The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. As a natural estuary that connects with the Bosphorus Strait at the point where the strait meets the Sea of Marmara, the waters of the Golden Horn help define the northern boundary of the peninsula constituting "Old Istanbul" (ancient Byzantium and Constantinople), the tip of which is the promontory of Sarayburnu, or Seraglio Point. This estuarial inlet geographically separates the historic center of Istanbul from the rest of the city, and forms a Horn (anatomy), horn-shaped, sheltered harbor that in the course of history has protected Greeks, Greek, Ancient Rome, Roman, Byzantine Empire, Byzantine, Ottoman Empire, Ottoman and other maritime trade ships for thousandsBBC: "Istanbul's ancient past unearthed"
Published on 10 January 2007. Retrieved on 3 March 2010.
of years. While the reference to a "horn" is understood to refer to the inlet's aerial silhouette, the significance of the designation "golden" remains more obscure, with historians believing it to refer to either the riches brought into the city through the bustling historic harbor located along its shores, or to romantic artistic interpretations of the rich yellow light blazing upon the estuary's waters as the sun sets over the city. Its Greek and English names mean the same, while its Turkish name, ''wiktionary:Haliç, Haliç'', simply means "estuary", and derives from the Arabic word Khaleej (disambiguation), ''khaleej'', meaning Gulf (geography), "gulf". Throughout its history, the Golden Horn has witnessed many tumultuous historical incidents, and has been depicted in numerous works of art.


The Golden Horn is the estuary of the Alibey River, Alibey and Kağıthane Rivers. It is 7.5 kilometers (4.66 mi) long, and 750 meters (2,460 ft) across at its widest. Its maximum depth, where it flows into the Bosphorus, is about 35 meters (115 ft). At present, the Golden Horn is spanned by five bridges. Moving from upstream to downstream (i.e. northwest to southeast), these are as follows: # Haliç Bridge, completed in 1974, which connects the neighborhoods of Sütlüce, Istanbul, Sütlüce and Defterdar # Galata Bridge#The fourth bridge, Eski Galata Bridge (literally, ''Old Galata Bridge''), now-defunct, which used to connect the downstream neighborhoods of Karaköy and Eminönü, but was disassembled and relocated upstream between Ayvansaray and Keçeci Piri following extensive damage in 1992 caused by a fire originating in the kitchen of one of the restaurants located on the bridge's lower level. Originally dating back to 1912, the now-retired structure is no longer used for vehicular or pedestrian traffic, but functions as a seasonal outdoor exhibit and event space attached to Haliç Park. # Atatürk Bridge, aka Unkapanı Bridge, completed in 1940, which connects Kasımpaşa (quarter), Kasımpaşa and Unkapanı # Golden Horn Metro Bridge, a pedestrianized railway crossing, completed in 2014, that extends subway line M2 of the Istanbul Metro across the Golden Horn # Galata Bridge (its fifth incarnation, completed in 1994), between Karaköy and Eminönü


Archaeological records show a significant urban presence on and around the Golden Horn dating back to at least the 7th century BC, with smaller settlements going as far back as 6700 BC as confirmed by recent discoveries of ancient ports, storage facilities, and fleets of trade ships unearthed during the construction works of the Istanbul Metro, Yenikapı subway station and the Marmaray tunnel project. Indeed, the deep natural harbor provided by the Golden Horn has always been a major economic attraction and strategic military advantage for inhabitants of the area. The Eastern Roman Empire established ''New Rome, Nova Roma'' on top of the existing city of Byzantium to capitalize on the same benefits, as did the founders of the subsequent city of Constantinople and its current successor, Istanbul. The Byzantine Empire had its naval headquarters there, and walls were built along the shoreline to protect the city of Constantinople from naval attacks. At the entrance to the Horn on the northern side, a boom (navigational barrier), large chain was pulled across from Constantinople to the Galata Tower (old), old Tower of Galata to prevent unwanted ships from entering. Known among the Byzantines as the ''Megàlos Pyrgos'' (meaning "Great Tower" in Greek language, Greek), this tower was largely destroyed by the Latin Crusaders during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. In 1348, the Republic of Genoa, Genoese built a new tower nearby which they called ''Christea Turris'' (Tower of Christ), now called Galata Tower. There were three notable times when the chain across the Horn was either broken or circumvented. In the 10th century the Kievan Rus' dragged their longships out of the Bosphorus, around Galata, and relaunched them in the Horn; the Byzantines defeated them with Greek fire. In 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, Venice, Venetian ships were able to break the chain with a ramming, ram. In 1453, Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, having failed in his attempt to break the chain with brute force, instead used the same tactic as the Rus' (people), Rus'; towing his ships across Galata over lubrication, greased logs and into the estuary. After the Fall of Constantinople, Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II resettled ethnic Greeks along the Horn in the Fener, Phanar (today's Fener). Balat continued to be inhabited by Jews, as during the Byzantine age, though many Jews decided to leave following the takeover of the city. This area was repopulated when Bayezid II invited the Jews who were Alhambra Decree, expelled from Spain to resettle in Balat (Istanbul), Balat. In 1502, Leonardo da Vinci produced a drawing of a single-span bridge over the Golden Horn as part of a civil engineering project for Sultan Bayezid II. Leonardo's drawings and notes regarding this bridge are currently displayed at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia "Leonardo da Vinci", Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia in Milan, Italy. While the original design was never executed, the vision of Leonardo's Golden Horn Bridge was resurrected in 2001, when a Vebjørn Sand Da Vinci Project, small footbridge based on Leonardo's design was constructed near Ås, Akershus, Ås in Norway by Vebjørn Sand. Until the 1980s, the Horn was polluted with industrial waste from the factories, warehouses, and shipyards along its shores. It has since been cleaned, and the local fish, wildlife, and flora have been largely restored. Nowadays, the Golden Horn is settled on both sides, and there are parks along each shore. The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce is also located along the shore, as are several Muslim, Jewish and Christians, Christian cemeteries. Other institutions along the Horn's banks include museums, congress and cultural halls, supporting facilities of the Turkish Navy, and campuses of various universities. Today, the Horn's history and natural environment make it a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul, visited by 10 million international vacationers annually.İstanbul to surpass Paris in number of tourists

