Almost all houses of old Istanbul were made of wood, and fire was therefore a very real threat and caused horrible disasters. This 50 meter high stone fire tower was built in 1828 by famed architects of the Balyan family on order of Sultan Mahmud II.
During the Byzantine period, when the villages along the Bosphorus strait had no roads linking them to each other, the people earned their living from fishing and gardening. The Ottoman sultans later had several palaces and villas built on these shores.European side: Dolmabahce Palace with its eclectic structure reflecting western architectural styles, was built on the Bosphorus in the19th century. Next is the Besiktas area where stands the statue and tomb of Captain Barbaros Hayrettin in front of the Naval Museum and near the Museum of Fine Arts. On this side of the Bosphorus are many buildings by the Balyan family of architects, the most significant of which is the Çiragan Palace.This palace suffered great damage by fire in the late 19th century and lay in ruin until recently when it was restored and made into a hotel. The seaside gateway of the Yildiz Palace and Gardens is also here.Further along the shore are the Feriye palaces, then Ortaköy Square and Ortaköy mosque, an attractive location where one feels the texture of the city at its best. Next, passing under the great columns of the Bosphorus Bridge, you pass by Kuruçesme, Arnavutköy, Bebek, Rumelihisari (fortress), Emirgan, Üstinye, Yeniköy, Tarabya, Kirecburnu, Büyükdere and Sariyer, finally reaching the end of the European side of the Bosphorus at Rumeli Kavagi, last point before the entrance of the Black Sea.Asian side: Opposite Rumeli Kavagi is Anadolu Kavagi on the Asian side of the mouth of the Bosphorus. South along the shore past Yusa Hill is Beykoz. Though it is quite a distance from city center, Istanbul residents usually go to eat the best fish at Beykoz. Next is Pasabahçe famous for its glass and bottle factories as well as liquor factories of the state monopoly.After Pasabahce are Çubuklu and Anadoluhisar (Anatolian Fortress) famed for the good quality of clay on the shores of the Göksu and Küçüksu, freshwater rivers that flow into the Bosphorus.Hence the development of pottery making in the area. Next is a bay between Vaniköy and Çengelköy where stands the Kuleli Military Academy. After Çengelköy comes Beylerbeyi and its famous Beylerbeyi Palace.
Coming to the sea just past Kuzguncuk is today's Üsküdar, known in Byzantine times as the "Golden City." Today this neighborhood is adorned with the Mihrimah, the Semsi Pasha and Yeni Valide mosques built by the great architect Sinan, and the famous Selimiye barracks. At the meeting point of Kadiköy and Üsküdar stands the Haydarpasa Railway Station, last train stop in Asia. Kadiköy (ancient Calchedon) is one of the oldest inhabited districts of the city. Today it has luxury bayside neighborhoods, including Moda and Fenerbahce.
These 20 meter high and 1,000 meter long viaducts date from 375 in the Roman period of Emperor Valens. They carried water from the suburbs to the palace district
Ever since they were first built by the city's founder, Byzas, the areas covered by the Istanbul city walls have varied over time. They took their present shape after Theodosius II added on the land walls. The wallswere encircled by a ditch 10 meters deep and 20 meters wide. The first wall, which was 2 meters thick and 8 1/2 meters high, began several meters beyond the ditch. About 20 meters further in was the inner wall, 5 meters thick and 12 meters high. On both the inner and the outer walls were placed 96 towerseach, many of which also had a gate. These gates were either for the civil population or the soldiers.Only twice in their history were these sturdy gates violated,during the Latin invasion of 1204 and the conquest of Istanbul in 1453.
The Marmara Walls, 8,260 meters long, face theMarmara Sea. Their gates are Ahirkapi, �tladikapi, Samatya kapisi and Narlikapi.The Land Walls, 5,632 meters in length, have 7 gates: Belgrat kapisi, Silivri kapi, Mevlevihane Kapisi, Topkapi, Edirnekapi, Egrikapi, and Yedikule ("7 towers") which the Byzantines adorned with three vaults and called "golden gate." The emperors used this ornamented gate upon returning home from a victorious battle.
Located in the square of the same name, his column once bore the statue of Emperor Constantinius. The 35- meter high column suffered many damages in various periods of history which is why it was reinforced with iron bands
The tower was built in 1348 for protection at the northernmost point of the Genovese walls. At that time it was called the ``tower of Jesus". Once it was used as a prison for a period in the Ottoman times. In the 17th century during the reign of Murat IV, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew from this tower on self-made wings and landed in Üsküdar on the opposite shore of the Bosphorus.
An old trading point and popular shoreline residential area during the Byzantine period, it was largely inhabited by Jewish immigrants from Spain during the Ottoman period. The mixtures of Armenians, Greeks, Gypsies and Turks living along its shores reflected the city's colorful mosaic. Since 1880 the famed Cibali cigarette factory has been operating there.In Fener is the patriarchate and mother church of the Greek Orthodox Church and nearby, the Bulgarian Church, built of cast iron in the neo-gothic style.
At the far end of the Golden Horn is the Eyüp neighborhood and Eyüp Sultan Mosque, the most famous monument of these shores which has drawn countless Muslim pilgrims since the day it was built. On the cliffs above the mosque is the teahouse of Pierre Loti which offers the city's finest view of the Golden Horn.
The Grand Bazaar consists of 4,000 shops on a series of covered streets leading to a central avenue. The oldest sections are the Sandal Bedesten (cloth auction) and Cevahir Bedesten (jewelry market).The streets are named according to the trades, such as gold and silver sellers, carpet sellers, slipper sellers, bootsellers, booksellers, pursemakers, etc. The most oriental atmosphere in Istanbul is found in the bazaar, which also houses many good restaurants and cafes.
