you can visit near by our hotel
The most important reason why Istanbul has developed as a world metropolis is
the geopolitical location of the city.stanbul located where the 48.north
latitude and 28.east longitude intersect,is the only city in the world
which is established
on two continents.
The city consists of three parts in general;On the Europen side.the Historical
Peninsula to the south of the Golden Horn and the Galata District to the north,and
the New City on the Asian side.
The Europen side of the city is a trade and bısiness center,whereas the Asian
side is more of a residential area.Istanbul is established on the both sides
of the Bosphorus,which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara,and separates
Asia and Europe.The 7 km.long narrow inlet,named as the Golden Horn,divides the
Europen side of the city into two.Because of its location between Asia and Europe,the
city always had a great geopolitical importance.
Today,Istanbul is still a political and commercial center for the Balkan and
Middle Eastern Countries and the Turkic Republics of Central Asia.
The settlement,known as Byzantium after its founder,took the name Constantinople,the
city of Emperor Constantine,during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine
It was the known as Istanbul after the conquest of the Ottomans,and became one
of the biggest and most crowded city of Europe.
The city is spred over an area of 7,500 km2,long and 50km.wide.
Although its population is not occurately known,it is estimated 12 to 15 million.
Through the city's heart runs the sea channel called the Bosphorus which separates
Europe and Asia. It reaches north to The Black Sea and south to the Marmara Sea,
Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past and present, splendor and simple
beauty, modern hotels, wooden mansions, marble palaces, rustic stone fortresses,
elegant compounds and small fishing villages.
BLUE MOSQUE (SULTAN AHMET MOSQUE)
Sultan ahmet Mosque,which was constructed by the 14th Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I,who
ruled between the years of 1603-1617,is the greatest and most splendid mosque
of Istanbul.The constuction of mosque was started in 1609 by architect Mehmet
Agha,who was a student odf Architect Sinan and who undertook the architectural
works of the structure and the constrution was completed in 1616.The premises
consisted of a madrasah,a hospital,an Arasta Bazaar,a school,a mausoleum,a
caravansary and a public fountain together with the mosque.The hospital and
the caravansary were damaged in 19th century.
Sultan Ahmet Mosque is the last impressive structure of Ottoman religious architecture.Although
many other mosques were built after this one,none of them reached to the dimension
and to the elegance of the decorations of Sultan Ahmet Mosque.Located in Sultanahmet
HIPPODROME (The Sultan Ahmet Square)
Hippodrome was built by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 A.D. The hippodrome
was a stadium which served as a meeting place for the politicians, for chariot
races, wrestling, boxing, and other athletic activities that took place. The
arena was over 400 meters long and 120 meters wide, In the fourth century the
spectator capacity was increased to 100,000,
They organized the games in the hippodrome. Green took their seat to the left,
the Blues to the right of the emperor's box. Women were not admitted. After the
emperor had appeared in his box and greeted his people, the four gates beneath
his box opened and from each raced a chariot drawn by four horses into the arena.
The game lasted the whole day. The chariot track was covered with white sand
which was brought from Egypt. The winner was awarded a prize which consisted
of a crown made of flowers, some presents, bonuses and money,
Topkapi Palace which was built by Mehmet The Conqueror between the
years 1462 and 1478 was constructed at Seraglio Point surrounded by the Sea of
Marmara, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus . It is located on the first hill
of old city. Topkapi Palace is one of the finest examples of the Ottoman civil
architecture in existence. After harems were added to it Suleyman moved with
all his harem to the new palace. Topkapi Palace, the greatest residence of The
Ottoman Dynasty, is one of the best museums in the world. This vast and fascinating
complex served as Imperial residence for the Ottoman Empire for more than four
Topkapi Palace consisted of three courts and a large terrace. The
first court was open to the public but the second court requiresd special permission
to enter. The third court was reserved for servants, court officials and students,
This court had a mint. the Ministry of Finances, a bakery and a hospital.
second gate, which looked like a fortress with two towers opened into the second
court. The Kitchens were located to the right and consisted of ten rooms with
three large domes. In each room cooking was done for different ranks-for the
sultan, for his mother and his wives. A head cook, ten chefs and 480 cooks worked
each day cooking for 5000- 7000 people and during holiday time for 10000- 12000
people. Today Chinese, Japanese, Turkish and European porcelain are exhibited
in these former kitchens. This is the world's third largest collection of porcelain
after Peking and Dresden.
