This horn-shaped estuary, divides European Istanbul. One of the best natural harbors in the world, the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests were centered here. Today, lovely parks and promenades line the shores where the setting sun dyes the water a golden color. In Fener and Balat, neighbourhoods midway up the Golden Horn, whole streets of old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues date from Byzantine and Ottoman times.
The Orthodox Patriarchy resides here at Fener. Eyup, a little further up, reflects the Ottoman style of vermicular architecture. Cemeteries sprinkled with dark cypress trees cover the hillsides.