Konya Turist Rehberi | Rehber İbrahim Mayda | Must See Places / İstanbul
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Must See Places / İstanbul


Located in the center of the Old World, Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities famous for its historical monuments and magnificent scenic beauties. It has been the capital of three great empires; the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, and for more than 1,600 years over 120 emperors and sultans ruled the world from here. No other city in the world can claim such a distinction.

Istanbul is the only city in the world which spreads over two continents: Asia and Europe, and the two continents are separated from each other by a narrow strait – the Bosphorus. Today, the continents are connected to each other by two impressive bridges.
Surrounded by 5th century Roman city walls, Istanbul is adorned by the masterpieces of Byzantium and Turkish art. The city presents an exquisite, majestic and serene silhouette from all directions.

The historic city of Istanbul is situated on a peninsula flanked on three sides by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn estuary, which is a very secure natural harbor, has always played a significant role in the development of the city. The most famous places to visit are as listed below

Sultan Ahmet Square, or the Hippodrom, has been the most important and dynamic part of the city in all ages. In Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times, the Hippodrome served as the city’s main meeting, entertainment and sports center. It was divided into two by a low wall around which the chariots raced. On this wall stood monuments brought here from different corners of the empire. Three monuments have remained to our day: the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpent Column and the Walled Obelisk. The Palace of Ibrahim Pasa opposite Sultan Ahmet Mosque is the sole example of the imposing private residences of the 16th century. This elegant building now houses the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.

Blue Mosque, or the Sultan Ahmet Mosque is one of the most famous monuments of Turkish and Islamic art in the world. Built between 1609-1616, this imperial mosque is the only one that was originally built with six minarets. Befitting his original profession, its architect Mehmet Aga decorated the interior fastidiously like a jeweler. The walls of the galleries surrounding the three sides of the interior chamber are decorated by over 20,000 exquisite blue Iznik tiles. The areas above the tiles and the inside of the domes are decorated with paintwork. From the gate opening to the inner courtyard one can view the domes, rising above one another in perfect harmony, over the symbolic ablution fountain in the middle and the surrounding porticoes.

Haghia Sophia Museum, considered as one of the eight wonders of the world, occupies a prominent place in the history of art and architecture. It is one of the rare works of this size and age that has survived to our day. Byzantium Emperor Justinian build the church, “the like of which has not been seen since Adam, nor will it be seen in the future.” Construction started in 532 and it was completed in five years. The design of the dome followed in the tradition of Roman architecture, and the plan of the basilica was even older. Round buildings had been successfully covered with domes before. But in Hagia Sophia, Justinian was attempting for the first time in the history of architecture to build a gigantic central dome (55.60 meter) over a rectangular plan. Marbles and columns taken from the remains of earlier eras from almost all parts of the empire were used for building material. After serving two different religions with the same god, 916 years as a church and 477 years as a mosque, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum on Ataturk’s orders. Between 1930 and 1935 the whitewash on the walls was cleaned to reveal mosaics, which are among the most important examples of Byzantine art.



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