Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sightseeing Recommendations

The Basilica Cistern
Also known as the Sunken Palace, it was used as the water reservoir for the Byzantine Great Palace during the reign of Justinian in 532. Inside the huge building, there is a few feet of water but wooden walkways have been built for visitors. There are 336 columns supporting a cathedral ceiling and some of them were taken from torn-down temples. The interior of the building has special dim lighting and classical music is played to create an eerie atmosphere. It is used as a gallery during the International Istanbul Arts Biennial held September-October.
Open daily between 09:00-18:00
Entrance Fee: 10,00 YTL (€ 5,00)
Note: Humidity rate is very high inside the cistern.
The Blue Mosque
The mosque was built for Sultan Ahmet Iby the architect Mehmet Aga, in 1616 and he finished the work in 7 years. The sixth minarets is said to signify Sultan Ahmet’s position as the sixth Ottoman ruler of Istanbul and their sixteen balconies; his position for 16th in line from Osman, the founder of dynasty. It is world famous for the interior wall decorations with blue Iznik tiles from the 17th century and great look of the building; a mountainous cascade of leaded domes rippling ground wards while six minarets pierce the sky. It is an active mosque like all the other 2.000 mosque in Istanbul.
Open daily between 08:30-17:00
Entrance Fee: No fee required
Note: Donations are accepted at the exit of the mosque.
Çemberlitaş Turkish Bath (Hamam)
The Çemberlitas Bath is located on Çemberlitas Square on Divanyolu Street situated in the midst of some of Istanbul’s greatest monuments. It is next to the Vezirhan monument erected by Constantine I (324 - 327). The Köprülü Mahmud Pasa complex with its mosque, school and tombs are directly opposite the bath and at its sides are the Vezir Han and the old university building. Also in the near vicinity of the bath are the tomb of Sultan Mahmut II and its treasury, the Köprülü Library, the Atik Pasa Mosque and school and the tomb of Ali Baba.
Adres: Vezirhan Cad. No: 8,34440 Çemberlitaş /Tel: 212-522 79 74
Hagia Sophia
This huge,brick-colored building standing at the southern size of the square was built in the 6th century. It was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans after the Conquest and is now a museum. In its heyday, the church was regarded as a sublime architectural achievement. The building stands on the sire of two previous churches, one that had been destroyed by earthquake and fire The third and present structure was built at the orders of Emporer Justinian I by Anthemius a mathematician, and Isidore, an architect, geometrician and city planner. The two collaborators obeyed the emperor’s orders splendidly producing a building that inspired awe and wonder. At its dedication in 537 amazement and pride “Soloman, I have surpassed thee”-a reference to the great temple that soloman had built in Jerusalem. In the nearly millennium and a half since its construction, only three churches have been built on scale of Hagia Sophia: St Pauls in London, St Peter’s in Rome, and the Duomo in Milan. Even today, Ayasofya has the power to spellbind even the most hardened skyscraper-blase city-dweller with its grand dimensions. Ever since it was originally constructed in the 6th century, Ayasofya has astounded visitors with the grandeur of its proportions, Justinian is said to have murdered in.
Open daily between 09:30-16:30 except Mondays
Entrance Fee: 5,00 YTL (€ 2,50)
The Grand Bazaar
The world famous Covered Bazaar is owing to its architecture, history, location and sheer variety of merchandise one of Istanbul most significant tourist sites. The bazaar has eight different entrances each of them facing one of the city’s most important historic monuments. In terms of structure, the visitors is confronted by what may at first seem a bewildering a maze of 61 streets. On closer inspection, however it becomes apparent that there is, in fact, a reasonable semblance of order. The streets themselves are arranged on a grid-like, system and traditionally shopkeepers have tended to group themselves. According to the type of goods the sell whether it be jewellery, antique, carpets, cooper or leather goods. Clues as to which area you might be in are often given by the names of the streets of the turban makers for instance, the trades recalled are now mere vestiges of a colorful past. The bazaar can also be known as the center of golden shops.
Open daily between 08:30-19:00
Entrance Fee: No fee required
Note: Bargaining is necessary while purchasing
The Spice Bazaar
The Spice Bazaar is located next to the Flower Market on the banks of the Golden Horn called Makron and Envalos by the Byzantine and Eminönü by the Ottomans. The Spice Bazaar is one of the most characteristic places of Istanbul. Spice Bazaar which is one of the oldest covered bazaars of Istanbul is situated within the complex of Yeni Cami. The Yeni Cami complex which was commissioned by Safiye Sultan to be built and the construction of which started in the year 1591 was completed by Hatice Turhan, Valide Sultan in the year 1633. In the Bazaar which is famous for its herbalists currently dried fruits, delicatessen and various food staff besides conventional products such as natural medicines, spices, flower seeds, scarce plant roots and peels are sold. It is known that the spices sold here are in addition to their consumption as food staff, useful for the treatment of certain diseases. Lately an increase in the number of jewellery shops in the bazaar is being observed. Within the Spice Bazaar there are restaurants with a view over the Golden Horn and Galata Bridge as well. The Bazaar is open from Mondays to Saturdays.
Open daily between 08:30-19:00
Entrance Fee: No fee required
The Maiden Tower
A 12th century stone erected on a rock at the entrance of the Bosphorus by Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos. This tower, which has served as a prison and a light house, became the source of many legends in ancient days. It has recently been opened to the public and hosts concerts and meetings. Story of maiden Tower: according to Turkish Legend a princess was locked up in the tower by her father because of prophecy. The prophecy alerted him saying that his daughter would die by the bite of a snake. The father wanted to protect the princess and put her in a Maiden’s tower. Unfortunately at the end of the story , The princess dies by the snake that was brought to the islet in a basket of grapes.
Open daily between 12:00 -19:00 (Cafe & Restaurant hours)
19:00 - 00:15 (Restaurant hours)
Entrance Fee: No fee required (boat transfer fee only)
Please check boat shuttle timetable.

1 yorum:

wishdreams said...

Today I took my time to explore your blog spot and test the links you provide. Nice work!
Since the gay scene in Istanbul is not static but dynamic and evolve from one day to the next, I wonder how you collect new information to update your blog?

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