The Golden Horn is an inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul
and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of years. It is a scimitar-shaped estuary that joins the Bosphorus just at the point where that strait enters the Sea Of Marmara
, thus forming a peninsula the tip of which is "Old Istanbul" (ancient Byzantion and Constantinople).
The Golden Horn is a flooded prehistoric estuary. It is 7.5 kilometers long and is 750 meters across at its widest. Its maximum depth, where it flows into the Bosphorus, is about 35 meters. It is today spanned by four bridges. Moving downstream, the first is the Haliç Bridge, literally Estuary Bridge.A fifth bridge is currently under construction to connect the subway lines of the Istanbul Metro to the north and south of the Golden Horn.
Today the Golden Horn is settled on both sides, and there are parks along each shore. The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce is also located along the shore, as are Muslim, Jewish and Christian cemeteries. The Galata Bridge
connects the neighborhoods of Karaköy (the ancient Galata) and Eminönü.Until the 1980s the Horn was polluted with industrial waste, but it has since been cleaned.Today its history and beauty make it a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.
In 1502 Leonardo da Vinci produced a drawing of a single-span 240-metre (790 ft) bridge over the Horn as part of a civil engineering project for Sultan Bayezid II. The vision was resurrected in 2001, when a small footbridge of Leonardo's design was constructed near Ås in Norway