Fener Balat Greek Neigborhood.
Fener is derived from a Greek word 'Fanari' meaning 'lantern' or 'lighthouse' in Turkish. It was a district of prominent and predominantly Romaic (Greek Orthodox) families up to the beginning of the 20th century. It is the part of Istanbul where the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is situated. Did you know that Phanariotes dominated the administration of the Patriarchate. Listen to the story of Phanariotes who served as dragomans to the Ottoman government and to foreign embassies. If you are interested in visiting a Byzantine Church in use or in seeing the only church made of iron and steel in the world – do not miss this walk. Get ready to see houses, pavements, palaces, and other structures of the area, which are being protected by a UNESCO project successfully implemented over the last decade.
In the afternoon, we will visit Balat, located on the southern shores of the Golden Horn. It is one of the Jewish districts where Jews were re-settled during the time of the Ottoman Empire. We walk in Balat and find ourselves in intriguing streets with amazingly colorful life. Synagogues, Armenian churches, Romaic churches, Byzantine remnants and Ayazma's are part of today’s adventure. Although once it had seven synagogues, now it has only two in good condition: Ahrida and Yambol Synagogues. The cast-iron Bulgarian Orthodox church of St. Stephen of the Bulgars, the city walls and the ruins of the Byzantine palace known as Tekfur Saray, the Armenian Church of Surp Hreşdagabet are among many other places we visit during this tour.