Istanbul Information

 

About Istanbul , TURKEY

 

Bosphorus Strait

The Bosphorus is the world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea , and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea ). Separating Rumelia (European side) from Anatolia (Asian Turkey), the Bosphorus is an important transport connection, although the waters can be hazardous and difficult to navigate. Graceful mansions line parts of the Bosphorus and Ortaköy Square is a great place to relax near the waterfront at one of the many outdoor cafes. The Maiden’s Tower was originally constructed in the 5th century BC in the middle of the Bosphorus and is a point of interest with a café and restaurant. There are numerous tours up and down the Bosphorus, some at dusk and include dinner. For those on a tighter budget, public ferries travel between the East and West frequently and for less than one euro.


Rumeli Fortress

The Rumeli Fortress (Rumelihisari) is located on the European side of the Bosphorus. The fortress was built in 1452 to better control the comings and goings in the narrowest point of the strait which spans 660 metres. As ships were obliged to come close to the shore to avoid strong currents, it was the perfect vantage point for this sort of control. Just one year later the fortress was supplanted in importance by two others further up the Bosphorus (at the entrance to the Black Sea ).


Dolmabahce Palace

The Dolmabahçe Palace (Turkish: Dolmabahçe Sarayý) is on the European side of the Bosphorus, and was the main administrative centre of the Ottoman Empire from 1853 to 1922, (with the exception of a twenty-year interval). This European-style palace was the first of its kind and was built by Sultan Abdülmecid in the mid 1800s. The Sultans formerly lived in the Topkapi Palace and moved to this more modern and better equipped structure upon its completion. Covering an area of 45,000 m2 the palace has 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 baths (hamam) and 68 toilets. The palace is composed of three parts; the men’s quarters, Mabeyn-i Hümâyûn, the ceremony halls Muayede Salonu and the Harem-i Hümâyûn quarters for the family members.


Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerleyi Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdülaziz (1830–1876) and built between 1861 and 1865 as a summer residence and a place to entertain visiting heads of state. Empress Eugénie of France visited Beylerbeyi on her way to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and had her face slapped by the sultan's mother for daring to enter the palace on the arm of Abdülaziz. (Despite her initial reception, Empress Eugénie of France was so delighted by the elegance of the palace that she had a copy of the window in the guest room made for her bedroom in Tuileries Palace, in Paris.) Other regal visitors to the palace included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.


Suleymaniye Mosque

The stunning silhouettes of Faith & Suleymaniye mosques leave an indelible impression on visitors to Istanbul , with their graceful domes and slender minarets sprouting from the edifice like delicate stalks of asparagus. The Fatih Mosque is the sanctuary of the imperial complex built by Mehmed II to commemorate his conquest of Constantinople in 1453. A new mosque was built in its place after an earthquake in 1767. The mosque was actually a beehive of social activity which incorporated many other public spaces including a school, library, hospital, a sort of motel for merchants, a hamam (Turkish bath) and a cemetery: some of which are functioning to this day. Incorporated in the new mosque are Baroque decorations typical of XVIII century Ottoman mosques. On Wednesdays just outside of the Fatih mosque there is a busy street market worth visiting.


Sultanahmet - Istanbul

Sultanahmet: Many places of tourist interest are concentrated in Sultanahmet, in heart of the Imperial Centre of the Ottoman Empire. The most important places in this area, all of which are described in detail in the “Places of Interest” section, are Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofia, Sultan Ahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), the Hippodrome, Kapali Carsi (Covered Market), Yerebatan Sarnici and the Museum of Islamic Art.


Blue Mosque

In its interior, blue XVII century Iznik tiles give the Blue Mosque its name. They decorate nearly every corner of this stunning mosque. Large chandeliers hang from the domed ceilings and this and the 260 windows allow natural light to illuminate the interior. The large dome is 23.5 metres (77 feet) in diameter and 43 metres (104 feet) high. On the floor are beautiful carpets which make soft prayer mats for the typical prayer position: kneeling toward Mecca with the worshipper’s forehead to the ground. When you visit the Blue Mosque, remember that it is closed for 1-1.5 hours five times a day during prayer time: the first is early in the morning, second at noon time, third in afternoon, fourth in evening and last, before going to bed
 

Spice Bazaar

Allow your senses be invaded by the Egyptian or Spice Bazaar, an essential visit, despite being much smaller and perhaps existing in the shadow of the massive Grand Bazaar. This colourful and aromatic market offers nearly every spice imaginable and has done so since before the XVII century structure was built. Not exclusively dedicated to spices: sweets, nuts, teas and other delights can be found here. This is the perfect place to buy apple tea to go with the tea set you bought at the Grand Bazaar! One thing to look out for is the Lokum, or Turkish Delight, irresistibly soft, these chewy sweets are an Istanbul original. Try honey flavoured, pistachio, rosewater or lemon. Head towards the centre of the building for lower prices
 

Underground Cistern

You may remember James Bond weaving through columns in a boat in watery underground churchlike atmosphere in the movie “From Russia with Love”. This was the Underground Basilica Cistern, also known as the " Sunken Palace " or "Yerebatan sarayi" in Turkish. It was built by order of Roman emperor Justinian in 532 AD to be the main water supply of the Byzantine Palace
 

Taksim

Beyoğlu and Taksim: Beyoglu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture, from a century before. Europe’s second oldest subway, Tunel was built by the French in 1875, must be also one of the shortest – offering a one-stop ride to start of Taksim. Near to Tunel is the Galata district, whose Galata Tower became a famous symbols of Istanbul, and the top of which offers a tremendous 180 degree view of the city.
 

