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The Most Important Places to Visit in Istanbul

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The Most Important Places to Visit in Istanbul

Istanbul, Bosphorus Strait during which embraces Europe and Asia, is an important city in Turkey. The Old TownSultanahmet reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was the site of chariot races for centuries, and Egyptian obelisks remained. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics. It has very important historical artifacts from the Ottoman period. We have investigated these very important places for you. You will find brief information about all these beautiful places in the rest of our article below.

Hagia Sophia Mosque and Museum

Hagia Sophia

It was built by Emperor Justinianos (527-565) by Isidoros of Miletos (Milet) and Anthemios from Tralles (Aydin), two important architects of the period. According to the historian Prokopios, the construction, which started on February 23, 532, was completed in a short period of 5 years and the church was opened for worship on December 27, 537. In the sources, on the opening day of Hagia Sophia, Emperor Justinianos entered the temple and said, "Thank God for giving me the opportunity to build such a place of worship." It passes that he shouted "O Suleyman, I passed you", referring to the Temple of Solomon. The Hagia Sophia Museum, which was transformed into a mosque by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror after conquering Istanbul, is a must-see work that attracts tourists with its magnificent and fascinating architecture.

Sultanahmet Mosque

If you ask which is the most famous mosque in Istanbul, you will get the Blue Mosque answer from many people. Known all over the world as the Blue Mosque, the Blue Mosque is famous for its 6 minarets and the blue Iznik tiles decorating the interior.

The Blue Mosque, built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I between 1609 and 1617 by the Architect Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa, is located right across the Hagia Sophia and challenges it with its beauty. Blue Mosque, one of the most important works of classical Ottoman architecture, takes its splendor not from its size but from its elegance.

Süleymaniye Mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque is built on one of the highest hills of Istanbul between 1551-1557. This is one of the most important works of Mimar Sinan. This work transformed into magnificence like other works of Mimar Sinan. It described by Mimar Sinan as “my journeyman”. This is a complex, consisting of the Süleymaniye Mosque, madrasas, library, hospital, medical school, Turkish bath, imaret, treasury and shops.

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar, one of the first shopping centers in the world, is located between Istanbul's Beyazıt Mosque and Nuru Osmaniye Mosque. The first part of the bazaar was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmed in 1460 for people to exhibit and sell their works. The Grand Bazaar is one of the most visited places in the world with its nearly 4 thousand shops on 65 streets with its historical texture.

The Egyptian Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar is one of the oldest covered bazaars in Istanbul. IV in 1660. The bazaar, which was built by the architect Kazım Ağa by the mother of Mehmed, Hatice Turhan Sultan, has a total of 86 shops. The Spice Bazaar, located right next to the New Mosque and Flower Bazaar in Eminönü, was sold in this bazaar, especially in this bazaar, when it was founded, a variety of spices and herbs from Far East countries from India to Arabia. As most of the goods came from Egypt, it started to be called the Spice Bazaar in time. It is a favorite place for those looking for traditional Turkish tastes.

Topkapi Palace

The palace, which was built in 1478 by Fatih Sultan Mehmed, who destroyed the Byzantine Empire in 1453 and conquered the capital of Constantinople (Istanbul), is one of the most important works of Ottoman architecture. The palace, where the Ottoman sultans ruled the state for 400 years, has been the main center. In Topkapı Palace located in Sarayburnu district of Istanbul, besides the personal belongings of the sultans, Hz. Muhammad's cardigan, beard, footprints, Hz. Abraham's pot, Hz. Moses' staff, Hz. David's sword, Hz. It attracts a great deal of attention with the Sacred Relics Office, where important relics such as Yusuf's robes are found.

Maiden's Tower

Maiden's Tower

The Maiden's Tower, which is the pupil of the Istanbul Strait and located off the Salacak Coast of Üsküdar, is a historical building built on a small island. The building, whose first building was built as a defense area in the Ancient Roman Period, was used for different purposes in the Byzantine and Ottoman Periods. It is one of the must-see places with its 360 degree panoramic view of Istanbul. Maiden's Tower has been serving as a museum-restaurant since 1995 with its architecture defying years.

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace was built by the thirty-first Ottoman sultan, Sultan Abdülmecid. The palace, whose construction began on June 13, 1843, was put into use on June 7, 1856. Dolmabahçe Palace was used as an area where the ships anchored by the Ottoman Captain Derya during the imperial period, and later it was transformed into a special garden. In the Republic period, it is of great importance because it is a place where Atatürk stayed during his Istanbul visits and he passed away here. Dolmabahçe was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire until 1924. The palace served as the Presidency between 1927 and 1949, and it was turned into a "museum-palace" in 1984.

