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This program includes visits to special Istanbul sites some of which are not the focus of large tour groups due to requiring special interest or convenience which includes difficulties with parking tour busses : As an instance in an interesting list named “ 1000 places you should see before you die’ , the name of a mosque from Istanbul is given, Suleymaniye Mosque. This is more impressive than Blue Mosque; yet its location is not easily accessible for tour busses or parking is expensive for tour vans ; as a result less tours go to see this superior mosque of Istanbul. Your tour guide will adjust the order of the visits, with daily small fine tunings according to what accommodates you the best. On some of the days the cruiseship passengers crowd the major museums and on such days visiting especially Topkapi Palace around 4.30 – 5 p.m. may work better. Topkapi Palace stays open until 7 pm . Detailed descriptions of the sites mentioned in the program are at the bottom of these pages. Day 1. You will begin your day by exploring the 4 century old narrow streets around the Spice Market before getting to the mainstream visitors’ interest, The Egyptian Bazaar named as Spice Market in English resources. Then onto Sokullu M. Pasa mosque for a brief stop which is close to the Blue Mosque to have the experience of a visit to a mosque that is not the mainstream tourist attraction. This is one of the most impressive mosques of architect Sinan of the 16th century despite being smaller in size than the sultan mosques. The mosque has got pieces of the most sacred stone for the Muslims, the black stone – hacerüleswed. Blue Mosque and Hippodrome will be the next stops. After lunch break explore Ayasofya , the Byzantine Cathedral, and Basilica Cistern.
since it has got almost all of the original furnitures as opposed to few in Topkapi . Day 3. Half an hour stay will introduce this band that influenced in Mozart. Antuanne Church. visit to this area with a cruise by 4. Only hiring an electronic talking guide hand unit is available.com/dosseman/istanbul_kariye ) At 3 o’clock is the Ottoman military band performance in Nisantasi district. Balik Pazari ( fish market ) Nevizade Street. Late afternoon : Explore Istiklal Street with tunel area. Notice : Harem of Topkapi palace is only available before 3 p. such stops for brief demonstrations also help to rest a bit.. St.20 or an hour later. Sirca is the provider of state ceramic gifts to the dignitaries of the countries visited by their Turkish counterparts.Day 2.m. Beethoven and Chaikowsky. Proceed to Suleymaniye Mosque and Grand Bazaar. Iznik ceramic foundation if you have further interest. If the concert is indoors there will also be an impressive slide presentation for 10 minutes. .m. Ara Guler’s café ( just walk by) . Drive along Golden Horn Estuary to go to Chora. Attending a pottery production performance is possible ( on most tours in the old town. where unpressurised shopping with inexpensive souveniers from lady street vendors will be available. ) Later you can also stop by the store of their major rival in Turkey .pbase. lesser known by visitors but trendy for locals is Ortakoy district ( see the site desription section below ) . and there is no palace guide inside. if you grow your interests in these Turkish arts : Ceramic and pottery. After lunch a visit to a reputable warehouse.30 p. walking from one site to another nearbye one may equal walking and standing all day long. We recommend a 3. guides are not allowed to give information in the Harem. Dolmabahce palace’s harem section is recommended more. Cicek Pasaji. as well as a Bosphorus cruise. Sirca is possible. Topkapi Palace and highlights of the Archaelogical Museum will cover the whole morning. (visit http://www. On a weekend day . Chora the Byzantine church with its Christian mosaics and frescoes Is in any art book referring to the Byzantines.
the day you would enjoy a late visit to Topkapi palace. If you would like a late Ortakoy program after 5. He is a short movie film maker and scenario writer. So.welldoneturkey.30 9 or 9. since the list of movies is in Alphabetical order.30 p.org/film/english/film.asp?Cid=195 ) His movie is at the end of the list . Istiklal Street can be combined . His travel articles are frequently being quoted in his colleague’s tours.Time Planning : The tours are 8 hours. Your Tour Guide is Oguz Kosebalaban who also has a bachelor’s degree from Ankara University’s Faculty of Political Sciences.iksv.30 according to your selection ( most museums open at 9 or 9. you will surely enjoy this better.m. In April 2007 his short movie was found eligible to compete in the finals in a contest held by Nokia . they may begin at 8. this can be combined with your dinner.m.com . His website address is www.m. Your Tour Guide We just use top guides for our tours. . with the areas fine restaurants like Feriye.30 ) Istiklal Street can best be enjoyed at early evening from 8 to 9 p. Turkey in cooperation with İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts ( http://www. Bosphorus Cruise and Ortakoy district is more fun at about 7 p. though there will be surcharge for keeping your guide and your van longer.
