This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul.
One of the best natural harbours in the world, it was once the centre for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests.
Today, attractive parks and promenades line the shores, a picturesque scene especially as the sun goes down over the water.
At Fener and Balat, neighbourhoods midway up the Golden Horn.
There are entire streets filled with old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times.
The Orthodox Patriarchy resides at Fener, the Golden Horn at Eyup are some wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture.
Muslim pilgrims from all over the world visit Eyup Camii and Tomb of Eyup.
The Prophet Mohammed’s standard bearer and it is one of the holiest places in Islam.
The area is a still a popular burial place and the hills above the mosque are dotted with modern gravestones interspersed with ornate Ottoman stones.
The Pierre Loti Cafe, atop the hill overlooking the shrine is a wonderful place to enjoy the tranquility of the view.
GOLDEN HORN TOUR GUIDE
Beyoglu and Taksim: Beyoglu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture, from a century before.
Europe’s second oldest subway, Tunel was built by the French in 1875, must be also one of the shortest offering a one-stop ride to start of Taksim.
Near to Tunel is the Galata district whose Galata Tower became a famous symbols of Istanbul.
From the Tunel area to Taksim square is one of the city’s focal points for shopping, entertainment and urban promenadin.
Istiklal Caddesi is a fine example of the contrasts and compositions of Istanbul’s;
fashion shops, bookshops, cinemas, markets, restaurants and even hand-carts selling trinkets and simit (sesame bread snack)
ensure that the street is packed throughout the day until late into the night.
The old tramcars re-entered into service which shuttle up and down this fascinating street, and otherwise the street is entirely pedestrianised.
There are old embassy buildings, Galatasaray High School.
The colourful ambience of Balik Pazari (Fish Bazaar) and restaurants in Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage).
Also on this street is the oldest church in the are;
St Mary’s Draperis dating back to 1789, and the Franciscan Church of St Antoine, demolished and then rebuilt in 1913.