ist bogazi 

ISTANBUL - A TIMELESS CITY

 

Istanbul, with its long historical past and natural beauty, is a timeless city that offers abundant choices for its visitors. With numerous mosques, churches, synagogues, museums, cisterns, fountains, palaces, libraries, squares and buildings dating back to Roman, Byzantium and Ottoman eras Istanbul continues to become cradle of civilization where Asia meets Europe. It has a unique color, style and customs of its own because here prospered a unique concept of civilization, the concept of culture and the concept of tolerance. Istanbul is a city, which combines all these differences within her structure with all their glory.

 

SOME OF THE ATTRACTIONS IN ISTANBUL

 

Istanbul's museums and palaces

Istanbul is a city of palaces and museums. Topkapi Palace bears witness to 400 years of the 600 year old history of Ottoman Empire. Dolmabahce, Yildiz and Beylerbeyi Palaces are evidence of western influence. Stepping through the door of each structure is like entering a whole new world.

 

topkapi-palace-seen-from-haremTOPKAPI PALACE

Built in 1478 by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, who took the city in 1453. Located on top of a hill, the palace grew gradually by new pavilions and buildings added by various sultans. It served as the seat of Ottoman sultans for 380 years, until Sultan Abdulmecit relocated the centre of administration to the newly built Dolmabahce Palace. The palace, a city within a larger city, is composed of two parts: enderun and birun. Enderun was the private residence of the Sultan and his close associates, while the Birun housed the government, the administration and services related to the palace. With the holy Islamic relics displayed in a renovated pavilion, with its unmatched jewellery, weaponry, books, manuscript and garment collections it is the most visited museum of Istanbul.

 

 

 

 

HAGIA SOPHIA hagia sophia-ayasofya

Hagia Sophia is one of the most visited museums and most prominent monuments in the world in terms of art and history of architecture. It has also been called “the eighth wonder of the world” by East Roman Philon as far back as the 6th century. It was used as a church for 916 years and following the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. Afterwards it served as a mosque for 482 years. Under the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935.

 

 

 

 

 

 

sultanahmet-blue-mosque                                                                                  

SULTANAHMET (BLUE) MOSQUE

One of the most beautiful mosques of Istanbul and only mosque with six minarets. It was built during reign of Sultan Ahmet I early in the 17th century. Referred to as the Blue Mosque by foreign travellers due to color of the light reflected by the cobalt tiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMarcheological-museum

Located in Istanbul's Sultanahmet neighborhood, on the Osman Hamdi Bey slope connecting the Gülhane Park with the Topkapi Palace. There are three different museums under the same administration. Enlarged with a new building in 1991, museum now comprises the museum of the ancient orient, the tiled pavilion and the main building of the archaelogical museum. It houses various artifacts from civilizations that had left their traces in different periods of the history, is one of the 10 most important world-class museums designed and used as a museum building. Besides its spectacular collections, the architectural aspects of its buildings and its garden are of historical and natural importance.

 

 

                                                                                        

turkish-islamic-art-museum

 

THE MUSEUM OF TURKISH AND ISLAMIC ARTS

Located across the Hippodrome, the museum boasts an extensive collection of carpets and 15000 manuscripts dating back to 8th century, as well as numerous stone, ceramic, wooden, mineral objects revealing the lifestyle and production techniques of different periods. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASILICA CISTERN  (YEREBATAN SARNICI)basilica-cistern

It was built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century to provide water supply for Istanbul city. Its ceiling rests on 336 marble columns, each 9m high. Two medusa heads were used to form bases for two columns in a far corner of the cistern. Basilica cistern is devoted to the most magnificient period of the Eastern Roman Empire. Check the schedule to visit seasonal concerts and conferences, which take place inside the cistern throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some more attractions to see in Old Istanbul peninsula: Hagia Eirene at Gülhane Park, Islamic science and technology museum, Feriye Restaurant, The Mint (Istanbul city history museum), Sepetciler Mansion, Fountain of Ahmet III, Hammam of Haseki Sultan, Binbirdirek Cistern, The Mosaic Museum, Sphendone, Madrasah of Cafer Aga (applied Turkish handicrafts center), Kabasakal Madrasah, Fuat Pasha Complex, Firuzaga Mosque, Sogukcesme Street.