Hagia Irene

Located inside the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, the Hagia Irene (Turkish: Aya Ýrini) is a museum and a former Byzantine style Eastern Orthodox church in the outer courtyard of Topkapý Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. The building is believed to stand on the site of a pre-Christian temple and the first church built in Constantinople. Commissioned in the 4th century by Constantine I, it burned down shortly after and was restored in the mid VI century and once again after an earthquake in the VIII century. It was enlarged in the XI and XII centuries. The atrium is an original feature of the edifice, and the interior is decorated with mosaics and frescoes. Although it is open as a museum every day aside from Monday, visitors need special permission for admission. There are classical music performances here on occasion because of the buildings excellent acoustics.
 

Chora Church

Located in the Edirnekapi area of Istanbul, the Chora Church, Chora Mosque or Chora Museum (Kariye Müzesi / Kariye Camii / Kariye Kilisesi in Turkish) was originally built as a church and displays some of the finest examples of Turkish Byzantine mosaics and frescoes in its interior.
Hagia Sophia ( St. Sophia )


Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and to have "changed the history of architecture." It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 A.D. on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site (the previous two had both been destroyed by riots). It was designed by two architects, Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The Church contained a large collection of holy relics and featured, among other things, a 15m (49 foot) silver iconostasis. It was the patriarchal church of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the religious focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years. It was the church in which Cardinal Humbert marched up to the altar and excommunicated Cerularius, marking the official start of the Great Schism.
 

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı), usually spelled "Topkapi" in English) is a palace in Istanbul, Turkey, which was the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years of their 600-year reign,from 1465 to 1853.

The palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments and is a major tourist attraction today, containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the prophet Muhammed's cloak and sword.Topkapı Palace is among those monuments belonging to the "Historic Areas of Istanbul", which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described in Criterion iv as "the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces of the Ottoman period."
 

Golden Horn

Golden Horn: This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul. One of the best natural harbours in the world, it was once the centre for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests. Today, attractive parks and promenades line the shores, a picturesque scene especially as the sun goes down over the water. At Fener and Balat, neighbourhoods midway up the Golden Horn, there are entire streets filled with old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times.
 

Sile


A pleasant, small holiday town, Şile lies 50km from Üsküdar on the Black Sea coast and some people even live there and commute into Istanbul. The white sandy beaches are easily accessible from the main highway, lying on the west, as well as a series of small beaches at the east end. The town itself if perched on a clifftop over looking the bay tiny island. There is an interesting French-built black-and-white striped lighthouse, and 14th century Genoese castle on the nearby island. Apart from its popular beaches, the town is also famous for its craft; Sile bezi, a white muslin fabric a little like cheesecloth, which the local women embroider and sell their products on the street, as well as all over Turkey.
    

Istanbul Guide


    Bazaars in Istanbul

    Bazaars in Istanbul


    The Grand Bazaar, The oldest Bazaar of Istanbul, contains over 4000 shops in an area of 30,700 spuare meter.
    Beyazit - Suleymaniye - Laleli - Sehzadebası

    Beyazit - Suleymaniye - Laleli - Sehzadebası

      Beyazıt Square was also used as a square in the Byzantine Era ( Forum Tauri).  When Fatih conquered Istanbul, he built the first palace in the area where the Istanbul University is located.
    Beyoglu

    Beyoglu

     

    The old name Beyoğlu was Pera meaning the opposite shore.
    Cankurtaran - Kucukayasofya - Kumkapi

   Cankurtaran - Kucukayasofya - Kumkapi

    Küçükayasofya (Little Hagia Sophia)  Mosque in Cankurtaran was an Orthodox church built during the reign of Justinianus I.
    Eminönü - Sirkeci

    Eminönü - Sirkeci

     

     The New Mosque in Eminönü bears the characteristics of 17th century Ottoman architecture.
    Fatih - Edirnekapi - Zeyrek

    Fatih - Edirnekapi - Zeyrek

     

    In this district which grew after the conquest of Istanbul Churches and mosques that were formerly churches are impressive works.
    Islands

    Islands

     

    Adalar ( the Islands )  are a distrets of Istanbul which includes nine islands; Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, Kınalıada, Sedefadası, Sivriada, Yassıada, Kaşlık Adası and Tavşan Adası.

     

     
    Istanubl Travel Guide - Citadels ( Castles ) in Istanbul

    Citadels ( Castles ) in Istanbul

     

    The Lenght of the historicla walls rurounding Istanbul is 22 kilometters.
    Istanubl Travel Guide - Museums in Istanbul

    Museums in Istanbul

     

    This webpage is about the Museums in Istanbul that you can help you to find many museum to visit.
    Istanubl Travel Guide - Palaces in Istanbul

    Palaces in Istanbul

     

    This webpage is about the Palaces in Istanbul that you can help you to find many museum to visit.
    Istanubl Travel Guide - Sultanahmet Square

    Sultanahmet Square - Istanbul Old City

     

    The Hippodrom, known as the Atmeydanı (horse arena) during the Ottoman era.
    Taksim

    Taksim

     

    Taksim district and square was named this because it was the centre from where Galata and Beyoglus water was distributed.
    The Bosphorus

    The Bosphorus

     

    The lenght of the Bosphorus which separates the continents of Asia and Europe, is thirty kilometers.
    The Golden Horn ( Haliç)

    The Golden Horn ( Haliç)

     

    The Golden Horn separating the European dise of Istanbul like horn shape, is a kind of natural port.
    Tunnel

    Tunnel

     

    The entrance to the underground railway connecting Beyoglu to Galata is in this district.

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