Quarters of Balat, Fener, and Ayvansaray

Balat Fener Life

Balat Fener Life

Colorful Streets

Colorful Streets

Balat Fener Tour

Balat Fener Tour

This district is a unique showcase of the cosmopolite integrity of the Ottoman Empire. The Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques residing so close to one another as an indication of a shared life between Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations. The district’s cultural diversity and richness have been shaped by wars and political events, and has got its fair share of poverty and immigration. But, the narrow streets of the district, with its typical three story homes, still very much live with kids playing outside and clothes hanging from one window to the other, across the street. A day spent walking the streets, is not only a monument rich historical site tour with Byzantine and Ottoman eras, but also a great example of our culture’s common aspects; habits, sense of community, socializing, and self expression.
During the recent years, there have been significant and inspiring developments in restoration to promote the district’s historical and cultural importance. In addition to private development projects in conformance with the original architecture, UNESCO takes the lead in restorations and preserving historic monuments. Also, the government funded restoration project of Anemas Dungeons, which is expected to be completed and open for visitors soon, is going to be a fascinating addition to the evolving richness of the district.