 

turkish-bath-hammamHAMMAMS (TURKISH BATHS) OF ISTANBUL

Istanbul is famous for its baths. There are nearly 237 hammams in Istanbul, of which 60 are still operational. Turkish hammams comprise of sections called the Camekan (dressing rooms), Iliklik (warm or cool section) and Harrare (hot section). The hot section (harrare) is washing area. In this section there are kurnas (fountains with basins) underneath them the göbek tasi (hot marble section) in the middle as well as the halvet.  Popular Hammams (Turkish baths) in Istanbul are:

Cagaoglu Hammam, Galatasaray Hammam, Haseki Hürrem Hammam, Cemberlitas Hammam, Süleymaniye Hammam, Örücüler Hammam, Havuzlu Hammam and Gedikpasha Hammam.

 

 

 

chora-museum

 

CHORA  (KARIYE)  MUSEUM

Famous for its late Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, Kariye is one of the most important and well preserved Byzantine sites in Istanbul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 miniaturk                                                                     

MINIATURK

The Miniaturk - Turkish miniature park is a gift by Istanbul Municipality to the city on the 550th anniversary of the Ottoman conquest. It features the famous monuments scattered across the country, built by various civilisations. Miniaturk is a large complex containing a restaurant, a bookstore, library, movie theater and a exhibition hall. There are special activities for children, such as Express train and playground featuring the Trojan Horse, the Ottoman fort and galley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FENER GREEK PATRIARCHATEgreek-patriarchate

Byzantium was the center of Orthodox church since the 6th century. Since 1602 it has been located at the Haghios Yeoryios Monastery. The Patriarchate shares courtyard with the sacred Haghios Harambalos Spring, a library and the patriarchate church. The relics sacred to the Orthodox faith, such as the stone column to which Jesus was bound while he was whipped, relics of the saints Euphemia and the ceremonial cross are here. 

 

 

 

 

 

eyup-sultan-tombEYÜP SULTAN MOSQUE

Halid bin Zeyd, called Eyüp Sultan by the public, was the standard bearer of the Prophet Mohammad's campaigns and his close friend, died during the siege of Constantinople. His tomb was discovered by Sultan Mehmed's teacher Aksemsettin. Whole Eyüp area is considered sacred, most valuable artistic works were brought here, making the place a museum of the tile-makers and calligraphers art. Eyüp is more than just a place of pilgrimage. Mehmet the Conqueror built a large tomb, a mosque and a soupe kitchen here. In 1458 the walls of the tomb were covered with tiles dating from several different periods. For hundreds of years, those seeking miracles to solve their problems made pilgrimages to the wishing Windows that open on to the inner courtyard. These windows were opened in 17th century by Ahmet I. A definitely must see location in Istanbul.

 

 

 

spice bazaar

 

SPICE BAZAAR

Spice Bazaar or Egyptian Bazaar acquired its name due to the arrival of goods via Egypt. Western travellers referred to it as Spice Bazaar because spices from Arab lands, India and Far East were brought here by boats. Located to the north-west of Valide Sultan Mosque, bazaar contains 100 shops. It is lively with rich aromas and colours at all times of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

grand bazaar

 

GRAND (COVERED) BAZAAR

Renowned for centuries for its vibrancy and legendary atmosphere, grand bazaar is the most picturesque and enchanting historical bazaar in Istanbul and a great market place, which visitors flock to see. Founded by Mehmet the Conqueror this magnificient market complex sprawling on 30.000m2, with more than 60 streets around 4400 shops and 2000 craftsmen ateliers connected by high vaults has expanded around the old jewellery market in history. Spending half a day here will feel like a travel in time extending back a few centuries.