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Fener, the Greek Orthodox District

Join us in this eye-opening tour of a less renowned part of the magnificent Istanbul, its Greek Orthodox quarter. The name of the district, Fener, is a slight deformation of the Greek word fanari, which means 'lantern' or 'lighthouse'. Fener was a prominent part of town predominantly inhabited by Turkey’s Greek Orthodox minority, and it continued like that up to the beginning of the 20th century. It is in this curious neighbourhood that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople lives; he is the highest authority of the Eastern Orthodox communion. The locals are known as Phanariotes and in times of old they used to dominate the administration of the patriarchate. On this walk you will learn all about the story of the Phanariotes who served as guides, dragomans and interpreters to the stiff upper lips of the Ottoman government and foreign embassies on diplomatic trips. This tour will take you to some fascinating corners of the district, such as a functioning Byzantine Church and the only church made entirely of iron and steel in the world – talk about a couple of sights to not miss. Every single house, pavement, palace and overall structure that you may come across in this area is currently being preserved by a Unesco project that was implemented successfully over the last decade. You will finish the day with a more complete big picture of the multicultural variety that inhabits the beautiful city of Istanbul. Join us in this eye-opening tour of a less renowned part of the magnificent Istanbul, its Greek Orthodox quarter. The name of the district, Fener, is a slight deformation of the Greek word fanari, which means 'lantern' or 'lighthouse'. Fener was a prominent part of town predominantly inhabited by Turkey’s Greek Orthodox minority, and it continued like that up to the beginning of the 20th century. Pick up point: Hotel. Start/opening time: 8-8:30am. End or closing time: 12-12.30pm. Languages: English. Others: Drop off at the entrance of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. For groups of 10 to 15 pax, headphones will be provided