Rumeli Fortress


Rumeli Fortress, also known as Boğazkesen Fortress, was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1452 to prevent attacks from the north of the Bosphorus. Rumeli Fortress is now used as a museum and open air theater.

Anatolian Fortress

Anadolu Fortress, which was built by Yıldırım Beyazıt in 1395 to prevent the aid from the Black Sea to Byzantium, is located in the Anadoluhisarı district of Istanbul. Situated on an area of ​​7 thousand square meters, the building consists of a rectangular, four-storey tower. Today, Anadolu Hisarı, which resembles a small fishing town with its location on the edge of the Bosphorus, is one of the places worth seeing.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower, one of the oldest towers in the world, was built by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius in 528. The building, which was originally designed as a lighthouse tower, was used as a shelter in the Ottoman Period and later as a fire watchtower. IV. During the Murat period, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew to Üsküdar-Doğancılar from Galata Tower in 1638, after watching the winds and doing flight exercises in Okmeydanı, wearing the eagle wings made of wood on his back.

Eyüp Sultan Mosque

Eyüp Sultan Mosque was built in 1458, just after the conquest of Istanbul. Eyüp Sultan Mosque is located in Eyüp district, on the shore of the Golden Horn. Eyüp Sultan Mosque, which is the address of the crowd during Ramadan and Fridays, is one of the places to be seen and considered sacred. The Tomb of Eyüp Sultan (Hazrat Halid bin Zeyd Abu Ayyub el-Ansari) built next to the mosque and the first complex of Istanbul are built. Due to the respect for Eyüp Sultan His Holiness, sword-wearing ceremonies of all sultans are performed in Eyüp Sultan Tomb.

The mosque, which was destroyed over time, III. It was completely demolished and rebuilt by Selim, except for the minarets and foundations. The mosque takes its present form.

Haydarpasa Train Station


Sultan II. The construction of Haydarpaşa Train Station, one of the important works of the Abdülhamit Period, started on May 30, 1906. Completed in 1908 as a result of two years of work by two German architects and 1,500 Italian stonemasons, and put into service on May 19 the same year, the building was built as the starting station of the Istanbul-Baghdad Railway line. Haydarpaşa Train Station, which is the last stop of the railway line connecting Anatolia to Istanbul, was built by Sultan III. As a gesture to Haydar Pasha, who contributed a lot in the construction of Selimiye Barracks named after Selim, he decided to call the district where this building is located and its surroundings Haydarpaşa. Therefore, the station building became known as Haydarpaşa.

Aya Yorgi Monastery

Aya Yorgi Monastery, one of the most visited places in Istanbul, is located on the 204-meter high Yüce Tepe, the largest of the Prince Islands. Hagia Yorgi Church (Agios Georgios Greek Orthodox Monastery) was built in 1751. Its name is M.S. This two-storey, tile-covered small building, taken from the Cappadocian Saint Georgios (Aya Yorgos-Aya Yorgi), who was killed in the 3rd century because of his Christian belief, is known as the “Old Church”. Consisting of a church and a chapel, Aya Yorgi Monastery is seen by Christians as the 'holy place' where wishes come true. One of the two pilgrimage by Christians in Turkey, together with the Virgin Mary's house in Ephesus accepted. The monastery, which is flooded with visitors especially during the Easter Period, can be reached on foot or by bicycle.

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to meet the water needs of the palace, was used in the same way for a while in the period of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. Located in the southwest of Hagia Sophia, the cistern has an area of ​​9,800 square meters. It is among the legends and rumors that the figures on the Basilica Cistern, which is a very impressive structure with its 100 thousand tons of water storage volume, resemble tears and represent the drama of many slaves lost during the construction of the Great Basilica. The Basilica Cistern has been used as a museum since 1987.

Caferaga Madrasa

Caferağa Madrasa, the work of Mimar Sinan, has taken its place among the important structures. The madrasah, built during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, currently serves as an art center where traditional Turkish arts are taught, produced and exhibited, with 15 different art workshops, large hall and peaceful courtyard, and welcomes local and foreign guests. This historical place, located next to the Hagia Sophia Museum, is one of the important places within the cultural mosaic of Istanbul.

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace is a historical place built by Sultan Abdülaziz in the Beylerbeyi district of Üsküdar in 1861-1865. The palace was built in a grove known as the Cross Gardens during the Byzantine Period. Designed by the Armenian Balyan Family, the building consists of six large halls, 24 rooms, 1 bath and 1 bathroom.

The Most Important Places to Visit in Istanbul with Local Guide

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