From a historical standpoint, the importance and beauty of the Fatih district is perhaps immeasurable to anywhere else in Istanbul. The two mosques built on opposite sides, Hagia Sophia and the Grand Mosque, Topkapı Palace, as well as their museums, the Grand Bazaar, and Haliç the Golden Horn make any visitor spend a whole day in the district a daydream. Just visiting Hagia Sophia and the Grand Mosque alone should be a full day activity to explore and admire every inch of their architectural and scenic beauty. This 17 km2 district was once the capital of the Byzantine as well as the Ottoman Empires. The ruins leftover from them now supports a big portion of Istanbul's tourism sector.
Dating back to the ancient world, Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire as well as the Byzantine Empire. Even though it was also the capital of the Ottoman Empire, after the Republic of Turkey was established, the capital moved to Ankara. Istanbul is a unique city known for being home to many historic landscapes and being located in both Europe and Asia continents.
In the Fatih district, by the Beyazıt neighborhood, Süleymaniye Mosque was home to the Theodosius Grand Forum in the pre-Byzantine era. Although it is in ruins, the hill still has a claim to fame through two outstanding monuments. The 16th-century mosque designed by Mimar Sinan has also a title as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It sits next to the intersection also known as the Beyazit square, full of merchants operating by the Grand Bazaar since the Ottoman era.
The Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the most impressive landmarks in Istanbul with all its might. The 10th Ottoman Sultan, Süleyman the Magnificent ordered for the mosque in 1557. Like all the Ottoman-era mosques in the city, the visitors are greeted by a fantastic courtyard and a central fountain when they enter the main gates. It has multiple domes surrounding the main dome, and four minarets reaching a height of 63.8 meters.
When you enter through the doors of the Süleymaniye Mosque, you will be greeted by an almost square prayer room. Its windows are colored in the Ottoman style with tiles made in the Iznik province. It is possible to find schools, hospitals, and hamams leftover from when Sultan Süleyman was using the mosque. Behind the qibla side, there are two mausoleums where the Sultan Süleyman and Hurrem Sultan have their final rest. Outside the Süleymaniye mosque borders, you can also find the final resting place of Mimar Sinan.
If you wish to explore the surrounding area further, you should visit the Grand Bazaar. You can also easily reach the Grand Bazaar via the tramway if you are anywhere else in Istanbul. Grand Bazaar is the largest enclosed shopping center in the world with 61 streets and about 4.000 shops. There is no limit to what you can find or discover in these streets as you wander around while witnessing all that has been living between the walls of the Grand Bazaar since the day it was built. You can also check out Grand Bazaar articles to learn more about the history, and the items sold there.