Istanbul sightseeing

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Istambul panorama from Gala Tower
Istambul panorama from Gala Tower
Country: Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
Coordinates: 41° 0′ 49″ N
28° 57′ 18″ E
Rating: 5 star rating.png
Istanbul on the map of Turkey
Istanbul and its suburb.

Istanbul (previously called Byzantium and Constantinople) is the largest city in Turkey, it is the main port and trade and economic center, the capital of all empires, on the territory it was located.

I had an opportunity to visit all the main sightseeing during five day trip. And you can find all information what to visit in Istanbul in the article. I had not enough time to visited museums and I did not visit the Asian part of the city, but there are only few locations to visit. The weather was quite good in May, most of the days in Istanbul were sunny, but sometimes there was a cold, strong wind with rain, but keep in mind that it is a good time of year to come to this city.

If you have any kind of questions regarding the topic, please feel free to post them and your comments and discussion page.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace - the main palace of the Ottoman Empire until the middle of the XIX century. Located in the historical center of Istanbul, on Saraiburnu Cape,at the confluence of the Bosporus and the Golden Horn in the Sea of Marmara.

In general, all Ottoman sultans lived and ruled at this palace. Inside of the palace is quite beautiful architecture with its own special oriental design. But the queue to buy tickets is quite big, It takes about an hour to get tickets. At the same time inside of the palace there was also a long queue to look artifacts (swords, utensils, etc.) - but I think I did not worth it as there are nothing special to look. Next to the palace there is a park with its beautiful trees, fountains, waterfalls, flowers where you can walk. On the coast of the park there is a beautiful panorama of the Bosphorus.

Building of the Topkapi Palace was begun in 1460 by the order of Sultan Fatih after the conquest of Constantinople. The location for construction was chosen next to the Hagia Sophia mosque. Construction was completed in 1478, afterwards the palace was used as the administrative, educational and artistic center of the Ottoman Empire for the next four centuries. Topkapi Palace is surrounded by Gulhane Park, hiding it from urban structures. The total area of the Topkapi Palace is small, only 30 hectares. Four Topkapi courtyards, protected by walls, were successively located on this territory. In the middle of the 19th century, the Sultans dynasty moved to the more modern Dolmabahce Palace, the old Topkapi Palace loses its functions on April 3, 1924 and becomes the first museum of the Republic of Turkey. The collection of 300,000 items of the museum has unique cultural values, items made of porcelain, silver and gold, portraits, weapons, decorations and gifts, as well as the imperial treasury.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal Orthodox cathedral, later became a mosque, now it is a museum, world-famous monument of Byzantine architecture, a symbol of the "golden age" of Byzantium. The official name of the monument today is the Hagia Sophia Museum.

This is probably one of the main attractions of the city. Very beautiful temple, majestic. It is connected with the story of the Byzantine Empire, and then the Ottoman Empire. Inside are work of mosaics and drawings of the Orthodox religion. Authorites of Ottoman Empire did not destroy part of christian culture. And they say that after the conquest of Constantinople, the sultans established a dialogue with local priests so that the surviving population did not rebel. In other words - the temple is beautiful, it is worth to visit it to admire the appearance and interior decoration.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Sultanahmet Mosque is the first mosque in Istanbul. It represents outstanding example of Islamic and world architecture. The mosque is located on the shore of the Sea of Marmara, in the historical center of Istanbul in the Sultanahmet district, opposite the Aya-Sofia Museum. The mosque is one of the symbols of the city and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in the historic center of Istanbul.

The history of Sultan Ahmed Mosque began in 1609 due to the confluence of not the most favorable circumstances. A series of defeats in major wars and unrest in the state led to the undermining of Turkey’s international authority. In addition, over the past 40 years, no ruler built such buildings in the city. In order to appease Allah and perpetuate his name, Ahmed ordered the construction of a grandiose structure. It was serious task to choose a location where the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. And the mosque was built opposite to the Hagia Sophia. First, to surpass the magnificence of the temple. Secondly, due to the proximity to Topkapi. This place had a symbolic meaning. The complex, built on the ruins of the Hippodrome and the Imperial Palace, towers over the city from the south, recalling the greatness of Turkey.

Süleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque is the second mosque by its significance after Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul. About 5,000 believers can be inside of it. The mosque is located in the old part of the city, in the area of Vefa. Everyone is welcome to go inside of the mosque even you belong to other religion. When you inside of the mosque you can walk on a soft carpet without shoes and admire its the decoration and architecture.

The Suleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii) was built in the middle of the 16th century by order of the Turkish Sultan Suleiman I the Great (people called also "canonie" - "legislator"). Famous architect of Istanbul - Mimarbashi Sinan was chosen to plan the construction of the Mosque. The Mosque architectural complex admires imagination by its lines and sizes, but also by the use of special technologies that have allowed to survive 89 earthquakes for 450 years without any consequences. It has really never destroyed or collapsed during the devastating earthquakes, thanks to the foundation filled with water. In 1985, the building was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Nowadays the Mosque is used as religious building.

Turkish bath

Istanbul islands

Gala Tower

Bosphorus Tour