Istanbul Travel Guide


  • An aerial photograph of Emiönü

  • Eminönü in 1890

  • The nature of Eminonu was changed by the Galata Bridge.

  • Vakıf Han

  • Eyptian Bazaar

Sirkeci and Eminonu was two ports nest to each other during Byzantine period. Eminonu was ‘Prosoforion’, Sirkeci was ‘Neorion’ port. In the 12th century, the Byzantine port was also occupied by merchants from Venice, Pisa, Genoa.These ports were active during Ottoman Empire. One of the city bailees [emin] was responsible for the customs here. So, Eminönü takes its name after them. Arpa Emin used to settle down here near the Bursa Tekkesi Mescidi [Bursa Monastery Al-aqsa].

Ships carried coffee, rice, wax from Egypt
Thereby, Bursa Tekkesi which is one of the oldest monasteries of the city is named sometimes as Arpaci Mescidi. The woods of the palace used to be brought to the place called Meydan İskelesi [Square Pier] as well as the meats for the palace were prepared in the slaughter house nearby. The shore traffic in front of this gate was intense. The ships coming from Egypt were carrying rush mats, wax, coffee and rice here.Jews of Caria Jews community used to live in Eminonu. However, after the building of Yeni Camii [New Mosque], Jews left the region.

Galata Bridge
The nature of Eminonu was changed by the industrial age; the Galata Bridge was built across the Golden Horn; steamships arrived, then electricity, then the railway and the Istanbul terminal of the Orient Express was sited at Sirkeci Station. The sea walls still surrounded the city, and the sea gates of the port of Eminonu were the point of entry for goods, and for people.

During the day busy at night quiet
After the announcement of the Republic, the capital was moved from Istanbul to Ankara. Therefore, Eminonu lost its glory.Eminönü has the busiest ferry crossings for the Bosphorus and for the Marmara Sea. Eminonu services to almost 2 million people on day time because it has a commercial intensity while this number goes down as less as 30 thousand at night.