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Fener, Fanar or Phanar is a neighborhood midway up the Golden Horn, within the borough of Fatih in Istanbul. The streets in the area are full of historic wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times.
After the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Fener district was home to most of the Greeks who remained in the city. The Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople moved to the area as well, and is still located there. As a result, Phanar is often used as shorthand for the Ecumenical Patriarchate just as Vatican is used for the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Greek inhabitants of Fener were called Phanariotes. Wealthy Phanariotes were appointed voivodes of Wallachia and Moldavia by the Ottoman Empire between 1711 and 1821.
The name Fener comes from Greek "Fanari" and Turkish "Fener" meaning lantern. During the city's Byzantine period, there was within the district a columnar monument, topped with a lantern.