The complex of the harem has 400 rooms,10 baths,
2 mosques, a hospital and a prison. The most influential person in the harem
after the sultan was the sultan's mother. The third most important person in
the harem was the Chief Black Eunuch.
In addition, the third court included
schools, a summer residence and bath, government buildings and a mosque.
the first room one can see the armor of Mustafa III, decorated with gems, the
ivory throne of Murat IV, a golden music box in the shape of an elephant, pearl
trimmed Koran holders, golden water pipes, tobacco boxes, shields, swords, helmets,
daggers pistols, and vases of jade.
In the second room is the canopy throne
decorated with mother of pearl, emeralds and rubies belonging to Ahmet I, the
golden cradle of the princes, precious stones, and the Topkapi dagger with emeralds
and 22 uncut emeralds.
The third room contains the 86 carat diamond surrounded
by 49 brilliants, two golden candle holders, and an Indian throne trimmed with
In the former government building, built by Mehmet II, the
holy relics brought from Egypt by Sultan Selim are kept. The prophet's mantle,
Muhammad's sword, his bamboo bow, his letter to the patriarch of Egypt, one of
his teeth, a hair from his beard, and his footprint in the marble of Mecca can
The terrace is decorated with several pavilions, the most beautiful
being the Bagdat Pavilion which was built to commemorate the conquest of Bagdat
in 1638. Other pavillions include The Revan Pavilion which was built in 1631,
The Mecidiye Pavilion built in the 18th century and the Sofa Pavilion built in
The structure was known in Byzantium as the
basilica Cistern, Justinian was the founder of the largest underground cistern,
built after the Nika Revolt in 532.The number of the inhabitants of Constantinople
increased and bring a problem of water supply. Basilica Cistern was used to store
water for the Great Palace among the other buildings on the Firth Hill. During
the Justinian time, After the Conquest the water in the Basilica Cistern were
used for the garden of Topkapi Palace. It is 140 meters long and 70 meters wide.
The twelve rows of 28 columns each, 336 altogether, capacity of having eight
thousand cubic miters water. Basilica Cistern was restored in 1980.
Excavations which began in 1935 by Prof. Baxter. The fragments of the
mosaic pavements which we will see were once part of the Great palace.
mosaics belonging to the palace are from the fourth and fifth century A.D. The
mosaics are extremely tactile in effect, among them are the figures of a lion
devouring a lizard, a stag entwined with a snake, a woman giving breast to a
child, the combat of a spear bearing hunter and tiger, a child feeding a donkey,
a young girl carrying an amphora, a camel with children mounted on its back,
and a monkey pacing a banana from the tree.
TURKISH AND ISLAMIC ART MUSEUM
Palace of Ibrahim Pasa, the grandest private residence ever built in the Ottoman
Empire was completed in 1524.
Ibrahim was appointed grand Vezir and the following
year he married Suleyman's sister, Hatice.
Unlike many palaces of the period,
it was constricted in stone. The palace was restored 1983.
Considered to be
one of the most important examples of Ottoman civil architecture, it is now a
museum of Turkish and Islamic art, exhibiting a collection of 40.000 objects
including fine oriental rugs, Seljuk and Ottoman woodcarvings, Turkish folk life
clothing, rug and kilim looms, showing the weaving and dying techniques. The
museum has a conference room and a Turkish coffee house serving coffee or tea.
This was the first Turkish mosque built after
the conquest. The main building
was completed in seven years (1463-1470).
