Haliç (“The Golden Horn”), Istanbul, Turkey 1854 and 2015
In 1854, Haliç, or the Golden Horn, in Istanbul, was a prime port location due to its lack of tides and currents. It became a center of trade, government, and the Byzantine navy headquarters. Unfortunately, the Golden Horn’s location and growing wealth also made it vulnerable to attack. To protect this valuable port, the city set up the traditional city wall, but added a unique security measure. They placed a massive iron chain that stretched across the waterway, preventing ship passage. The 1854 image shows the riverway flowing past the Blue Mosque, one of the area’s most notable historic buildings, looming over Haliç. Today is area is a popular tourist district, with historic mosques, bazaars, shops, and restaurants. The two images show the growth and expansion of Haliç, with skyscrapers where countryside used to be, but the Blue Mosque still looms large over the city, tying it to its past.