World Heritage #0356 – Istanbul

Last modified 24.03.2023 | Published 23.07.1986Middle East and Africa, Türkiye, World Heritage Sites

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The historic areas of Istanbul is a dream, the monumental mosques and minarets are almost like a fairy tale. The city’s history and geographic setting is unique.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full name of site: Historic areas of Istanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Date of Inscription: 1985
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 356:

“With its strategic location on the Bosphorus peninsula between the Balkans and Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Istanbul has been associated with major political, religious and artistic events for more than 2,000 years. Its masterpieces include the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, the 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the 16th-century Süleymaniye Mosque, all now under threat from population pressure, industrial pollution and uncontrolled urbanization.”

My visit

Istanbul is a truly fascinating city, situated in the crossing between west and east. During the era as capital of the East Roman Empire under the name of Constantinople, they built one of the world’s most fascinating buildings. The Hagia Sophia has served as a religious centre for centuries, in the beginning for the Christians and also for the last 500 years for Muslims. Today it serves as an architectural and religious beacon for many. It was under restoration during my 1986 visit, when my photograph of Jesus Christ on Deësis mosaic was taken.

Of course, the historic areas of Istanbul includes more than the Hagia Sophia. Read up on my article.

Read more about my visit.

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