Markets in Istanbul: Istanbul has been known since ancient times as Constantinople, Byzantium, Astana and Islambol.
It is the largest tourist city in Turkey and the second largest in the world, with about 13 million inhabitants.
It was the capital of many states and empires, as it was the capital of the Roman Empire, followed by Byzantium.
Places of tourism in historical Istanbul were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985.
Istanbul was chosen as the joint capital of European culture in 2010
Tourist destinations in Istanbul
Hagia Sophia ( Latin: Sancta Sophia, lit. ‘Holy Wisdom’), officially the Hagia Sophia Holy Grand Mosque (Turkish: Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi) and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia, is a Late Antique church in Istanbul. Built in 537 as the patriarchal cathedral of the imperial capital of Constantinople, it was the largest Christian church of the eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) and the Eastern Orthodox Church, except during the Latin Empire from 1204 to 1261, when it became the city’s Roman Catholic cathedral. In 1453, after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a mosque. In 1935 the secular Turkish Republic established it as a museum. In 2020, it re-opened as a mosque.
The Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı meaning Cannon Gate Palace), or the Seraglio is a large museum in the east of the Fatih district of Istanbul in Turkey.
In the 15th and 16th centuries it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans.
The Galata Tower (Turkish: Galata Kulesi), called Christea Turris (the “Tower of Christ” in Latin) by the Genoese, is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn’s junction with the Bosphorus. It is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul’s historic peninsula and its environs.
The Basilica Cistern, or Cisterna Basilica (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarnıcı, “Subterranean Cistern”), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, Turkey. The cistern, located 150 metres (490 ft) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.Today it is kept with little water, for public access inside the space.
Dolmabahçe Palace (Turkish: Dolmabahçe Sarayı, IPA: [doɫmabahˈtʃe saɾaˈjɯ]) located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to 1922 (Yıldız Palace was used in the interim period).
Rumelihisarı (also known as Rumelian Castle and Roumeli Hissar Castle) or Boğazkesen Castle (meaning “Strait-Blocker Castle” or literally “Strait-Cutter Castle”) is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey, on a series of hills on the European banks of the Bosphorus. The fortress also lends its name to the immediate neighborhood around it in the city’s Sarıyer district.
After the Ottoman conquest of the city, Rumelihisarı served as a customs checkpoint and occasional prison, notably for the embassies of states that were at war with the Empire. After suffering extensive damage in the Great Earthquake of 1509, the structure was repaired, and was used continuously until the late 19th century.
Today, the fortress is a popular museum open to the public, and further acts as an open-air venue for seasonal concerts, art festivals, and special events.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Turkish: Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi) is a museum located in Sultanahmet Square in Fatih district of Istanbul, Turkey. Constructed in 1524, the building was formerly the palace of Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha, who was the second grand vizier to Suleiman the Magnificent, and was once thought to have been the husband of the Sultan’s sister, Hatice Sultan.
The collection includes notable examples of Islamic calligraphy, tiles, and rugs as well as ethnographic displays on various cultures in Turkey, particularly nomad groups. These displays recreate rooms or dwellings from different time periods and regions.
Yoros Castle (Turkish: Yoros kalesi) is a Byzantine ruined castle at the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea, to the north of Joshua’s Hill, in Istanbul, Turkey. It is also commonly referred to as the Genoese Castle, due to Genoa’s possession of it in the mid-15th century.
The Kariye Mosque, or the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (Turkish: Kariye Müzesi), is a medieval Greek Orthodox church used as a mosque today in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. The neighborhood is situated in the western part of the municipality (belediye) of the Fatih district. The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora was built in the style of Byzantine architecture. In the 16th century, during the Ottoman era, the Christian church was converted into a mosque; it became a museum in 1945, but was turned back into a mosque in 2020 The interior of the building is covered with some of the oldest and finest surviving Byzantine Christian mosaics and frescoes; they were uncovered and restored after the building was secularized and turned into a museum.
Çırağan Palace is accepted as the last example of Ottoman Empire’s glory. Abdulaziz ascended to the throne in 1861 and the palace was constructed between the years of 1861 and 1872. The palace is actually a complex alongside of Bosphorus up to 1.5 km. There are two Feriye (secondary) palaces next to the main palace. These secondary palaces are still being used. The secondary palaces that are located in Ortaköy are used as Maritime College, Galatasaray University and Kabataş High School.
The one at Beşiktaş side is used as Public Guest House. In 1909, parliament was moved into Çırağan Palace. Two months later, a fire broke out and the palace burnt completely. Only outside scaffold of the building survived. An Honour Stage was located in its garden. In 1987, a hotel was built in Hünkar Garden. The walls that left from the fire were filled and used as ballroom, ceremony hall and restaurant of the hotel.
Designed by Sarkis Baylan, Çırağan Palace was built by taking four millions of gold as a loan and this loan was also used for the construction of railways in Anatolia and İstanbul’s water need. During its glorious times, the palace was magnificent with its maroon and green porphyry stones and ivory and nacred platings. The ceilings were full of bird and flower paintings the theatre décor artist Marlo from Italy.
The Maiden’s Tower (Turkish: Kız Kulesi), also known as Leander’s Tower (Tower of Leandros) since the medieval Byzantine period, is a tower on a small islet at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m (220 yd) from the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul, Turkey.
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