20 there is a Bosphorus cruise departure from here. and analysed the choice for this setting for the tv commenter ) This area converts into an up scaled flea market – the look is the look of a flea market but the items offered on the stands are brand new and nice.S. the context of which was the peace between eastern and western world. 19th century Grand Mecidiye Mosque is situated on the shore as if it were floating. This was the setting as the background with the mosque and the bridge connecting two continents for the speech of President Bush during Nato summit in 2004.Site Descriptions : Ortakoy District This is a waterfront area that resembles to Seaport of New York City.S. and prices are much beter than the tripled or quadrupled rates of Grand Bazaar. The location was intelligently chosen by The U. the site of the clashing rocks. to emphasise that the U. was friends with Islamic nations . But stil there is minor negotiation possibilities from the low profit margins of these sweat lady vendors. as referred to in Homer’s book Odyssey. the brotherhood of religions. This contributed to the image of the U. the major difference being the mosque instead of the mall at Seaport. This is right before the first suspension bridge connecting Europe to Asia over the Bosphorus Straits.html ) with especially the mosque being the background for president Bush at a time when American jets were bombing another muslim nation’s territory. ( http://www.gov/news/releases/2004/06/20040629. the Iraque conflict does not have any religious connection. ( by then your guide Oguz Kosebalaban escorted CBS News. Daily after 4.S. . Iraque.whitehouse.
Istiklal Street Ayasofya (Below. Across Ayasofya on the right is Blue Mosque with 6 minarets) 532-537 emperor Justinian I erected the greatest Church in the ancient Christian world. on the left . (49 m) after the example of Hadrian's Pantheon in Rome.7 ft.7 ft (31 m) and a height of 160. Neither in Byzantine nor Osmane days this dimension ever was surpassed. the central element of which was a dome with a diameter of 101. The bold structure was a combination of Roman Basilica and domed Roman central building. The dome we see today is 23 ft (7 m) higher and was consecrated in 562. The dome we see today was consecrated in 562. . After several seismic shocks however the dome imploded in 558.
The most precious ancient remnant of the Hippodrome and oldest monument of Constantinople is the Egyptian obelisk. gold.. all together for almost 1400 years! After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by the Turks under Mehmed II. Hippodrome This is the area in front of Blue Mosque. Today it is a museum. even under the reign of Osmane Sultans. created from ceramics. Thanks to its grandeur and beauty the church served as a house of God. elaborate. seen on the left . the Hagia Sophia was used as mosque until the Turkish republic was founded in 1923..Daylight is flooding the church through 91 windows. The structure of the interior and the play of light convey the impression of weightlessness. which was erected by Pharaoh Thutmosis III in Karnak 1471 BC. which certainly contributed to the churches legendary fame. was transferred to Constantinople by the . colourful mosaics and pictures. which is adorned with marble tiles. illuminating the incredible beauty of the interior. Tripod of Plataea : The three snakes of the Tripod of Plataea. precious and semiprecious stones.
built by emperor Justinian around 542. The names of the cities.2 acres (8970 m²) a dim wood of 336 marble columns. which aptly reflects the magical atmosphere of this subterranean building. is reflected in the water. The reservoir had a capacity of 80.000 cubic feet of water and provided the quarter around the Hagia Sophia as well as the emperor's palace and later the Topkapi palace. . where it stands today in the Hippodrome Square. which takes you back into ancient times.emperor Constantine. On an area of 453 x 213 ft. which took part in the battle. are written in the body. (138 x 65 m) or 2. Walkways and atmospheric lighting make the Cistern a great tourist attraction. which support the up to 8 m high vault. Basilica Cistern The cistern. is also called the "Sunken Palace".
