Ottoman Sites

If you’re looking to discover Ottoman sites and want to find the best places to view Ottoman Empire history then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a great selection of Ottoman Empire sites and you can plan some fantastic things to see on your trips. Once you’ve explored the list of Ottoman sites and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring Ottoman Empire sites.

Our database of Ottoman historic places is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Ottoman Empire sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Ottoman Empire: Site Index

Photo by Shayan (USA) (cc)

Acre

Acre is a UNESCO listed site of a city in Israel fortified by the Crusaders and the Ottomans.

Acre or “Akko” is an ancient city in Israel which has been almost continuously inhabited since at least 3000 BC, during the Early Bronze Age. Today, the Old City of Acre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a myriad of ruins representing the many civilisations that ruled the area... Read More

Photo by Eaglestein (cc)

Alanya Castle

With Hellenistic foundations, this magnificent Seljuk ruin sits atop a 250m high peninsular overlooking the Mediterranean sea.

Alanya Castle is a magnificent Seljuk ruin which sits atop a 250-metre high peninsular overlooking the Mediterranean sea. With walls stretching over 6km, Alanya Castle – sometimes called Alanya Fortress – encloses a number of fascinating sites and structures which are well worth exploring today. The origins of the city today... Read More

Photo by Allie_Caulfield (cc)

Alanya Citadel

Part of Alanya Castle, the Citadel (or Ickale) dates back to the 6th century and offers magnificent views.

The Alanya Citadel (or Ickale) dates back to the 6th century AD and is the oldest part of the Alanya Castle complex. Most of the fortifications you can see today date to the 13th century. Inside the Citadel are the remains of Seljuk cisterns, the palace of Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat, the ruins... Read More

Photo by salihigde (cc)

Anadolu Hisari

Anadolu Hisari was built by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid I in 1395.

Anadolu Hisari (Anadoluhisari), translated as the Anatolian Castle, was built by the great grandfather of Mehmet the Conqueror, Sultan Beyazid I in 1395. Anadolu Hisari is not open to the public. However the fifteenth century Rumeli Fortress, which sits just across the Bosporus, is open to tourists.... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Belogradchik Fortress

Belogradchik Fortress is an impressive fortification in Bulgaria with a history dating back to Roman times and later occupied by the Ottomans.

Belogradchik Fortress, also known as Belogradchik Kale or as Kaleto, is an impressively well-preserved fortification in north-western Bulgaria. It was the Romans who initially founded Belogradchik Fortress as a stronghold from the 1st to the 3rd centuries, building the highest part of the fortress, known as the Citadel. Over the... Read More

Photo by etrusko25 (cc)

Berat

Berat is a popular historic town in Albania containing an impressive 13th century castle as well as interesting museums.

Berat is one of the most popular historic destinations in Albania. An ancient town that has continually been inhabited through the ages, it retains much of its historic charm. Founded in antiquity, an early Macedonian city was built here in the third or fourth centuries BC named Antipatreia after the Macedonian... Read More

Photo by arteunporro (cc)

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace is a nineteenth century palace built by Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz to house important guests.

Beylerbeyi Palace (Beylerbeyi Sarayi) was built during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz in the 1860s. Serving as the residence of visiting dignitaries, Beylerbeyi Palace has played host to kings, shahs and princesses. It was also at Beylerbeyi Palace that sultan Abdulhamid II was kept captive for six years... Read More

Photo by xiquinhosilva (cc)

Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace is an opulent nineteenth century palace which twice served as the seat of the Ottoman Empire.

Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi) is an opulent nineteenth century palace on the Bosphorus which twice served as the seat of the Ottoman Empire. Begun in 1842 under Sultan Abdulmecit I, Dolmabahce Palace was completed in 1853 and first became the base of the Ottoman Empire as well as the home... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Fil’akovo Castle

Fil’akovo Castle is a medieval site on the current Slovak Hungarian border and the former frontier of the Ottoman Empire.

