Golden Horn

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Istanbul, Turkey

Golden Horn Istanbul Reviews

irenem irenem
153 reviews
Istanbul's Historic Harbour Feb 25, 2017
The Golden Horn is Istanbul's Harbour. I used to love taking the little boat trip that went around it. On route you would pass some stunning buildings such as churches and mosques. One area the boat called at was Fener which once had the most important lighthouse on the Golden Horn. This area is an important centre for the Greek Orthodox Church as the Patriarchate is located here. Another area the boat calls at is Balat which was once home for Istanbul's Jewish community. There are still synagogues here.

We normally got off the boat at Eyüp at the far end of the Golden Horn. There is a mosque here which is an extremely important sacred site for Muslims world wide. The Eyüp Sultan Mosque, built in 1458, was the first mosque built by the Ottoman Turks following the Conquest of Constantinople. It is located next to the place

where Eyüp Sultan, the standard-bearer of the prophet Muhammad, was buried during the First Arab Siege of Constantinople in the 670s. This mosque was also the traditional site of the coronation ceremonies of the Ottoman Sultans.

It was also possible to climb the hill behind Eyüp as it wended its way past lots of cemeteries with Ottoman style tombs. By this I mean many of the tall thin cylindrical gravestones had different styles of stone turbans on the top to show the rank of the person buried there. At the top of the hill you could visit the Pierre Loti Cafe and admire the wonderful views over the Golden Horn.

Pierre Loti was the pseudonym of Julien Viaud, a French novelist and naval officer, who was born in 1850 and died in 1923. Loti spent a lot of time in Istanbul and was very fond of it. He lived in Eyüp for some time and often visited a cafe on the site of the present day Pierre Loti Cafe. It is enjoyable to sit on the cafe's terrace and drink Çay or smoke a narghile water pipe. Apparently

there is now a cable car from Eyüp to the top of Pierre Loti Hill. We had to walk when we lived there.

I remember buying a little souvenir porcelain lamp which was really a whistle with Eyüp written on it. The waters of the Golden Horn were very polluted and smelly back then. Hopefully, they have now improved.

When we lived In Istanbul Bedrettin Dalan became mayor and one of his election promises was hewould make the Golden Horn as blue as his eyes.
Sunset over the Golden Horn
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photo by: Memo