Protecting the Past in Istanbul | Apartments for Sale in istanbul
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Protecting the past in Istanbul

Created : 19 Apr 2021
Old apartments for sale in Istanbul

 By Justin Mays

Istanbul is a stunning city where millions live, surrounded by a rich architectural heritage. This vibrant city is the center of all things business and real estate, and it also holds some of the most stunning relics of the past. 

To buy a home in Istanbul is to live within that history; whether you find old apartments for sale in Istanbul or houses for sale in Bosphorus Istanbul, you are sure to discover lingering traces of the past throughout your chosen neighborhood. 

Wherever you go, you will see dated structures and other incredible sites that will pique your interest in Istanbul’s history. Today’s blog will tell you how Istanbul has been protecting its past by preserving and restoring all the famous buildings.

Famous Historic Buildings in Istanbul 

Recently the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has committed to protect better and preserve historical sites more sensitively than those carried out in the past. 

The Istanbul Municipality and the Cultural Heritage Preservation Board are giving heightened importance to renovations of ancient sites representing all eras of the city’s long history. 

Preservation of historic buildings and structures from the Roman era to the 20th century takes precedence within new developments. 

1. Byzantium Basilica Cistern

Several notable projects are happening in the upcoming months. One of the most famous sites on the tourism route, the Byzantium Basilica Cistern, is slated for structural strengthening. 

It was constructed in the 6th century and features 336 columns in total. This gigantic cistern is the largest of all others beneath this historic city. It gained fame after featuring in the James Bond movie “From Russia With Love.” 

Located southwest of Hagia Sofia, the beautiful underground water reservoir was at risk of collapse and will undergo a two-month renovation. 

Of all the exciting things about this historical marvel, the Medusa heads take the spotlight.

2. Yedikule Fortress

Yedikule Fortress was built by Sultan Mehmet II in 1458. During its history, Yedikule Fortress features seven towers, hence the name, and was used as a prison. 

Several important figures were imprisoned there over the centuries. These included both royal figures, and other state ambassadors.

Faith Municipality has started comprehensive plans to restore and utilize the large Yedikule Fortress on the shores of the Marmara Sea. 

The fortress will host concerts and other artistic events and house an art gallery and museum telling the stories of critical Ottoman figures.

3. Asude Hatun Shrine Complex

Also, in Fatih District, this shrine complex is 500 years old, and belongs to Asude Hatun. She was Sultan Beyazid II’s foster mother. Her shine lies within the Tahir Ağa Mosque. 

It is now being restored to welcome visitors soon. 

4. Grand Bazaar

Famous globally for its grandeur, and intricacies, the Grand Bazaar was built in 1455 during the reign of the Ottoman Emperor Sultan Fatih. It used to be the central hub of all trade at the time. 

Today, this is a tourist hotspot and is essential to visit for those who want to go on a souvenir shopping spree.  This Bazaar is massive, housing 4000 shops. 

The biggest in the country, the Grand Bazaar is also the most-visited destination by locals and foreigners. Due to the unique architecture and lively shops here, visitors get a shopping experience here unlike any they’ve had before. 

5. Erbilgin Mansion

Located on the shores of the Bosphorous, the magnificent Erbilgin Mansion is a spectacle to behold. It is 36,30 square meters. Situated in the Yenikoy district of Istanbul, this beautiful mansion is the priciest of all in Turkey. 

It used to be called “Şehzade Burhanettin Efendi Yalısı” since it was purchased by Sultan Abdul Hamid II for his son Prince Burhanettin.

The Erbilgin Mansion even made its way into Forbes as one of the most expensive mansions in the world. Middle-eastern investors showed keen interest in this property when it first went on sale. 

And this isn’t the only one. There are many such mansions overlooking the Bosphorous.

6. Topkapi Palace

Of all Ottoman palaces, Topkapi is the most extensive and attractive. This massive historical building (approximately 400,000 square meters) was constructed in 1478 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It consists of over 400 rooms and houses the world’s fifth largest diamond. Prior to the 19th century, the Topkapi Palace was the residence of choice for many of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. 

Today, the Topkapi Palace operates as a museum and is open to the public.


Forever dynamic and beautiful, with the support of the local governments, Istanbul will balance its growth to meet modern urban needs with the preservation and protection of old Istanbul at its core. 

Are you interested in visiting Istanbul, Turkey, or looking to buy a home or an apartment? Read our area guide to get to know the city and learn about the different neighborhoods of Istanbul.

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