January 28, 2014

Sultanahmet: The Heart of Historic Istanbul

Regularly crammed with tourists from around the world, Sultanahmet is the heart of Istanbul's historic old town.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, Sultanahmet is up one of Istanbul's oldest settlements. The district's main streets start at the Hippodrome - today named Sultanahmet Square - and follow the slopes of the hills.

Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are the district's landmarks and are surrounded by others, like Binbirdirek Cistern, Istanbul Archeological Museums, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Great Palace Mosaic Museum, Gulhane Park, Arasta Bazaar and the German fountain.

The Hippodrome of Constantinople - also called Horse Square - was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. In the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras, horse racing and chariot racing were very popular. 

Read more on World Bulletin: Sultanahmet: The Heart of Historic Istanbul

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