This historic part of the city, the centre of power since the Byzantine rule, is a "must see" place for every visitor.
The Imperial Sultanahmet Mosque or the "Blue Mosque" with its six minaretts, which stands across Hagia Sophia, is known as the most impressive mosque of the city. A few steps from the Topkapi Palace, there is also an extraordinary complex of buildings. Here once stood the imperial palace of Constantine, but it has been ruined with the collapse of the Byzantium Empire. After the Ottoman conquest, Mehmet the second has choosen first today's İstanbul University's campus as the site of his palace, but then he decided to have Topkapi Palace built. Until 1855, the sultans preferred to live there but then Abdülmecit moved to the magnificent palace of Dolmabahce, which was built according to the examples of the glorious western residences.