Kumkapı is located within the old Byzantine walls, between Çatlamışkapı and Yenikapı. The district, where predominantly Armenians and Greeks used to live, is now famous for its fish restaurants and entertainment culture in the square. The fishing tradition in Kumkapı dates back to the Byzantine period. The importance of the district dates back to the 17th century of the Armenian Patriarchate. It has increased even more since it was moved here in the century.

Kumkapı was the Kontoskalion Port built by Emperor Julian (361-63) during the Byzantine period. It took its current name from Kumkapı, the fifth gate on the seaside on the way from Yedikule to Ahırkapı. Kontoskalion, meaning Little Pier, was the name of the district at that time.

After the Latins were expelled from the city in 1261, VIII. Michael Palaeologos made this the city's main naval base. The port was frequently filled with mud, and as a result, it fell out of use. Today's port serves fishing boats.

Around the port there is a fish market where you can find the freshest fish in the city. Fish cooking areas were also added in front of the market. With recent work, some of the old historical wooden houses in Kumkapı have been restored. However, when you pass through the main square and continue walking, you will come across neglected and dilapidated houses on the Nişanca and Yenikapı sides.

You can visit Kumkapi District on our Guided Istanbul tours.

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