Built on volcanic rock, Fil’akovo Castle and the town beneath it are located near the border between Slovakia and Hungary. When Fil’akovo Castle was built, which is said to have been sometime by the 12th century, the area belonged to Hungary, as did most of present-day Slovakia. It would later... Read More

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Galata Tower

Galata Tower is a medieval turreted tower first built by the Genoese in 1348 and later restored by the Ottomans.

Galata Tower is a medieval turreted tower built by the Genoese as a defensive structure in 1348 and since rebuilt several times. One such occasion was following an earthquake in 1509 which caused great damage to Galata Tower. Known by the Genoese as the Tower of Christ (Christea Turris),... Read More

Photo by stefanedberg (cc)

Grandmasters Palace - Rhodes

The Grandmasters Palace of Rhodes was the base of the Knights Hospitaller of St John and was captured by the Ottomans.

The Grandmasters Palace of Rhodes was the palace of the Knights Hospitaller of St John. Dating to the fourteenth century (circa 1309), the Grandmasters Palace would be the base of this famous Christian and military order until Rhodes was captured by the Ottomans in 1522. Under this empire the Grandmasters Palace... Read More

Photo by David Spender (cc)

Hagia Sophia

One of the most famous Ottoman sites, the Hagia Sophia is a world famous sixth century church turned mosque in Istanbul.

The Hagia Sophia, or ‘Ayasofya’ in Turkish, is a world famous sixth century church turned mosque in Istanbul, which now operates as a museum. Whilst the original Hagia Sofia was built in the fourth century AD by Constantine the Great, very little remains of this structure nor the one built... Read More

Photo by ae35unit (cc)

Istanbul Archaeology Museum

The Istanbul Archaeology Museum houses around a million artefacts from an impressive range of cultures and periods.

The Istanbul Archaeology Museum (İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri) houses around a million artefacts from an impressive range of cultures and periods, including some of the world’s most remarkable pieces. Split between three buildings - the main archaeology museum, the Ancient Orient Museum and the Tiled Kiosk Museum - the Istanbul Archaeology... Read More

Photo by Allie_Caulfield (cc)

Kizilkule

Part of Alanya Castle, the Kizilkule or Red Tower was built in 1226 and stands 29 meters high.

One of the most impressive elements of Alanya Castle is the Kizilkule, or Red Tower. Commissioned in 1226 and standing 29 meters high, it served its purpose as a defensive measure to stop the harbour from sea-born attack. Located in the tower is a museum displaying works of art from the... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Melnik

Melnik is said to be Bulgaria’s smallest town yet has quite a few historic buildings, several from the medieval period.

Melnik is said to be Bulgaria’s smallest town yet has quite a few historic buildings, several from the medieval period. With a history dating back to ancient times, Melnik has been inhabited by a number of peoples, from the Bulgarians to the Byzantines and the Ottomans. Today, Melnik’s history and architecture... Read More

Photo by mahaz (cc)

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts is a site through which visitors can explore both the cultural and political history of Turkey.

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts hosts a rich collection of artistic artefacts that can cater for everyone from an interested amateur to a seasoned expert. Wandering through the Ottoman Palace in which the museum is housed, visitors can see remarkable examples of Islamic calligraphy, tiles, rugs and one of... Read More

Paphos Castle

Paphos Castle is a medieval fortification in Paphos Harbour. The current structure was built by the Ottomans.

Paphos Castle was originally a Frankish fortification constructed in the mid-thirteenth century. At this time, the island needed a new form of defence, its previous fortification - Saranda Kolones – having been devastated by an earthquake. The remains of Saranda Kolones can be seen in nearby Nea Paphos. However, the Paphos... Read More

Rumeli Fortress

The Rumeli Fortress was built by Mehmet the Conqueror as part of his campaign to capture Constantinople.

The Rumeli Fortress (Rumelihisari) was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1452. At the time, Mehmet was preparing to lay siege to Constantinople, trying to conquer it from the Byzantines. He built the Rumeli Fortress as a way of blocking the city’s supplies. Over 3,000 people toiled to create... Read More

St Savior in Chora

St Savior in Chora is an eleventh century church turned mosque and, more recently, a museum known as Kariye Muzesi.