well worth the visit!). From the early 16th century. like the sultan in former times. Spice Market . from this first courtyard one path towards ( the direction of the street car street ) north takes you to the Archaelogical museum . At the tip of the peninsula on which Constantinople was located. washed by the waves of the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. the janissaries. And being less than careful in the second courtyard could actually cost you your head. The harem. go on to the fourth courtyard. they were also allowed to live in the harem. when the brothers of the heir to the throne were no longer being sent straight back to meet their maker. It wasn't just his home. he built his Topkapi Palace subdivided into four courtyards. could be entered by only one man .Topkapı Palace The imperial Palace of the Ottomans is the hub of the Ottoman universe (complete sightseeing tour: allow for ½ day) After conquering Constantinople.the sultan himself (as you can well imagine. This is where the strings of world history were being pulled: the business of the empire was done . housed (first courtyard). eunuchs could come and go as they pleased). the Ottoman bureaucracy was educated. you feel like taking a break and a cup of coffee. If you were only waiting to see the sultan about something (third courtyard). And. By the way. Mehmet II chose the smartest spot in town as his home. however. you'd better watch which queue you were in – the sultan's executioners were also housed here. well-guarded by the sultan's mother. a large garden with pavilions and an unforgettable view of the entrance to the Bosphorus. and the sultan's elite troops. you'd be very wrong. ready to fulfil their master's wishes. ( in a cosy cell ) And if now. if you thought you could catch a glimpse of what was going on in the harem (Buy a separate ticket .
pistachios and of course hazelnuts (filberts)." Turkey grows a lot of wonderful fruit. Now . during the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror.. of which Turkey's Black Sea Coast furnishes half the world supply. Don't forget the nuts: high protein. if you are not pulled into a shop by a slightly more than enthusiastic! Vendor! :)) The mother of all covered market places had humble beginnings as a much smaller market in 1461.Kuru yemis (KOO-roo yeh-meesh) means "dried fruits. Just add mouth! Plums. apples. low maintenance: walnuts. Dried fruit is convenient! No cans or packages to open or dispose of. high flavor. Grand Bazaar Though this bazaar became rather touristy especially with cruiseships bringing couples of ten thousand visitors on some of the days! . apricots.even blackberries and other berries which are pressed and dried into sheets ("fruit leather"). dates. no need for refrigeration. almonds. from the Spice Market. figs. To preserve and store it in the days before tin cans and refrigeration. much of it was dried. the stuff you see right at the center of the photo above. peanuts. still this is an impressive site at least for window shopping ..
Earthquakes and fires have both affected the building more than once the most recent being the major fire of 1954. fortresses. But life marches on in and around the bazaar. The bazaar's streets are named and labeled.comprised of well over four thousand shops stretching over a maze of sixty-odd winding streets. And so. it easily holds the title of largest covered market in the world. this bustling space of the new and old has had its fair share of tragedies. And inside: everything from belly-dancing outfits to 'cezve' (pronounced 'jesveh' .the special copper pots for brewing Turkish coffee). because the marketplace is not merely within the walls of the official covered section. parks and woods. the Grand Bazaar was repaired. palaces. Bosp horus Cruise Bosphorus Straits divides Europe from Asia and connects Black Sea to Marmara Sea and never fails to impress visitors with upscaled waterfront wooden mansions. we've lost that bit of history too. but still confusing. but it also extends past the surrounding areas to create an open-air shopping arena that disappears each evening until its subsequent morning arrival. but original records have been lost forever. Around. After each event. . Unfortunately.
the mistress of Zeus . "clashing rocks" ) . and surrounded by revaks supported on columns of pink granite and marble.Bosphorus is mentioned twice in Mythology : Jason and the Argounats crossing the clashing rocks ( Bosphorus Straits must then be an earth quake fault line . school. Not to forget Persian King Darius crossing his army on a bridge made up of boats anchored next to one another. which spread over the area around the mosque. two have two balconies each. A fine fountain for ablution takes up the center of the courtyard. Ciragan ) . mosques. The mosque received its synonym as the Blue Mosque from the bluish haze given to the interior by these tiles. giving it the name Bosphorus . Four of these have three balconies. The mosque itself is surrounded on three sides by a broad courtyard. Castles ( Rumeli and Anadolu Castles ). For the site.hence . and surmounted by 30 cupolas. An imperial lodge. who ascended the throne at the age of fourteen was an extremely religious-minded sultan. The owner of the palace was compensated and the site prepared by the architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga. The mosque is unique with its six minarets in Istanbul. The most original feature of the mosque is the 260 windows through which it is so well lit. A total of 21043 tiles have been used in the interior. The inner court is reached through three gates. and is paved in marble. a suitable place was long sought before the decision was taken. meaning the passage of the heifer. Beylerbeyi. and is entered on each side by a total of eight portals. Blue Mosque Sultan Ahmed I. This architect poet and inlayer completed this great work in 1617. who began the construction in 1609. forests and more. service kiosk and single and double storied shops were included in the complex. and two of porphyry. and its link with Io . a total of 16 in all. who displayed his religious fervor in his decision to construct a mosque to compete with Ayasofya. 2 impressive suspension bridges. Ottoman Palaces (Dolmabahce. The faience consists of floral and rumi motifs of various . At last the mosque decided to build on the site of the palace of Ayse Sultan. palatial houses on both sides. surrounded by six marble columns.
