THE HISTORICAL PENINSULA
The core of Istanbul is “The Historical Peninsula” surrounded by the Golden Horn on north, the Bosphorus on east and the Marmara Sea on south. Due to its strategic location connecting Europe and Asia, the herein reigning civilizations always played an important role in history.
With these characteristics the city has been the capital to Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. This splendid history made religions, cultures and communities to mingle here and now all of their monuments cover Istanbul. Therefore the city has been included into the World Heritage List of UNESCO with four major parts. These are the Archeologic Park including Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Hagia Irene, Little Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace; the Suleymaniye Conservation Area including Suleymaniye Mosque and its surrounding; the Zeyrek Conservation Area including the Zeyrek Mosque and its surrounding and the Historical City Walls Conservation Area.
Baths, fountains, mosques, churches, palaces and similar buildings form Byzantine and the Ottoman eras are the symbols of the Historical Peninsula. Besides owning many historical buildings this location is also the first settlement in Istanbul, so it deserves to be named as the Historical Peninsula.
The Historical Peninsula was first settled by the Greeks coming from Megara and the settlement was named as Byzantion. The city in the peninsula has been differently named throughout history and it was named as Dersaadet and Istanbul by Turks after the Conquest.
Covering an area of 15.910.168 square metres, the Historical Peninsula was announced as archeologic, urban-archeologic and urban-historical site of 1st degree with the Decree with number 6848 on July, 12th of 1995.