts but it was once Ibrahim Pasha (Pargalı İbrahim) Palace.
Just across Sultanahmet Camii, Ayasofya ( Hagia Sophia ) lays with all its splendor, and Topkapi Palace stands tall just behind Hagia Sophia. In the right side of Hagia Sophia, there are the tombs of the Sultans and Şehzades ( Sultan’s son ). The entrance of these burial chambers is free. There are also remnants of the Byzantine Palace within this district. The palace lays on the south side of Hagia Sophia facing the sea, and the Million Stone is in the northern corner of Hagia Sophia.
Just behind the Million Stone, Yerebatan Sarnıcı ( Basilica Cistern ) gives you the great chance to escape from the summer heat to the cool stroll beneath the Stoa basilica. Between Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Camii, you can see Hürrem Sultan Turkish Bath which is currently run as a carpet museum.
Firuzaga Camii which is across Sultanahmet Camii stands on the left side of the tram line. Because the two mosques are facing each other , the müezzins ( a man who calls Muslims to prayer from the tower of a mosque ) recite the adhan together just at the same time.
On the way to the palace, you will see a historical street called Soğuk Çeşme Street with its back to the outer walls of Topkapi Palace, which is just behind Hagia Sophia. In this street you can see old historical buildings and you can reach Gülhane Park’s entrance after you passed down the street. Right before you reach the main entrance gate of Topkapı Palace, there is Ahmed the 3rd Fountain. When you enter the first door of the Topkapı Palace, there you can see Aya İrini Church ( Hagia Irene or Hagia Eirene, sometimes known also as Saint Irene ) right to your left. The acoustics of this historical building is so good that it is used for some musical performances. However it is closed for visitors.
Then you leave behind Aya Irini Church and after that you pass through the second gate of Topkapı Palace, you will see there is an old historic Royal Mint (money-producing building or institution ) building. Down to the road Topkapı Palace Museum is waiting for your visit. On the street down from the Royal Mint, there is the world renowned archaeological museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museum. At the end of this street you can reach to the entrance door of Gülhane Park.
All the historical monuments mentioned in this article will be reviewed as a single topic in the coming essays. See you on the next chapter of the essays about this gorgeous place, Sultanahmet!