ISTANBUL

 

Welcome to the New Face of Istanbul

Steigenberger Hotel The Maslak Istanbul welcomes you to enjoy “The New Face of Istanbul” right in the new heart of the city, Maslak, where business, entertainment, and lifestyle meets before an impressive background of 10.000 years of history.
A warm welcome, a magic smile and surprises that will remind you how special you are, in other words, our idealized extraordinary service will introduce you to the privileges of the new ‘Bleasure’ concept and invite you to collect the magic moments of Istanbul and our hotel.

Touch the Heart of Istanbul

Steigenberger Hotel The Maslak Istanbul is located at the center of Istanbul’s new district accommodating the headquarters of several Turkish and international companies. Our hotel is only a few minutes away from the most popular shopping malls and lifestyle centers of Europe such as Istinye Park, Kanyon, Zorlu Center, Unique and the city’s only forest on the European side, the Belgrade Forest and the beautiful coasts of the Black Sea. Our guests can access Istanbul’s subway system and reach only in 20 minutes to Taksim, Galata and several parts of the old city instantly as the hotel is located only 50 meters away from the metro station.

 
 

History of Istanbul

The Byzantium Empire and Istanbul ‘s latter history is full of palace and church intrigues, was overrun by the Arabs in the 7th and 8th centuries, the Bulgars in the 9th and 10th, but could not keep out the Crusaders who conquered in 1204. They destroyed and raided it for many more years – including churches, monasteries and monuments, which led to a decline in the population. The city passed reign to Byzantium again in 1261, did not regain its former richness, and was conquered by Turks in 1453 after a 53-day siege and the hands of control changed yet again.

It then became the capital city of Ottoman Empire, which saw a population increase with immigrants from other parts of the country, with religious freedom and social rights granted to Greeks, Armenians and Jews. It remained the capital of the eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) for a long period, due to the fall of the west Roman Empire in the 5th century. By the sixth century, the population exceeded half a million, and was considered a golden age under Emperor Justinyen’s reign. Mehmet the Conqueror began to rebuild it, with a new palace and mosque (Fatih Camii) and tried to inject new life into the economy.

Today the historical peninsula is the most beautiful part of Istanbul, and is strategically well placed. The city is surrounded by a seascape peppered with distant islands, and this, together with the Golden Horn (Halic), the estuary that thrusts into the land along the peninsula, make Istanbul a unique place – and, throughout its long history, a city that many desired to conquer. But the desire to possess the city cannot be explained only by its strategic position or unsurpassed beauty; it has a different attraction, a mystical magnetism that drew states, empires and great conquerors towards it. This attraction led to a long history of conflict, conquest and occupation between those determined to maintain their hold on the city and those who strove to capture it.

For more than 1,500 years Istanbul was the capital of two empires, first the Byzantine and later the Ottoman. It was beautified accordingly with magnificent monuments and became a metropolis where diverse cultures, nations and religions mingle. Those cultures, nations and religions are the small pieces that form the mosaic of Istanbul. Perhaps some of those little pieces do not mean much to you, but as an ensemble they make up the unique majesty of Istanbul.

The city has been conquered, fought over and rebuilt many times over the centuries. Istanbul’s history dates back to the first settlement possibly in the 13th Century BC, although was founded by Byzas the Megarian in the 7th Century BC, from when the city was named Byzantium. A small colony of Greeks inhabited the area until 3rd Century BC, and over the next 1000 years became a thriving trading and commercial center. Whilst continuing life as a trading city during the Roman Empire, it was then conquered by Emperor Septimus Severius in 193 AD.

During the 4th century, Istanbul was selected by the Roman Empire to be the new capital, instead of Rome, by Constantine. It was a strategic choice: Built on seven surrounding hills – echoing that of Rome – the city would have control of the Istanbul Strait and easy access to the harbor of the Golden Horn. The city was re-organized within six years, its ramparts widened and the construction of many temples, official buildings, palaces, hamams and hippodrome.
With a great ceremony, in the year 330, the city was officially announced as the capital of the Roman Empire, and known as Constantinople in the late eras.

The reign of Suleyman the Magnificent (1520-66) was considered the greatest of all the Ottoman leaders, and the military conquests paid for the most impressive Ottoman architecture, the work of Mimar Sinan. The city was also the center of the Islamic work, and domes and minarets from hundreds of mosques dotted the skyline.

But a century after the death of Suleyman, the Empire started to decline again. By the end of the 18th century, whilst the empire was in decline with more territory being lost to the West, and sultans become more interested in Western institutional models. There was a short-lived Ottoman parliament and constitution in 1876, and by the end of the World War I during which allied troops occupied the city, the once-great empire was in shambles.

This changed radically with the emergence of a prominent commander of the Turkish army, who entered the struggle for the Turkish nation. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was considered a hero after the 4-year long War of Independence, after which he established the Republic if Turkey in 1923. Moving the capital to Ankara, then a small provincial town in Anatolia, Istanbul was simply the commercial and cultural center, which it still remains today.

Istanbul, the capital of empires… The city that dominated continents… The cradle of civilization … The meeting point of cultures and civilizations … These are some of the thousands of phrases that describe Istanbul. Yet neither words nor any amount of reading or listening are sufficient to truly describe and become familiar with the city. Only when you walk along its historic streets, when you see with your own eyes the architectural masterpieces of Byzantine and Ottoman Empires in their original setting, when you enjoy the panoramic vistas of its unique location, and when you start to explore its mystical beauties – only then will you begin to discover, and to fall in love with Istanbul.

