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Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey

Last Updated on April 25, 2019

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Heart of Istanbul

For visitors the heart of Istanbul is Sultanahmet Square with its HippodromeBlue MosqueAya SofyaTopkapı Palace and other attractions.

But the geographical heart of the city is the Golden Horn, the fresh water estuary that carves a maritime path right through the city center.

The Yeni Cami (New Mosque, 1663) stands on its shore in Eminönü; the great Süleymaniye Camii (Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent) looms above from its hilltop prospect; and the small, exquisitely tiled Rüstem Pasa Camii (Mosque of Grand Vezir Rüstem Pasha) nestles in its market neighborhood to the west (right) as an Istanbul ferry begins its voyage from the mouth of the Golden Horn up the Bosphorus toward the Black Sea.

—by Tom Brosnahan

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