The Golden Horn of Istanbul

Raj Nandy

It is an inlet arm from the Bosphoros Strait, 

Which stretches inwards towards the west; 

And curves up like a deer’s horn, -

Known to the world as the ‘Golden Horn’! 

It separates the old Istanbul’s historic city, 

From its modern counterpart in the north; 

Forming the world’s longest natural harbor, 

A waterway almost 7.5 km long! 

The harbor was once the Naval Headquarters 

of the Byzantine Empire! 

When a heavy chain guarded the inlet’s 


Stretching across the mouth of the ‘Horn’ entire; 

From the Old City to the Galata Tower! *

The old city stands on seven hillocks, once 

known as the ‘City of Seven Hills’; 

And top of every rise, a temple, or a mosque

or a monument is seen, -

With its steeples, towers and minarets, the city

stands solemnly still! 

Each building here has a story to tell; 

In 1453 to the Ottoman Turks the city fell! 

As I stood ruminating on one such high rise, 

And saw the sun going down in the west; 

The inlet waters appeared bathed in gold, 

Glittering in the sun’s setting rays! 

And at that moment I realized, as I looked at 

the inlet nice and long, 

How aptly it has been named, as the inlet of 

‘The Golden Horn’! 

-Raj Nandy

New Delhi

13 May 09

(*Galata Tower is located at the entrance of

the inlet- in the northern half of the city.

‘The Golden Horn’ waterway divides the

city of Istanbul into northern & southern