Situated outside the historic city walls along the Golden Horn, Eyup is home to some of Istanbul’s holiest sites. Muslim pilgrims come from across the world to visit the Eyup Sultan Mosque & Mausoleum and Tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Eyup) - the Prophet Mohammed’s standard bearer and friend who was killed during the first Muslim siege of Constantinople. It is considered one of the holiest places for Muslims in the world.
Because of this, Eyup becomes especially crowded on Fridays, the Muslim holy day, as well as during Ramadan and other religious festivals, when prayer mats are spread around the areas surrounding the Mosque to allow worshipers to pray together in open air style.
Though during the years of the Ottoman Empire Eyup was a popular place of settlement for refugees from central Europe and the Caucasus, these days the area is largely home to Istanbul’s more religiously conservative inhabitants.