Istanbul, The Magical Seven Hills City

Istanbul, The Magical Seven Hills City

A beautiful paradise of so many magical splendors, the blue mosques. the Bosphorus where no traveler is a stranger in this city.

A beautiful paradise of so many magical splendors, the blue mosques. the Bosphorus where no traveler is a stranger in this city.

One word to describe Istanbul-"GLAMOROUS" As, all great empires of the world used to show off their power, intimidating enemies by designing ravishingly beautiful buildings and monuments. For Roman and Ottoman emperors, the old city of Istanbul was a symbol of grandeur with architectural masterpieces built on the highest point of each of the city's seven hills, which would become the iconic symbols of the empire and inspire many poets and authors for centuries.

The Eastern Roman Empire Constantine the Great was so impressed by this city that it didn't take him much time to decide to establish his new capital city where- the city of Constantinople. The emperor took inspiration from the seven heavenly bodies the Babylonians which have already spotted- the sun, the moon, and five planets- establishing the city also called the "Nova Roma" the NEW ROME- on its seven hills. Both the Byzantine and the Ottoman empires protected the city's borders and designed impressive and monumental buildings on each of the seven hills, six of which lie along the Golden Horn and the seventh located one kilometer south of the Golden Horn.

Constantinople I.e today's Istanbul is not very well known by the locals. There is an even a common misunderstanding among those who attempt to identify the hills, mistaking Calmica Hill for one of the hills, for example. Indeed, the seven hills all lie within the ancient city walls, as the area stretching beyond these walls is not considered as Constantinople according to few museum heads.

The hill stretches from the City's acropolis all the way to the district of Edirnekapi.

So, here we go in detail as to what exactly do these hills represent and where are they exactly

The Very" First Hill" of Istanbul

The first hill is popularly known as the heart of Constantinople where the imperial authorities all settled.

This hill stretches up from the cape of the historical peninsula to an altitude of about 30 to 40 meters above sea level where Mehmed the conqueror built hill houses for Topaki palace in 1478. In both the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, Finally, this was chosen as the main settlement for the Royal Family. The Ancient ruins of the Byzantine Palace of the Boukoleon, The Topaki Palace, the Sultanahmet Mosque, The Istanbul Archaeology Museum, The Cagaloglu Bath House and the historic Sirkeci Train station along with the Million stone and Ibrahim Pasha Palace, which is currently serving as the Islamic Arts Museum are all located here.


Stretching about 10 meters higher than the first, the second hill is also home to a number of historic buildings, all of which extend along the Mese, Constantinople's main thoroughfare. Today, this is one of the hot tourist spots where the Firuzaga Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Cemberlitas Bath House, the Corlulu Ali Pasha Madrasa and the Spice Bazaar are located.


According to the geographical structure, this is one of the most-eye catching hills, The third hill reaches at an altitude of 60 meters and has one of the city's highest ridges. In the Byzantine era, Constantine the Great built a forum here that was later rebuilt and renamed the Forum of Theodosius by Emperor Theodosius. The Suleymaniye Mosque is the most eye-catching and striking building on the hill. Istanbul University, the Suleymaniye social complex and Zeyrek Mosque, which used to be the Pantokrator Church, are other historic sights worth visiting.


One of the highest points the old city, this hill inspired Ottoman and Byzantine emperors to build prestigious architectural structures, including Faith Mosque and the Aqueduct of Valens, a major system that provided water to the Romans of Constantinople. Dedicated to 12 Christian apostles, the Chruch of the Holy Apostles, which used to stand on this hill, was used by the Ecumenical, the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, before it was abandoned by the patriarch and replaced by Faith Mosque during the Ottoman era.


The "FIFTH HILL" of Istanbul was once known for the Pammakaristos Monastery where the Museum of Conquest now lies. In 1591, the monastery was converted into a mosque and where tourists can visit the Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque, and the Chora Museum, which has dazzling frescos.


Lying behind the fourth hill, the city's sixth hill is 70 meters high. Mihrimah Mosque, presumably the most significant building on this hill, is located in Edirnekapi. The mosque is dedicated to the favorite daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent and Hurrem Sultan, Mihrimah Sultan by Mirmar Sinan who was said to have an unrequited love for her. Tekfur Palace, the only remaining buildings from the Byzantine-era Blachernae Palace Complex, is also on this hill.


The city's last hill which is separated from the others by a deep valley. Sixty meters in height, the hill used to be home to the Arkadius Forum built in 403 and was marked by the Arkadius Pillar in the Byzantine era. In Ottoman times, Hurrem Sultan's social complex and a mosque were built here.

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