The architect Atic Sinan built
the largest kulliye in Ottoman Art History. The kulliye consisted of medreses,
Kervansaray, hamam, a hospital, baths, a kitchen
for the poor, a library, and a Koranic school. The Kulliye has been preserved
in its original form. The original mosque was destroyed in the great earthquake
of 22 May 1766. Mustafa II undertook its reconstruction and the present building
was completed in 1771.
The mosque has a very large central dome 26 meters
in diameter. The painted decoration is fussy in detail and dull in color. The
mihrab is from the original building.
In the graveyard, behind the mosque, are the tombs of Sultan Mehmet and his wife
The Suleymaniye is one of the finest
and most magnificent imperial mosque complexes in the city. Suleymaniye Mosque
crowns the third hill of the old city and adds
a great deal to the unrivalled beauty of the city's skyline. Suleyman was the
tenth sultan of the Ottoman dynasty after thirty years of rule, Suleyman The
Magnificent decided to have a mosque built and Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman
architects, was commissioned.
Sınan was born ın Kayserı ın 1489. After his
schooling in Istanbul he served in the army, He was promoted to the position
of the head architect by Suleymaniye
in 1539. Until his death in 1588 he built 334 edifices. among them were 132 mosques,
26 libraries, 17 hospitals, 33 palaces, 7 aqueducts and many tombs and fountains.
construction of the Suleymaniye began in 1550 and the mosque was completed in
1557.The generous sultan gave the honor of opening the Suleymaniye to his
architect Sinan, the creator of the finest mosque in Istanbul.
stands in the center of the courtyard surrounded on three sides by a wall with
grilled windows. There are 24 marble and granite columns which carry
the weight of 28 domes. In the four corners of this courtyard there are four
minarets rising with ten balconies. The interior is approximately 58.5 by 57.5
meters.The dome with height of 47 meters and diameter of 26.5 meters, joined
to the central dome in the east and the west where two semi domes are supported
by smaller domes. It can be said that Sinan rarely succeeded with the interior
of his west walls. In almost every case there is a tendency to squeeze the portal.
suprises visitors with its solid architecture and modest decorations with the
exception of magnificent stainglass windows, made by master Ibrahim.
Fine 16th century Iznik tiles decorate the mihrap area of the mosque.
tombs of Suleyman the Magnificent and his wife Roxalena are in the cemetery of
the mosque. All these parts of the Suleymaniye mosque are surrounded by a
wall with a number of grated windows,
Hagia Sophia is the most renowned Byzantine cathedral and the best known Christian
church in Istanbul. The church of the Divine Wisdom, the first church of Hagia
Sophia was planned by Constantıne the Great, but it was built by his son and
heir, Constantius . For almost a thousand years Hagia Sophia served as the
cathedral of Constantinople of the Byzantine Empire.The name, Hagia Sophia,
means sacred wisdom.
The first church, Hagia Sophia, was built between the years 337-361 A.D. Construction
was begun during the reign of Constantius, son and successor of Constantine The
Great. The church was destroyed by a fire on 20 June in the year A.D. 404.
The second church of Hagia Sophia was rebuilt by Emperor Theodosius. It was completed
in the year A.D. 415. The second church was burnt down during the Nika revolt
in the year A.D. 532.
The third church of Hagia Sophia was rebuilt between the years 532 and 537 by
the Emperor Justinian . An earthquake damaged the structure in A.D. 558. It was
rebuilt by the young Isidoros.
Hagia Sophia has been restored several times during the Byzantine and Ottoman
period. On the Turkish Conquest of Istanbul. Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror entered
the city on 29 May 1453. The Conqueror lead the first Friday prayers and ordered
it be converted into a mosque. Four minarets of the building were placed at different
times after the Conquest. The southeastern minaret was added during the reign
of Sultan Mehmet II,the northeast minaret by Beyazit II and the two minarets
were added by Murat III. The major restoration to the building was done during
Sultan Abdulmecit's reign in 1847, by a Swiss architect Gaspar Fossatio. Mehmet
the Conquerer added the mihrab and Suleyman the Magnificent donated the two gigantic
candles on each side of the mihrab. The building was used as a mosque until 1934.
