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Eyüp Sacred Land OF İstanbul

               Mosque, tomb, cemetery, and hill; you should not miss any of them when visiting Eyüp, Pass throungh the main plaza paved with marble and begin your tour with the Eyüp Sultan mosque. İt is named after Ebu Eyyub el-Ensari, known as Eyüp Sultan in Turkey, who was a companion pf the Prophet Muhammad and died during a failed Arab siege of Constantinople in the seventh century. After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the ottoman Sultan Fatih Mehmet II discovered the place where Eyüp Sultan was buried adn built a tomb to commemorate him.
               According to the dream revealed to one of the sultan's sheikhs, a mosque was constructed beside the tomb in 1459. With a medresa (educational institute) and hammam added later, the site developed into the first social complex built outside the walls of Constantinople. After Mehmet the Conqueror's reign, the mosque became the place where sultans were girded with swords during their coronations.

               The complex has been renovated several times and was seriously damaged during an earthquake in 1766. In the nineteenth century, Sultan Selim III replaced the old mosque with the present-day one, adorned with Baroque style decorations. While the hammam, which is also a part of the complex, is currently under restoration, you can visit Eyüp Sultan Mosque and the tomb, where some of Muhammad's relics of are displayed. As it is one the most sacred destination for Muslim pilgrims, make sure your outfit is approprite before entering the premises.

UP TO THE HILL;

               The path behind the mosque leads to the cable car station operating from 8am to 10pm. With your İstanbulkart, you can take a ten minute ride to the top of Pierre Loti hill, getting fabulous views over the Golden Horn. Due to its limited capaticy, there is always a long line of people waiting to get on the lift. You will want to avoid the line especially during weekends; take a 15 minute talk throungh the cemetery to reach the destination.

               Stolling along the cemetery paths is quite pleasant during the daytime. As one of İstanbul's oldest and biggest burial grounds, the privileged location possesses a stunning view of the city overlooking the Golden Horn. You'll find people hanging out on the blocks of pathway; it is also a popular photo spot. Take a look at the signs and qoutes written on the stele and walls, you might recognize some names of politicians, writers, scientists, an public figures buried in Eyüp cemetery.

               After the little workout, you'll reach the large cafe area filled with people sipping tea and eating gözleme. İf all tables are taken, go to the cista point. Located at the northwest of the Golden Horn, the view form Pierre Loti hill is surprisingly different from the one of Bosphorus. With the tranquil waterway, lavis greenery, and the peaceful residences, visitors can see a different side of the city.
PIERRE LOTİ AND EYÜP;

               Why is the place know as Pierre Loti hill?
Pierre Loti, the pseudonym of Louis Marie-Julien Viaud, was a French author and navy officer who fell in love with İstanbul after his first visit in 1876. İnstead of settling in Pera district like most Europeans, Loti moved to the holiest neighborhood of the city, which non-Muslims barely visited at the time. "Access to [the tomb] has always been fobidden to precincts are none too safe," Loti wrote in his semi-outobiographical novel Aziyade.

               As a resident of Eyüp, the outhor describes the splendid view from the hill: "away to the east is the Golden Horn, with thousands of gilded caiques dancing on its water; then the whole of Stamboul foreshortened, mosques, domes and minarets, all huddled together in one confused blur." Although the cityscape Loti appreciated is no longer the same as the one we see today, the hill remains a precious, serene spot offering a unique view of İstanbul.
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