Büyükada (Turkish, meaning “Big Island”) is the largest island among the Princes’ Islands in the Marmara Sea. It covers an area of 5.4 km², and the distance of the island to the nearest Maltepe shore is 2.3 km. As of 2000, it has a population of approximately 7,335 including Sedef Island.
Büyükada was used as an exile destination and as a monastery region during the Byzantine Christian period. The island was also used to exile the close relatives of kings and statesmen who might have threatened their political power. Furthermore, the island was also used as a prision for those who opposed the ones in power. One of the oldest structures on the island was a convent used for the exile of the Byzantine empress and for clergymen who lived in seclusion; however, this structure has not made it to the present day.. Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting exiles to the convent, named Kadınlar Manastırı, was the Byzantine empresses, Irene, who had the monastery built.