There are many stories and theories about who has found Istanbul. However it is known that it was found on 7 hills.
These 7 hills have been important attraction centres throught the history; during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times. As a result, these 7 hills have become the richest areas with regards to the historical artifacts, monuments and buildings. 4 of these 7 hills are situated near the Halic (the Golden Horn) which shows the importance the water canal.
Here are these seven hills:
TOPKAPI PALACE AND THE SURROUNDS:
This area is considered as the first centre of Istanbul.The ancient hypodrome used to stand here hence the area is often called “the horse square” by the locals as a reference to the Roman hypodrome which used to host Ben-Hur like gladiator competitions on horses and charriots. The highest points are Topkapi Palace and Ayasofya Mosque.
CEMBERLITAS AND THE SURROUNDS:
The second hill, stretches from Beyazit to Sultanahmet. The centre point is the Çemberlitaş pillar. Many Roman ruins have survived centuries here. One of the most glorious masterpieces of Ottoman era, Nuruosmaniye Mosque is also here
SÜLEYMANIYE MOSQUE AND SURROUNDS:
The third hill is locate within the Istanbul University Campus near Beyazıt Tower. The most important landmark here is the Suleymaniye Mosque which is the architectural masterpiece of Mimar Sinan . Beyazıt Mosque and The old building of Istanbul University are other notable landmarks
FATIH MOSQUE AND THE SURROUNDS:
The fourth hill is the centre of the Fatih suburb. Fatih Mosque is the landmark.
YAVUZ SELIM AND THE SURROUNDS:
The part of Fatih suburb overlooking Halice (The Golden Horn) is known as Yavuz Selim. This is Istanbul’s 5th hill. The ancient Byzantine Bonos Aqueduct and Sultan Selim Mosques are the landmarks.
EDIRNEKAPI AND THE SURROUNDS:
Edirnekapı and the surrounding area is the highest hill of these seven hills. The hilltop overlooks The Golden Horn. Another Mimar Sinan masterpiece Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, The Byzantine Tekfur Palace, Kariye Museum are among the most notable landmarks.
ALTIMERMER AND THE SURROUNDS (ÇUKURBOSTAN) :
Istanbul’s seventh hill is in the Cukurbostan region. The most notable landmark is the Arcadius pillar