Istanbul… A magnificent city that has hosted different civilizations, cultures, and historical events for centuries. The joy of running in this unique city, breathing in its history, is something else… As you run through Istanbul, getting to know, feel, and live the city, we are delighted to share with you the historical points you will encounter along the race course of the Istanbul Half Marathon.
Yenikapı: The first stop of our #FastestHalf, Yenikapı, was an important port and trade center during the Byzantine Empire. Known as “Neorion” in that period, this area served as the heart of the city’s sea trade. Remarkably, Byzantine shipwrecks uncovered during excavations for the Marmaray and Istanbul metro are among Yenikapı’s most significant historical discoveries.
Kumkapı: Dating back to the Byzantine era and one of the neighborhoods on the Marmara Sea coast of the Historical Peninsula, Kumkapı is a vibrant and colorful district frequently visited by both tourists and locals.
Sarayburnu: Hosting various civilizations throughout history, Sarayburnu, part of Istanbul’s historical peninsula, preserves its rich historical heritage and captivating scenery. It’s a great opportunity to discover this historical point while running, frequently visited by both locals and tourists.
Sirkeci: Our next stop in this unique run is Sirkeci, a lively center of trade and culture during the Ottoman period, filled with various inns, trade centers, and cultural facilities. The Sirkeci Train Station, known as the final stop of the Orient Express train line, is one of the must-see places!
Yeni Cami: Completed and opened for worship in 1665 through the great efforts and donations of IV. Mehmed’s mother, Turhan Hatice Sultan, this mosque adds splendor to Istanbul’s magnificence.
Eminönü: One of the most essential parts of Istanbul’s historical texture, Eminönü hosts iconic places like the Egyptian Bazaar, New Mosque, Sepetçiler Mansion, and Gülhane Park, making it one of the city’s most established and historical areas. We recommend visiting these places to continue your historical journey after the run!
Galata Bridge: Spanning the Golden Horn and connecting Karaköy and Eminönü, this bridge is one of the rare bridges in the world with a tramway. Enjoy running along this route with views of both Karaköy, Eminönü, and the Golden Horn!
Fener: Known as Petrion during the Byzantine period, this neighborhood has held a special place in the city since 1601, housing the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. One of the most favored points of the Türkiye İş Bankası 19th Istanbul Half Marathon, Fener is where you will feel the history of Istanbul in your bones and achieve cultural fulfillment with every step.
Balat: Situated on the shores of the Golden Horn, the colorful and historical neighborhood of Balat, known for its multicultural structure and steep, narrow streets, gets its name from “Palation,” meaning palace. Balat continues to preserve and perpetuate Istanbul’s rich historical and cultural heritage and is one of the most colorful points of our world-record race course.
Sveti Stefan Church: Located on the Golden Horn between Balat and Fener neighborhoods, this church affiliated with the Bulgarian Exarchate is among the symbols of Istanbul, which has hosted many civilizations!