and near here also Sinan built his own tomb. the renowned architect of the Ottoman Empire's golden age. emphasized by the four minarets that rise from each comer of the courtyard. a school of medicine.colors on white ground. The mosque complex also includes four medreses. Süleymaniye Mosque The cascading domes and four slender minarets of the Imperial Suleymaniye Mosque dominate the skyline on the Golden Horn's west bank. Turkish Bath . or theological schools. a caravanserai. Calligraphy is the work of Kasim Gubari and the fine mother-of-pearl window shutters are the work of Sedefkar Mehmet Ada. the building is conspicuous for its great size. Considered the most beautiful of all imperial mosques in Istanbul. Erected on the crest of a hill. it was built between 1550 and 1557 by Sinan. and a kitchen and hospice for the poor. The bronze and wooden decorations and artifacts of the mosque are also very fine. Inside are the mihrab (prayer niche showing the direction to Mecca) and the mimber (pulpit) made of finely carved white marble and exquisite stained-glass windows coloring the incoming streams of light. It was in the gardens of this complex that Suleyman and his wife. had their mausolea built. a Turkish bath. Ahmed I died in 1617 and was buried near the mosque. Hurrem Sultan (Roxelane). These are very fine examples of the art of tiling.
but apparently many are today. as the hammam we were in wasn't co-ed. and I just laid back and looked lazily at the warm sunlight filtering in through the small circular windows in the dome. which you wrap around your body ) I obeyed. and marble sinks all around the outside. until it came to a large. which I followed. somewhat tenuously.Another great experience in Istanbul is experiencing a Turkish Bath visit at one of the historical Istanbul Baths in the Old Town. with a round marble slab in the center. I didn't really want a guy giving me a bath. While declining in popularity amongst the local folks since the widespread availability of hot and cold running water. The changing room attendant pointed the way into a hallway. Then we parted. so we specifically hunted this place down. I was somewhat uncomfortable at first. ( you may wear your bathing suit. and silently wished that I had read more closely the section of the guidebook that describes exactly WHAT you're supposed to do. laid out on the slab. and told to "take everything off". a trip to the hammam was essential. today = 55$ ) each for our scrubbings. so I followed her lead. but still they provide a bath material the size of a bath towel . spread it out on the warm marble. I was given a thin cloth. but it was quiet and calm in there. once inside. ( as described by a visitor in past years : ) “ Wiley and I paid 10 million lira ( the ongoing rate for full service is about 70 Lira . but more and more women came into the room. Once in the women's changing area. It was very warm in the room and I was sweating profusely. a locker key. and laid myself out. Before the times everyone had a bathroom in their homes. There was one woman in there already. so I relaxed. the hammam continues to be a "try it once" type activity for enthusiastic visitors. A funny action Turkish bath sequence of one of Jackie Chan’s Movie – Golden Fist was filmed in one of these Baths. in order to perform your ritual cleansing which was also a must according to Islam. I took off my cloth. and it became obvious that none of us had a clue what was going on. . domed room.
” . After that. who was wearing nothing but navy blue panties and the evidence of a Caesarean section.Eventually I was called over to another part of the slab by a large Turkish women. I'm pretty sure I've never been so clean. and met Wiley back in the lobby. She then proceeded to pour buckets of warm water all over me. where she washed my hair. Then she brought over a bucket of warm. We both agreed that it was a somewhat bizarre experience. which was nice. and motioned for me to lay down. She spread out my cloth. The cleaning also included a light massage. I dried off. then lead me into another room. dressed. which felt really good. sudsy water and began my "soap down". but that it certainly must have been luxurious in the days before hot running water. Once she had soaped me up and washed me. After a couple more rinses with warm water. she rinsed me with more warm water. then scrubbed me down with some type of exfoliating mitt. she hit me with a final bucket of cold water.