The prince islands are the archipelago consisting of nine different-sized islands. They are one of the districts of the province of Istanbul. The archipelago received such an interesting name due to the fact that all people who were objectionable to the government were exiled to people of noble origin and even the royal family. Since the beginning of the XIX century, the islands have been used as a resort recreation area.
In the Sea of Marmara , the Princes' Islands are located. Istanbul, when viewed from the Asian side, is 2.5 km, while from the European side - 12 - 22 km. It is interesting that the archipelago received such a name from foreigners, while the Turks simply call it Adalar, which means “islands”. Previously, the Princes' Islands were used to imprison noble persons, today it is one of the most popular destinations for excursions. They reach their destination only by ferry, on the islands themselves it is not allowed to travel by car. You can walk, rent a bike, or ride a horse- drawn carriage.
The largest of the islands is Buyukada. It was he who accepted the greatest number of persons of royal blood, claiming the imperial throne. Here is a convent, built on the orders of Empress Irina, and she later became his hostage. It was inhabited by women objectionable to the court, as well as old monks. Buyukada is interesting because Christian churches, mosques and synagogues, built almost in the neighborhood, peacefully coexist here.
The second largest is the island of Heybeliada. Three monasteries were built on it a long time ago, and there was a small fishing village. But after the Princes' Islands attracted attention, the population of Heybeliada gradually grew, a ferry service was established with Istanbul. Already in the twentieth century, various institutions were built, among which it is worth highlighting the Naval College and the Commercial School.
It will be interesting for Christians to look at the monasteries of Ayia Yorgi Uchurum and Terka Dunya, as well as the Church of St. Mary, which has been preserved by the Princes' Islands since the 14th century. Beaches are also available here, during excursions tourists can swim in the clear transparent waters of the Sea of Marmara.
In third place is the island of Burgazada, which means “fortress”. It can simultaneously accommodate about 15 thousand people, but the indigenous population here is no more than 1,500. Those who love antiquity should definitely go to this island. Be sure to visit the Ayia Yani Church, the construction of which dates back to the 9th century, the last time the building was restored two centuries ago. There is a dungeon under the church, into which 11 steps lead. Here you can see the holy spring Ayios Loanis, as well as the monastery of Christ.
The Prince Islands are very exotic and interesting, but you should visit only the three islands listed above, since the rest are not of special cultural value . True, you can still look at Kynalyada, which has the color of henna. There is very little green here, but there are a lot of stones. From a distance, Cedefadasi resembles mother of pearl because of the evergreen trees growing on it.
The Princes' Islands is a very interesting place that allows you to get acquainted with Turkish culture, plunge into history and admire the amazing beauty of the local nature.