For almost five hundred years after the Turkish Conquest it served as the imperial
mosque of Istanbul. Hagia Sophia served as a mosque during the early years of
the Turkish Republic, then declared a national monument and converted into a
museum by the order of Atatuk on 24 October 1934.
The structure was known in Byzantium as the basilica Cistern, Justinian was the
founder of the largest underground cistern, built after the Nika Revolt in 532.The
number of the inhabitants of Constantinople increased and bring a problem of
water supply. Basilica Cistern was used to store water for the Great Palace among
the other buildings on the Firth Hill. During the Justinian time, After the Conquest
the water in the Basilica Cistern were used for the garden of Topkapi Palace.
It is 140 meters long and 70 meters wide. The twelve rows of 28 columns each,
336 altogether, capacity of having eight thousand cubic miters water. Basilica
Cistern was restored in 1980.
Excavations which began in 1935 by Prof. Baxter. The fragments of the mosaic
pavements which we will see were once part of the Great palace.
The mosaics belonging to the palace are from the fourth and fifth century A.D.
The mosaics are extremely tactile in effect, among them are the figures of a
lion devouring a lizard, a stag entwined with a snake, a woman giving breast
to a child, the combat of a spear bearing hunter and tiger, a child feeding a
donkey, a young girl carrying an amphora, a camel with children mounted on its
back, and a monkey pacing a banana from the tree.
TURKISH AND ISLAMIC ART MUSEUM
The Palace of Ibrahim Pasa, the grandest private residence ever built in the
Ottoman Empire was completed in 1524.
Ibrahim was appointed grand Vezir and the following year he married Suleyman's
Unlike many palaces of the period, it was constricted in stone. The palace was
Considered to be one of the most important examples of Ottoman civil architecture,
it is now a museum of Turkish and Islamic art, exhibiting a collection of 40.000
objects including fine oriental rugs, Seljuk and Ottoman woodcarvings, Turkish
folk life clothing, rug and kilim looms, showing the weaving and dying techniques.
The museum has a conference room and a Turkish coffee house serving coffee or
The Archrological Museum, the jewel of the city with antiquities collected from
all over the country and stored in one building, was constructed between the
years 1891-1908 by the architect, Valaury. It is one of the most important arceological
museums in the world and it was Turkey's first museum,. Before its opening all
valuble antiquities were brought to Istanbul and exhibited in the church of Hagia
The collection consists of archeological pieces from the period 2500B.C. to 500A.D.
On display are Greek, Roman and Byzantine architecture and sculpture, earthware,
bronz and glassware. coins and medaillions. The most valubable object of the
collection is The Alexander Sarcophagus which originates from the 4th century
Alexander Sarcophagus Discovered at Sidon by Hamdi Bey in 1887. The sides of
Sarcophagus are decorated with interesting almost round relief showing Alexander
in a lion hunting. The battle scene with the Macedonians are sculptured in a
Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women
Mourners grieved for their loved ones in an interesting fashion.Professional
mourners were hired and these eighteen women can be seen on the sides of the
Sarcophagus .You will notice the figure of a child which gives additional importance
to the deceased.
This amazing monument is decorated with reliefs on all four side. Greco Persian
wars are represented. Alexander is shown with a lion's pelt over his head, mounted.
On the other side there is a scene of a lion with a stag in combat and a hunting
scene on the other. This sarcophagus is also in the form of a Greek temple dating
from the last quarter of the fourth century B.C.
During the Roman period in groups of reliefs showing gods of mythology.
The Lykian Sarcophagus
Lykia was located in soutwest Anatolia. It shows reliefs of two carved sphinxes
and a lion hunt is shown .
The Tabrit Sarcophagus
Tabrit, King of Phoenikia died after the conquest of Egypt. Tabrit's corpse was
mummified and laid into the coffin.