St Savior in Chora (Kariye Camii) is an eleventh century church turned mosque and, more recently, a museum known as Kariye Muzesi (Chora Museum). Originally built within a Christian complex outside the boundary of Constantinople’s walls, St Savior in Chora derived its name from its countryside setting, "in... Read More

Photo by Historvius

The Blue Mosque

One of the most picyuresque Ottoman sites, the Blue Mosque was the ambitious creation of a young sultan and would become one of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks.

The Blue Mosque was the ambitious creation of a young sultan and would become one of Istanbul’s most iconic sites. Begun in 1606, the Blue Mosque is actually called the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) after the ruler who commissioned it, Sultan Ahmet I. Then not yet twenty... Read More

Photo by Historvius

The Skopje Aqueduct

The Skopje Aqueduct is a stone aqueduct in Macedonia, possibly built by the Romans.

The Skopje Aqueduct is a well preserved stone aqueduct located north of the Macedonian city of Skopje. A large stone structure made up of fifty-five archways, the origins of Skopje Aqueduct are unclear. Whilst it is known to have existed as far back as Ottoman times, some say that it was... Read More

The White Tower of Thessaloniki

The White Tower of Thessaloniki, is a cylindrical stone tower monument and museum in the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the Macedonian region of northern Greece.

The White Tower of Thessaloniki (in greek Lefkos Pyrgos), is a cylindrical stone tower monument and museum in the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the Macedonian region of northern Greece. The White Tower of Thessaloniki Constructed by the Ottomans in the 15th Century, it was originally built to help defend the city's... Read More

Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace is a fifteenth century former residence of the Ottoman Sultans and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Topkapı Palace (Topkapi Sarayi) was the seat and residence of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Construction of Topkapı Palace began in 1459 under the orders of Sultan Mehmed II following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Built in a traditional Ottoman style, Topkapi Palace measured a staggering... Read More

Van Castle

Van Castle was built in the Iron Age as part of the Urartu Kingdom and now stands as a stunning ruin in modern Turkey.

Van Castle (Van Kalesi) was an Iron Age castle which now stands as a stunning ruin on the rocks to the west of the modern city of Van. It was constructed as part of the Urartu Kingdom in the ninth century BC. Upon the fall of this kingdom in the... Read More

Photo by By Ramblurr (cc)

Yedikule Zindanlari

Yedikule Zindanlari is an impressive Byzantine and medieval fort in Istanbul.

Yedikule Zindanlari, also known as the Yedikule Fortress or the Castle of the Seven Towers, is an impressive Byzantine and medieval fort in Istanbul. Originally part of the Theodosian Wall, built by Theodosius II in the fifth century, Yedikule Fortress was added to over the centuries, including by Mehmet... Read More

Photo by nameer. (cc)

Yildiz Palace Museum

Built in the 1880s as a hilltop sultanate retreat, the vast 123 acre Yildiz Palace complex overlooks the mighty Bosphorus and is a stunning example of 19th century Ottoman architecture.

Yildiz (‘Star’) Palace in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul was built on a hilltop overlooking the Bosphorus river during the reign of the reclusive Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II and was used ostensibly as his residence, retreat and harem (which had steel doors!) There had been an imperial estate on the... Read More

Photo by Benh LIEU SONG (cc)

Zelve Open Air Museum

Spread out over three monastic valleys, Zelve, around 10km from Göreme on the Avanos road is a visually stunning town of homes and churches carved into the rocks and it was continually inhabited from the ninth century until as recently as 1952.

Zelve Open Air Museum in the Cappadocia region is one of the most visually stunning historical sites in Turkey. Originally a Byzantine-era (9th century) monastery, it is reputed to be both one of the earliest settled and last-abandoned monasteries in the entire region. The ‘museum’ houses the oldest known examples... Read More