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Fener and Balat, Istanbul's Greek Orthodox and Jewish quarters

Discover the multicultural variety that lives within the thriving city of Istanbul with this double tour, first to Fener, the Greek Orthodox district, and then to Balat, the ancient Jewish district. The name of the prominent Greek Orthodox area, Fener, is derived from the Greek word fanari, meaning 'lantern' or 'lighthouse'. Up to the beginning of the 20th century, this district was positively thriving with the Greek Orthodox community. The locals, referred to as Phanariotes, were very useful to Ottoman emperors as guides, translators, dragomans and interpreters on diplomatic journeys abroad. It is in this part of Istanbul that we find the residence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, or the Archbishop of Constantinople. On this walk you will come across some extraordinary constructions such as a functioning Byzantine Church and the only church made of steel and iron in the world. The second part of the trip takes you to Balat, on the shores of the magnificent Golden Horn. This is one of the districts where Jews were re-settled during the Ottoman Empire. Balat is full of intriguing little streets full of amazingly colourful life. We discover synagogues (of the seven it used to have, only two remain in good condition, Ahrida and Yambol), Armenian churches, old city walls and Romaic churches. Wrap the day up in the ancient ruins of the Byzantine palace known as Tekfur Saray. All in all, the perfect tour for getting to know Turkey’s diversity better. Discover the multicultural variety that lives within the thriving city of Istanbul with this double tour, first to Fener, the Greek Orthodox district, and then to Balat, the ancient Jewish district. The name of the prominent Greek Orthodox area, Fener, is derived from the Greek word fanari, meaning 'lantern' or 'lighthouse'. Up to the beginning of the 20th century, this district was p Meeting/pick-up point: Hotel Start/opening time: 8-8:30am. End or closing time: 5-5.30pm. Languages: English. Others: For groups of 10 to 15 pax, earphones will be provided.