Undoubtedly, we are very lucky to have a very special city like Istanbul. Although it has some insurmountable handicaps such as population, migration, and traffic, none of them change the fact that Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. One of the elements that make the city so special is definitely Istanbul’s unique strait. Let’s take a closer look at all the details about the Bosphorus, which is considered the symbol of the city.
You can find all the must-see places in Istanbul in our article Things to Do in Istanbul.
Information About the Bosphorus
The famous Bosphorus, which makes Istanbul Istanbul, connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. In addition, one side of this strait belongs to Europe and the other side belongs to Asia. This makes the strait very valuable from a geopolitical point of view. It is the most used place not only in Istanbul but also in all touristic promotions about Turkey. It has the narrowest passage when compared to other straits in the world engaged in international maritime transport. Many countries with a coast on the Black Sea have to use this place to go to the Mediterranean direction. Sovereignty rights regarding the Bosphorus were handed over to our country with the agreement signed in 1936.
There are 3 bridges in total over the Bosphorus. Bridges have a very important function as they connect two continents. There is very intense sea transportation on the Bosphorus. Apart from city line ferries and ferries, it is possible to see cargo ships or passenger motors frequently during the day. Thanks to Marmaray, which has recently added a new dimension to submarine transportation, it is possible to reach both sides of the Bosphorus more quickly. 4. The Bosphorus, which was formed in geological time, has embraced many civilizations throughout history. Even if the predictions about a fault collapse have gained weight, it is difficult to reach definite judgments about its formation.
The section off Üsküdar is the area with the highest salinity ratio of the Bosphorus. Beykoz and its surroundings are at the beginning of the places where this rate is the lowest. The Maiden’s Tower and Kuruçeşme Island in the area surrounding the waters attract a lot of attention. The most serious problem of the strait in recent times is pollution. Especially large tanker accidents have caused serious damage to the strait. The most recent of these accidents occurred in 2004.
Bosphorus Depth and Length
The total length of the Bosphorus is 29.5 km. The average depth of the Bosphorus is known as 61 meters. On the other hand, the deepest areas of the strait are around 120 meters. Bebek and Kandilli regions are the areas with the highest depth. This depth generally increases with a certain acceleration from south to north.
The Narrowest Point of the Bosphorus
The narrowest part of the Bosphorus is the section between Rumeli and Anadolu Hisarı. This area has a total width of 760 meters. The widest part is around 3600 meters. (Rumeli Feneri – Anadolu Feneri)
When did the Bosphorus freeze?
When the records of the Bosphorus are examined, it is seen that the first freezing case occurred in the 5th century. The closest freezing case to our day was in 1954. At that time, the ice masses coming over Romania caused the strait to be completely closed. It sounds surprising; However, with this situation that took place in February of 1954, people had to walk through the Bosphorus. The ships had to stop all their activities and the huge strait turned into a tarmac, so to speak. This freezing Poyrazköy- Rumeli Kavağı took place in the section called The strait, filled with tiny icebergs, and remained that way until March. It is said that this situation, which repeats itself periodically at very long intervals, may occur again in the future.
Bosphorus Yacht and Boat Tour
There are many private yachts and boats that sail on the Bosphorus in certain periods. Private yachts host many organizations from marriage proposals to group dinners. It is also possible to rent a boat for the day here. Boat tours can be carried out individually or for groups, with or without meals.
The total number of bridges in the Bosphorus has increased to 3 with the last swaying bridge currently. These bridges are as follows:
15 July Martyrs Bridge
After the coup attempt on 15 July, this bridge, known as the Bosphorus Bridge, was renamed the 15 July Martyrs’ Bridge. Because in the coup in question, the organized resistance of the people took place precisely in this area. July 15 Martyrs Bridge has been operating since February 20, 1970. The bridge, which has 3+3 lanes, has a length of 1560 meters. It is also the first bridge built over the strait.
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the construction of which started in 1986, has been active since 1988. Made of steel material, this suspension bridge has a length of 1510 meters. It ranks 14th in size among other steel suspension bridges in the world.
Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge
Today it is also known as the 3rd Bridge. The bridge, whose construction started in 2012, has been actively used since 2016. The length of the bridge, which has 4 separate lanes for each direction, is 1875 m.
Many businesses and many hotels in Istanbul are competing with each other to have a view of the Bosphorus. Among the lucky places with this wonderful view, places such as Galata Tower, Gulhane Park, Süleymaniye, Ortaköy Beach, Kuruçeşme, and Valide Han Mansion stand out. Apart from these, for example, you can go to Ulus Park and watch the Bosphorus from the European Side. Ulus Park is located very close to Kuruçeşme. Watching Portakal Slope from Ortaköy will be enough to reach this wonderful view. Starting from Kuleli and continuing to Beylerbeyi, this wonderful area offers a great opportunity to look at the Bosphorus from the Anatolian Side. Those who wish can also go to Büyükada Aya Yorgi Hill to enjoy the view of the Bosphorus. Although it is a bit tiring to climb this hill, the view that embraces you at the end will take all your tiredness away.
Especially in the spring and summer periods, having breakfast against the Bosphorus is a very important ritual. In general, the cost of this ritual can naturally be higher compared to other places that do not see the Bosphorus view. We can list the most popular places where you can have breakfast across the Bosphorus as follows:
- Kuleli Yakamoz
- The House
- Boon Cafe
- Sardinia Karakoy
- Stone Brown
Where is the Bosphorus?
You can find the map and transportation alternatives for the Bosphorus in the location information section.
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