ISTANBUL WORLD HERITAGE SITES – UNSECO (1985)
Istanbul was added to the World Heritage List in 1985 under the name “Historic Areas of Istanbul”.
- Sultanahmet Archaeological Park
Sultanahmet World Heritage Site consists of two different areas which are the Sur-u Sultani Area located to the East of Historical Peninsula on Sarayburnu Hill, where Topkapi Palace is found in, and Sultanahmet Region. Eastern border consists of coastal walls of Marmara. These walls were preserved with restorations that were made throughout the Roman Period until the Ottoman Era. The Western border of the area starts with Sur-u Sultani (Walls that surround Topkapi Palace) and extends to the Marmara Sea while covering Little Hagia Sophia.
Sultanahmet Archaeological Park World Heritage Site, which is comprised of grade 1 archaeological sites Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park and the urban archaeological sites Sultanahmet and Cankurtaran districts, has been the center of two grand empires throughout history.
Today, the Historical Peninsula is an area that has superior national and international cultural and historical significance with regards to the monumental buildings, and underground and aboveground ruins that it contains.
2.Suleymaniye Mosque and its Associated Component Area
Suleymaniye World Heritage Area includes Suleymaniye Social Complex, which represents a distinguishing point in the silhouette of the city on a hill overlooking the Golden Horn, and the districts of Suleymaniye, Vefa, and Vezneciler which are located in the surrounding area of Sehzade Mehmet Social Complex.
A substantial portion of the structure that is one of the oldest monuments of Istanbul that have survived, and known as Bozdogan Aqueduct, is found inside this area.
The mosques, tombs and fountains found in this area still exist as the continuation of the traditional neighborhood life.
3.Zeyrek Mosque (Pantocrator Church) and its Associated Component Area
Zeyrek World Heritage Area is located to the West of Ataturk Boulevard on a hillside overlooking the Golden Horn, and includes Molla Zeyrek Mosque (Pantocrator Monastery) and its surrounding streets. The mosque, which is the center of the area, was built in the 12th century by Emperor John II Kommenos and his wife Irene of Hungary as the center of a large monastery.
Zeyrek Mosque (Pantocrator Monastery), which the area was named after, has vital importance in the area. However, there are also many other historical structures found over the area such as Hayreddin Barbarossa Bathhouse, Haydar Pasha Madrasa, and Zembilli Ali Efendi Primary School.
4.Istanbul Land Walls Component Area
Land Walls World Heritage Area includes the walls that define the Western borders (on land) of the peninsula which the city was founded on and extends from Marmara Sea in the South to the Golden Horn in the North, and their surrounding area.
The Land Walls, which are the oldest and longest surviving defense systems of Europe, have a historically and architecturally significant place. With almost 7 kilometers of length, the Land Walls constitute the best preserved part of the walls of Istanbul until the present. Yedikule Gate, Belgrad Gate, Silivri Gate and Mevlana Gate are found on the walls.
Topkapi, Sulukule Kapi, Edirnekapi and Egrikapi gates are still used to this day. Yedikule Dungeons, one of the historical structures, are also found on these walls.