The Blissful Place of İstanbul: Golden Horn
Forming an inlet of the Bosphorus, The attraction is one of İstanbul’s most important waterways. Named after its characteristic horn-shaped, the huge body of water has a deep history. It was once an important port harboring the trading fleets of the Ottoman and Eastern Roman Empires were anchored.
The poets of ancient times praised this bay for its beauty, characterized by fragrant tulip gardens. Flanked by the mighty Sea of Marmara and the historic peninsula, the Golden Horn has been a field of many wars, battles and conquests. This body of water is home to many historical monuments, including the legendary Galata Tower, the respectable Old Galata Bridge and Süleymaniye Mosque and more. The Golden Horn the subject of many works of art, is certainly a dynamic center of the city’s historical, cultural and political life.
From any part of the city, one can watch the sunset in all its beauty and end the day from both continents and two different seas. However, nothing compares to the great pleasure of watching the sunset over both the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. The shiny glorious sun dances on the calm water of the Golden Horn, as bright as ever before, and you will agree with what once the poets depicted as “Sadabâd” or “The place of pleasure”.
İstanbul’s historical importance over many centuries is due mostly to the Golden Horn’s natural protective harbour at the edge of the Bosphorus. Its military and economic benefits enabled empires to thrive. Today, the vibrant streets along the Golden Horn attract visitors thanks to their many museums, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other attractions.
The famous Golden Horn
Right at its centre, while walking through İstanbul’s Fener and Balat streets, you will see the children playing next to historical landmarks, under clotheslines stuck between modern buildings.
A little farther from the water of the Golden Horn, Fener and Balat have been home to Orthodox Christian and Jewish communities for centuries, and it is absolutely worth taking time and finding out what makes these quarters a true İstanbul experience.
Today, past and present blend in the colourful, complex streets, where cafés and beautifully designed boutiques sit alongside traditional tea gardens and craft shops. Balat and Fener are full of second-hand shop (eskici dükkanları) and (antique dealers)(antikacı) – some dust covered- where you can lose yourself in nostalgia. Some cafes serve as an informal antique auction. As auctioneers call out to the bidding crowd spilling out into the street, soaking up curious passers-by.