Istanbul, with its 8000 year-old history, is a city of myths and legends. The many civilizations that have lived in the city have kept many of these legends and stories alive throughout the generations. Although some of these may not represent accurate historical facts, they are still important in order to have an immersive Istanbul experience. The Ottoman period is also such an era, when numerous legends and stories were told about Istanbul. These add an extra dimension of mystery and wonder to the already exotic city. If you're simply discovering Istanbul as a traveller or exploring opportunities to buy Istanbul property, these stories will help you immerse yourself in the city's rich historical and cultural heritage.
Istanbul has many legends regarding its origins, its famous landmarks and also its districts. Especially the Bosphorus and its beautiful districts full of pretty Istanbul apartments, mosques, tombs, mansions and palaces have inspired many stories. The origins of the names of these districts are also the subject of many stories. Here are some of those:
This beautiful district got its name, which can be translated as Axe Port, from the Chief Admiral of the Ottoman Navy during the conquest of Istanbul. The Admiral Baltaoglu Suleiman had his 120-ship armada built here. Crucial for the conquest of the city, these ships were later taken to Beşiktaş and then, pulled over land into the Golden Horn. In 1834 and 1841, important treaties with European nations were signed here. The mansions of influential Ottoman officials such as Mustafa Reşit Pacha and Damat Ferit Pacha were built here as well. Today, one can still find a beautiful Turkish property for sale in the area. The location is quite convenient as well with access to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and its proximity to beautiful neighboring districts like Emirgan, Tarabya and Istinye.
This famous and central Bosphorus district was once known as “Diplokiyonion”. It was a reference to the two towers in the area. The name Beşiktaş meaning, "cradle stone", was given during the Ottoman period, when famous Ottoman Admiral Barbaros Hayrettin Pacha had stones carved in the shape of cradles in order to move ships. Today, it is a very important commercial and residential center as well as a transportation hub. Barbaros Boulevard, named after the famous admiral, stretches from here and connects to the main motorways of Istanbul. There are also two ferry terminals. Due to these factors, Beşiktaş district as well as the larger province of Beşiktaş remains among the most popular choices for people, who plan to invest in real estate in Istanbul.
This beautiful, tiny district between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy was named after the famous Ottoman-era festivities that were organized in the tulip gardens of the magnificient palaces, which can still be found in the area. During the rule of Sultan Ahmet III, colorful lanterns adorned these festivities, while turtles roamed the gardens with candles on their shells. Today, the area is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the city, including Çırağan Palace Kempinski and Four Seasons Bosphorus. There are also great Istanbul flats for sale in Çırağan, with excellent views of the Bosphorus and the palaces.
Located in the middle of the Bosphorus, close to Üsküdar district, there are many legends told about this famous landmark. Two versions of the same legend exist; one from the Byzantine era and another of Seljukian origin. They are quite similar and tell the tale of the daughter of the Sultan or Emperor. Fearing that a snake might bite his beautiful maiden daughter, the father locks his daughter inside the tower. However, close to her 18th birthday, she dies due to the bite of a tiny snake hidden inside a gift basket that was sent to the tower. Today, the fully restored tower is a restaurant, where one can enjoy amazing views of the Bosphorus. If you're looking for Istanbul apartments for sale, Üsküdar is a great neighborhood, where the coastal buildings offer excellent views of the Bosphorus and the Maiden's Tower.