In popular culture

The Golden Horn is featured in many works of literature dealing with classical themes. For example, G. K. Chesterton's poem ''Lepanto (poem), Lepanto'' contains the memorable couplet "From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun, / And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun."

Image gallery

Image:Bizansist touchup.jpg, The first bridge on the Horn, built by Byzantine Empire, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, Justinian the Great, can be seen near the Theodosian Walls at the western end of the city (see upper right) in this rendering of old Constantinople. Image:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Dusk on the Golden Horn.JPG, Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky's "Dusk on the Golden Horn", depicting the estuary's trademark golden lights. The entrance to the Horn is in the foreground, with the Constantinople, Historic Peninsula (left), and Galata (right). Image:View of constantinople by evening light.jpg, Another painting by Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky, Aivazovsky, titled "View of Constantinople by Evening Light", depicting the Horn as seen from a hilltop near Kasımpaşa (quarter), Kasımpaşa. Visible in the background are the Galata Tower, the entrance to the Horn, and Seraglio Point. Image:Boats on the Golden Horn.jpg, Boats on the Golden Horn, with Süleymaniye Mosque atop the city's Seven hills of Istanbul, Third Hill in the background. Vantage point for this painting is likely around Karaköy. Image:Tristram James Ellis - The Golden Horn - Google Art Project.jpg, Similar view of Süleymaniye Mosque by Tristram Ellis, from the late 19th century. Image:Okmeydanı, Şişli'den Haliç görünümü 1809-1838 yılları.jpg, 1838 View of the Golden Horn from the hills of Okmeydanı - the imperial archery practice fields of the Ottoman Army. Image:Constantinople and the Golden Horn, Turkey, 1890s.jpg, The Horn as seen from the hills of Eyüp in the 1890s, looking toward Sütlüce, Istanbul, Sütlüce in the foreground, and the Old City in the distance. Image:Halic.png, The Golden Horn, looking from upstream to downstream (i.e. from northwest to southeast), toward the Bosphorus. Image:Istanbul - Pierre Loti Cafe - 01.jpg, Looking downstream from Pierre Loti#His relation with Turks, Pierre Loti Hill in Eyüp toward Sütlüce, Istanbul, Sütlüce (foreground, opposite shore), the Haliç Bridge (midground), and the entrance to the Golden Horn (far background). Image:Topkapi B15-06.jpg, Looking upstream from Seraglio Point in 2006. Galata Bridge, Galata, Atatürk Bridge, Atatürk, and Haliç Bridge, Haliç bridges are seen from closest to farthest. The Golden Horn Metro Bridge, presently positioned between the first two bridges, was completed eight years after this photograph, and is thus not visible. Image:Golden Horn and Sultanahmet.jpg, The entrance to the Golden Horn and Seraglio Point (at the very tip of the Constantinople, Historic Peninsula, at far left), as seen from Galata Tower, 2006. Image:Istanbul asv2020-02 img46 Galata Bridge and Tower.jpg, View of Karaköy (foreground) and Galata Tower (background) from Eminönü. Image:Istanbul - Süleymaniye camii dal Corno d'oro - Foto G. Dall'Orto 28-5-2006.jpg, Süleymaniye Mosque from Karaköy, 2006. Image:Leonardo Bridge.jpg, Golden Horn Bridge designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502. Image:Leonardo da Vinci Golden Horn Bridge model side.jpg, Wooden model corresponding to Leonardo da Vinci's bridge design.

See also

* Atatürk Bridge * Galata Bridge * Galata Tower * Golden Horn Metro Bridge, Metro Bridge * Haliç Bridge


External links

Golden Horn

Golden Horn University

The Social Community of Golden Horn

* Ferries in Istanbul {{Coord, 41, 01, 45, N, 28, 57, 40, E, region:TR_type:waterbody, display=title Golden Horn, Constantinople Estuaries of Turkey Ancient Greek geography Fatih Landforms of Istanbul Province