Three Secret Gems in the Historical Peninsula

Istanbul at Sultanahmet, Turkey

Istanbul is a unique city as it unites Asia and Europe, has thousands of years of history, and is home to many civilizations. It is possible to find different places every time you come to this exciting city; Istanbul is waiting for you! While staying at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, here are three recommendations of hidden gems in the historical peninsula for you to take note of and enjoy during your next visit.

Discover Underground at the Şerefiye Cistern

Istanbul was constantly in need of construction to store water because of insufficient sources, the high number of people living in the city, and sieges. Şerefiye Cistern is a model of water structure and its history goes back to the 400s in line with its architectural aspects. Today, this historically important structure is open to visitors and presents various events that attract many people. A 360 mapping system used for the first time in Turkey in the Şerefiye Cistern combines art and technology beautifully and puts on a fascinating show. For music lovers, Şerefiye Cistern hosts unique concerts in which classical Turkish music, classical Western music, baroque music, and jazz come together in perfect harmony. The amazing acoustics of Şerefiye Cistern offers a great atmosphere for the best musical experience.

Visit Little Hagia Sophia

Little Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox church that was built during the Byzantine era. The initially given name of Little Hagia Sophia was “The Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus” taking its meaning from two young saints. The church was constructed in 536 AD by Justinian I. The architect of this church is significant since he is the one that created other important and historical landmarks of Istanbul such as Hagia Sophia and Underground Cistern, and many other important landmarks. Even though the name "Little Hagia Sophia” implies a resemblance to Hagia Sophia, the structure of it is very distinctive. Little Hagia Sophia is older than Hagia Sophia and it was turned into a mosque in the 16th century. It is up to you to visit both and compare.

Visit Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque

The mosque was designed by famous Ottoman Empire architect Mimar Sinan for Sokullu Mehmet Pasha. Pasha was a significant figure in Ottoman history since he was the grand vizier to Suleiman the Magnificent and he was also the ruler’s son-in-law. The structure was finished in 1571 and is known to be one of the latest works for Mimar Sinan. Both the exterior and interior design of the Mosque are striking. For the exterior part, the examinations showed that the building was challenging in the architectural sense due to its location on a steep slope. The successful architect Mimar Sinan solved this problem by creating a two-storey courtyard facing the mosque. The interior is prominent for the İznik tiles, ornamented with colourful flower-patterned designs and calligraphy. With its equally amazing exterior and interior designs, this mosque is a must-see for your future visits.