The Golden Horn geographically separates the historic center of Istanbul from the rest of the city, and forms a natural, sheltered harbor that has historically protected Greek,Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other maritime trade ships for thousands of years. While the reference to a "horn" is understood to refer to the inlet's general shape, the significance of the designation "golden" is more obscure, with historians believing it to refer to either the riches brought into the city through the bustling historic harbor located along its shores, or to romantic artistic interpretations of the rich yellow light blazing upon the estuary's waters as the sun sets over the city. Its Greek and English names mean the same, while its Turkish name, Haliç, simply means "estuary", and is derived from the Arabic word Khaleej meaning ''gulf''.
There are many myths about Golden Horn told from generations to generations. One of the most famous is about Keroessa, heroine of the foundational myth of Byzantium. According to the historian Hesychius of Miletus, as Io, changed into a heifer and being chased by a gadfly on behalf of the jealous Hera, was passing through Thrace, she gave birth to a girl, Keroessa, on the banks of the Golden Horn, by the altar of the nymph Semestra. Keroessa was reared by Semestra and grew up surpassing other local maidens in beauty. She had intercourse with Poseidon and in due course gave birth to a son, whom she named Byzas. He became the founder of Byzantium and named the Golden Horn after his mother.
According to one of the 14th century excursionists Ibn Battuta, Golden Horn was like a forest of boats, from galleons to small fishing boats, It was vast and was blocking the view and also people live in European side called people live in Asia side ‘blind people’ as they always ignored the importance of the Golden Horn.