Istanbul is the most developed and largest city of Turkey, and the latest discoveries indicate that the history of human habitation goes back 400,000 years ago. The Megarians settled and founded the city of Byzantium that later lent its name to the Byzantine Empire. However, the first settlers in the region established their city Chalcedon (Kadıkoy), on ‘the land of blind people’ which was strategically less important. And the Megarians, led by an Oracle, became aware of the beauty of Seraglio Point (Sarayburnu), and they established their city there on the opposite side of the Chalcedon.

Steigenberger Hotel The Maslak Istanbul is;

30 km / 20 minutes to Ataturk International Airport,
57 km / 45 minutes to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport,
23 km / 30 minutes to Kilyos, Istanbul’s Black Sea coast holiday spot,
7 km / 10 minutes to Istinye and Tarabya bays, on the banks of the Bosphorus,
5.5 km / 10 minutes to Emirgan Forest,
16 km / 20 minutes to Taksim, the heart of the city,
and 17 km / 20 minutes to the Old City,

Balat – Share the Objects of famous Photographers
Toward the shores of the Golden Horn — a historic estuary dividing Istanbul’s old city and forming a natural harbor — you will find a rare historic neighborhood away from the bustling city life downtown. The neighborhood of Balat derives its name from its former role as a 15th-century palace, of which Tekfur Palace is all that remains.

For most of its history, Balat was left to its own devices and its mainly working-class residents enjoyed a high degree of self-direction. Some of this liberty continues today: children play street games and women sit on door steps embroidering. 

But in the last few years, Balat has been discovered by photographers and television and film producers. At virtually every photography exhibit focusing on Istanbul, you’re guaranteed to see at least one image from Balat — a street dog basking in the sun, children playing hide and seek, locals puffing a cigar at a coffee shop, an old man counting his prayer beads. Continue your path to the Ayvansaray neighborhood, continuing your way back to history in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Pass by the Walls of Constantinople and imagine being back in battle time, how these walls were used for protection. Don’t miss the Chora Church, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful surviving examples of a Byzantine church. After having spent time back in history and not only see and feel but also taste the history. Asitane Restaurant is featuring dishes from the kitchens of the royal palaces, food recipes that are old hundred years. Taste what Sultans were privileged to enjoy. Surrender to the steam in a bathhouse In life, there aren’t too many opportunities to wander semi naked through a 16th-century Ottoman monument. Unless you visit Istanbul, that is. The city’s world-famous hamams (Turkish baths) offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in history, architecture, warm water and soap suds – all at the same time. Many of the imperial mosque complexes include a hamam, and there are innumerable examples of historic neighborhood baths dotted throughout the streets of the Old City – most, alas, now derelict or converted to shopping centers. Exceptions include the famous Cemberlitas Hamamı, built by command of Nur Banu Valide Sultan, wife of Selim the Sot and mother of Murat III; and the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam, designed by Architect Mimar Sinan. Join the in-crowd at the city’s amazing art galleries Socially aspirational İstanbullus know that there’s one foolproof way to build a public profile. All they need to do is build and endow an art gallery, preferably one dedicated to modern art. We can’t explain why the botox-and-bling brigade has recently taken to culture with such alacrity, but this is indeed the case. This trend is the best thing to hit the city since the tulip bulb arrived. First cab off the rank was the Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art in Levent, closely followed by Istanbul Modern in Tophane and the Pera Museum in Beyoglu. All of this is great news for the visitor, who can see world-class exhibitions in drop-dead-gorgeous surrounds complete with stylish gift shops and quality cafes. Sample the flavors of Istanbul More than anything else, Istanbul love to eat. Here food is much more than mere fuel. Instead, it’s a celebration of community. Meals unfurl with great ceremony – they are joyful, boisterous and almost inevitably communal. The national cuisine has been refined over centuries and is treated more reverently than any museum collection in the country. That’s not to say it’s fussy, because what differentiates Turkish food from other national noshes is its rustic and honest base. The meze (hors d’oeuvres) you’ll eat will be simple, the kebaps austere, the salads unstructured and the seafood unsauced. Flavors will explode in your mouth because ingredients are used in season. The country’s best chefs come to Istanbul to perfect their art, and you’ll be able to order a better executed Italian pasta or fiery Thai curry from here. There’s a mind-boggling array of options so the possibilities are endless. As the Turks say, Afi yet olsun! (Good appetite!) Party through the night at a golden mile superclub Istanbul’s superclubs are as famous for their tough door staff and wallet-decimating bar prices as they are for their magnificent Bosphorus views. They’re worth it, though. The sybaritic strip between Ortakoy and Kurucesme is home to a clutch of nightclubs that epitomize the word indulgence – here patrons enjoy luxe surrounds, wonderful food, perfectly executed cocktails and a passing parade of Armani-clad businessmen, models on the make, one-hit celebs and local lasses squeezed into diamand decorated jeans so tight their reproductive futures must be in serious danger. See the world’s most stupendous skyline Most great cities have a signature skyline view that graces a million postcards – Istanbul has enough of them to fill an entire album. The seven hills of the Old City are crowned with a collection of imperial mosques that offer a visual wham-bam unlike any other. With their delicate minarets, distinctive domes and curvaceous outer casings, they dominate the peninsula’s skyline and provide romantic backdrops for diners at terrace restaurants around Eminonu and Beyoglu. Listen to world-class performances In life, there aren’t too many opportunities to hear world-class classical music and opera performed in magnificent Byzantine churches and ornate Ottoman pleasure palaces. The International Istanbul Music Festival (held in June/July each year) is one of them. The biggest event on Istanbul’s cultural calendar, this festival has been enticing locals to its performances for decades and is progressively building an international profile. The main venue is the austerely beautiful Aya Irini, which offers superb acoustics and an overload of atmosphere.