Collected by Leeann Murphy, AFAR Local Expert
Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey
This expansive hillside fortress on the European shoreline of Istanbul was built at the narrowest point of the Bosporus by Fatih Sultan Mehmed II—Mehmed the Conqueror—in 1452. Construction may have taken four months, but the fortress’s impact on...
Yeniköy Mahallesi, Köybaşı Cd. No:93, 34464 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey
The castles, bridges and palaces overlooking the Bosporus may be impressive, but it’s the smaller yalılar (waterfront mansions) that whip many people into a photo frenzy on a Bosporus cruise. These ornate multimillion-dollar Ottoman mansions are...
Salacak Mahallesi, Üsküdar Salacak Mevkii, 34668 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey
The Maiden’s Tower, which seemingly floats in the Bosporus off Asia, is one of the most beloved landmarks of the city. Once a Byzantine tollbooth for Bosporus trade and later an Ottoman lighthouse, it’s most famous for a legend involving a...
Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
This decadent palace, which overlooks the Bosphorus from the European side, holds great importance to Turkey. The late-19th-century sultans resided here and ruled the Ottoman Empire from here, and while the Turkish Republic's capital is in Ankara,...
This beautiful 19th-century palace on the Asian shoreline near the First Bosphorus Bridge served as a summer retreat for sultans and visiting dignitaries. Designed in a French neo-Baroque style, the palace features six halls and 24 rooms adjacent...
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