The Seven Hills of İstanbul

The city of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires is built on seven hills all of which are located on the historical peninsula also known as “Suriçi” (literally, inner city walls).

1. Sarayburnu Hill:

The hill where Topkapı Palace, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, İbrahim Paşa Palace (currently Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum) and Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) are sited. Million Stone, which used to denote the zero kilometer marking of distances for all the roads leading to the cities of the Roman Empire, is also on this hill .

2. Süleymaniye (Beyazıt) Hill:

The second most prominent hill in the Historical Peninsula after Sarayburnu is Süleymaniye Hill. It is the hill that climbs up from the shores of Golden Horn where Great Architect Mimar Sinan’s magnificient Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul University and Beyazit Mosque stand side by side.

3. Çemberlitaş Hill:

The hill where Çemberlitaş (Column of Constantine or Burnt Column), Çorlulu Ali Paşa Madrasah and Nur-u Osmaniye Mosque are sited.

4. Fatih Hill:

After the conquest of İstanbul, Sultan Mehmet II (the Conqueror) had Fatih Mosque built on this hill. Construction began on March 1463 and completed on December 1470. The mosque was severely damaged during the big fire of 1766, renovated completely and reopened on April 1771.

5. Yavuz Selim Hill:

The fifth hill where conqueror of Egypt Yavuz Sultan Selim rests under the shadow of his beautiful work. The most beautiful work on this hill is the Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque, construction of which started by Yavuz Sultan Selim and completed by his son Süleyman the Magnificient.

6. Edirnekapı Hill:

The highest hill of İstanbul is at Edirnekapı neighbourhood where Mihrimah Sultan Mosque is sited. “Tekfur Palace”, the sole remaining structure from the Blakhernai Palace and Kariye Camii (Chora Mosque) are also sited on this hill.

7. Kocamustafapaşa Hill:

This is the only hill of İstanbul on Thrace direction. The most important building on the hill is the Cerrahpaşa Mosque which was built by one of Mimar Sinan’s apprentices Davud Aga on the order of Grand Vizier Cerrah Mehmed Paşa.