The Church of the Holy Savior of Chora, called in Turkish, Kariye Camii, is,
after Hagia Sophia, the most interesting Byzantine church in the city. Not so
much for the building itself, pretty as it is, but because of the superb series
of mosaics and frescoes which it preserves and which have been magnificently
restored and cleaned by the Byzantine Institute of America. The name of the church,"in
Chora" means "in the country" because the very ancient monastery to which it
was attached was outside the walls of the Constantinian; later when it was included
within the Theodosian walls, the name remained the Holy Savior of Chora.
The church of The Holy Savior in Chora (Kariye Camii) is the most important monument
of the Palaeologan age. Its unique iconographic programme, the quality and beauty
of the mosaics and wall paintings, make it one of the outstanding masterpieces
of Byzantine art.
The origin of the monument cannot be traced with certainty. The earliest reference
is found in the Synaxarion (Legendary) of 4 September by Symeon Metaphrastes,
according to which the relics of St. Babylas who was martyred in 298, were removed
from the Golden Horn to the northwest part of the City, at a place outside the
walls where there is a monastery called Chora.
An anonymous 9th century biographer assigns the foundation of the monastery to
St. Theodore, uncle of the Empress Theodora, whom Justinian had called to Constantinople
to help the Church in the struggle against the sect of the Theopaschites (536).
Theodore settled outside the walls at Chora, where there was a small church.
With the assistance of the Emperor and Empress, Theodore founded the monastery.
Destroyed by an earthquake in 557, it was rebuilt by Justinian, this time larger,
with a domed church revetted in marble, consecrated to the Holy Virgin. At the
same time were built three parecclesia, dedicated to St. Anthemius, the Forty
Martyrs of Sebaste and the Archangel Michael, and also a bath and a hospice,
i.e. a wholecomplex of buildings (Gedeon).
Tradition has it that St. Savvas (439-532) travelled from Palestine to Constantinople
and was given hospitality at the monastery in Chora. Thenceforth, monks from
Palestine were always welcome.
Nicephorus Gregoras, who lived at the monastery and wrote its history in the
14th century, records that it was founded by Justinian. On the other hand, the
historian Procopius remains silent on this point.
Be that as it may, it would appear that the origins of the monastery in Chora
can be traced back to the 3rd century, and this is why the site was considered
The name of Symeon, abbot of the monastery in Chora, appears among the participants
in the 8th Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (787), which restored the veneration
The Grand Bazaar, is probably the largest market of its kind in the world, It
was originally founded by Mehmet II in 1461.The bazaar was enlarged during
the reign of Suleyman I in 1701.A small city in itself.There are more than
3500 shops of various kinds, storehouses, workshops, stalls, hans, restaurants,
lunch counters, cafes and tea houses, mosques, mescid and fountains. There
are a total of 65 streets totaling 30.702 m², altogether employing more than
Members of the same trade set up their shops in the same area, still reflecting
in the names of the street's tassel makers, cobblers, purse makers, belt makers,
skullcap makers and so on. Today these divisions are less clear but they still
remain in principle.
The grid is centered on the Old Bedesten, one of the original structure surviving
from the time of Mehmet II. It was used to house the most precious wares, for
it can be securely locked and guarded at night. There is another building of
similar type known as the Sandal Bedesten, a lofty hall covered with twenty domes
supported on twelve great stone piers.
It was built in 1660 by the architect Kasim Aga for the mother of Sultan Murat
IV, Hatice Turhan Sultan. The Egyptian Bazaar is Istanbul's second covered bazaar.
It is L shaped in plan, a building that borders two sides of the park beside
Yeni Cami. The structure was restored in 1943. There are eighty eight vaulted
shops in all, along with a tiny mosque at the inner corner of the L.
The structure of the building is dressed stone with alternating brick courses,
fine examples of Ottoman Architecture.
Merchants selling various herbs and spices such as saffron, mustard, mint, thyme,
cinnamon, aniseed, garlic, Indian tea, honey, apple tea, henna, jujube, eucalyptus,
mahlep, cloves ,etc can be seen throught.