Beyazit Square or Beyazit Meydani Istanbul
History of Beyazit SquareIn the 4th century, it was the largest square in Constantinople, known as the Forum Tauri and named after a statue of a bull that was the centrepiece there. The forum covered almost all of the area you see today. Emperor Theodosius redesigned the square in 393 and named it Forum of Theodosius after himself. The square was surrounded by elegant porticoed buildings and the emperor’s new additions included a column, similar to the Trajan Column in Rome, and huge triumphal arch with statues of Theodosius and his sons Honorius and Arcadius rising above.
Places to Visit in Beyazit Square
Bit Pazari and Sahaflar Book MarketThe Beyazit Square has a flea market (Bit Pazari) and the famous 2nd hand booksellers market (Sahaflar Carsisi Bazaar). The book market dates back to the 18th century but long before this the site was a Byzantine book and paper market. As the Ottomans were uncomfortable using illustrative depictions of people they used calligraphy for their artistic expression. This tradition can be seen in the Museum of Calligraphy situated on the west side of the square and has very interesting examples of this highly developed art form.
Beyazit MosqueThe Beyazit Mosque on the east side of the square was completed in 1506 and is the oldest surviving mosque in Istanbul.
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