The great province of Fatih covers the entire 15.5 km2 area also known as the historical peninsula. This area has been the capital of Constantinople during the Byzantium Empire and Istanbul, during the Ottoman Empire. Hence, it's no wonder that the oldest and most beautiful historical buildings and artifacts are in this area, which makes it one of the most visited places in the entire city. Always a center of attraction for tourists and locals alike, Fatih is comprised of 57 neighborhoods and includes all of the famous 7 hills of Istanbul. Its coastline borders on the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn. The region's history spans 8 millennia, as evidenced by the latest archeological finds during the construction of Marmaray, an underground rail tunnel connecting Asia and Europe.
Even if you're just spending a few days in the city as a tourist or if you're planning to study, live or invest in Istanbul, Fatih is one of the primary provinces that should be on your radar. It has the highest concentration of historical landmarks, palaces, mosques, hammams, museums, bridges, cisterns, aquaducts and bazaars in the country and must be considered among the world's most historically and culturally important areas. The name comes from Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul, who was given the Fatih (conqueror in Turkish) title after the most important conquest of the Ottomans. The area houses some of Istanbul's oldest and most respected educational and medical institutions. It is also one of the most accessible areas in the city, being an important hub for public transportation. Connecting to the rest of Istanbul via bus, tram, ferry and subway lines, it can be reached very easily. This contributes to its popularity as an ideal zone for real estate investment in Istanbul.
It's impossible to talk about all the must-see historical treasures in the area, as it would literally mean writing a whole book. However, one cannot talk about Fatih without mentioning the following world-famous buildings and sites: The Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque (The Blue Mosque), Byzantine-era city walls, Topkapı Palace, the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar. Leaving Istanbul without having seen these would be a very regretful thing to do. If you're even more curious about culture and history, we also recommend the Fatih, Süleymaniye, Nuruosmaniye and New Mosques, Hagia Irene, the Basilica Cistern, the Bozdoğan (Valens) Aquaduct, Chora Church (converted first into a mosque and now, a museum), Istanbul Archeology Museum and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, among numerous others.
Fatih is a cosmopolitan area, where different groups representing the Armenian, Jewish, Greek minorities continue living. Lately, there has also been an increase in the number of people from Kurdish and Arabic origin, who have chosen to live in the area. Its commercial, educational and social opportunities help attract many people, who prefer living in an area with a historical heritage and dynamic modern lifestyle. This has resulted in Fatih becoming a major player in the market for property investment in Istanbul. Istanbul University, with its historical Beyazıd campus and many faculties and departments draws local and foreign students alike. Çapa and Cerrahpaşa are among the best public hospitals in the city.