The bazaar, that have been built connected to the Yenicami complex, takes its name from the source of the spices in old times.. The merchants of this colorful old covered market, also called the Spice Bazaar, sell spices, herbs, medicinals, dried fruits and a myriad of other goods in barrels and baskets. Today there are several boutiques found there.
Their very name evokes memories of a world of palaces and lives of glory, though in olden times this name had an echo of horror attached to it as well. These coastal islands, proffering most magnificent views of Constantinople, derive their name from those unfortunate princes and emperors of the imperial dynasty who were sent there in exile, blinded and forced to remain, so near and yet so far from their beloved city.Though the islands are not very far from the city, they were a long distance in terms of the available transportation in those days. After small ships were put into use in 1846 and with today's rapid communications, the islands became just another shore line of Istanbul.Scents of blooming mimosa in the early spring and jasmine flowers in the summertime fill the air on the islands with their beautiful mansions amid pine forests and the swimming areas on the shores.
Büyükada (Prinkipo): As its name (Big Island) implies, this is the biggest island of all. On turning right from the boat docks, is the section called Nizam, and to the left is the section called Maden. The majority of residents on Büyükada are Jews. The island's two hills are 202 and 160 meters high. Nestled between these two hills is a Greek Orthodox monastery and Church of St. Niklaus. By renting a horse carriage, one can tour the island, the short tour covering the first hill and the big tour, the second hill. On the hill next to the amusement park is St. Georges Greek Orthodox monastery and church. Also on the island are four other Greek churches, St. Dimitrios, Panayia, St. Theodoros and Profitis; the Asdvadzadzin Armenian Catholic church; San Pacifico Roman Catholic church; Hesed Ie Avraam synagogue and Hamidiye mosque.Heybeliada (Halki):Heybeliada is the island with the densest population and most frequent to and fro activity of all. It has four hills, highest of which is 140 meters. The naval academy is found on this island, and there is a sanatorium at Pine Harbor. In addition to the old Byzantine church of Kamariotissa which was built right before the Turkish conquest of Istanbul, Heybeliada's other houses of worship are the Church of St. Niklaus, monastery of St. Trias and Beth Yakov synagogue. On the highest hill stands a former theological school of the Greek Orthodox Church, which continued instruction up until 1970.Kinaliada (Proti):Kinali is the closest island to the city and Armenians constitute the majority of its population. Although today this island could be reached within an hour by ship, in Byzantine days, most of the exiled ones, including Diogenes, were sent there. Surp Krikor Lusavorich church, Asri mosque and the Greek Orthodox Hristos (Christ) monastery on the Hill are located on Kinaliada.Burgazada (Pyrgos):Greeks and Jews form the majority on Burgaz island. The home of one of the important authors of Turkish literature, Sait Faik (1906-1954), is open for viewing. The religious sites on the island include a mosque, the churches of St. Georges, St. Ionisis and Hristos, part of a former Orthodox monastery which stands at the top of the island.Kasikada (Pytis):Only a caretaker and his family reside on this small, privately owned island, named for its spoon shape.Yassiada: Yassiada has belonged to the Turkish navy for a long period. As it is uninhabited, it may seem to be quite insignificant, but in the year 1960, after the military intervention, government officials were incarcerated there and tried by a military court, making the island very famous and much discussed. Now it is used by the Istanbul University sea products department.Sivriada (Oxya):The stray dogs of the Ottoman Empire in its last days were exiled to this island. The harbor isoften used by fishermen but the island has no permanent inhabitants.
The sahafs, who used to have their stores in the Grand Bazaar are now located around a small square at the Beyazit Gate of the bazaar. The area has been restored and become a center for finding both new and used books.
The Basilica of St. Sophia, now called the Ayasofya Museum; is unquestionably one ot the finest buildings of all time. Built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, its immense dome rises 55 meters above the ground and its diameter spans 31 meters. You should linger here to absorb the building's majestic serenity and to admire the fine Byzantine mosaics. (Open every day except Monday.)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 site of two previous churches, one that had been destroyed by earthquake and fire, The third and present structure was built at the orders of Emperor 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, Justinian is said to have murmered in 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 Haghia 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.
The most important monumental buildings of the city are found in this section of old Istanbul. Ever since the Roman period, the imperial buildings and sanctuaries were situated there. Where Sultanahmet mosque (the "Blue Mosque") stands today, imperial palaces had stood, and Topkapi Palace stands atop the Roman Acropolis. The great cathedral Hagia Sophia of the Byzantine emperors still stands near Sultanahmet mosque.Sultanahmet is the mosque only mosque in the world with six minarets.All these monuments remain in place, with the exception of the famed equestrian statues that once adorned the square and were later carried off by the Crusaders to Venice where they still stand in St. Mark's Cathedral square.
A Turkish bath (hamam) is on the itinerary of most visitors to Istanbul. The baths are open to men and women at different hours of the day. Traditionally these baths with their marble floors and basins have been a part of daily life in Turkey. The different units are kept at different temperatures. The center stones are slabs where you can sweat. The personnel, tellak for men and natir for women, will massage the skin with a roul silk cloth (kese).
The Dolmabahce Palace was built between 1843 and 1856 when the Ottoman Empire was losing its power. This superb palace displays the richness and power that the Sultans had. The decline of the Ottoman Empire began and people starting revolting; the Ottoman army was obsolete and disorganized, the economy was out of control.The Dolmabahce Palace is located on the west, European shore of the Bosphorus and is enormous. It has 248 rooms, 43 entrance halls, 6 Turkish baths and approximately 2.700 windows. It is divided into two sections: the official part - where the sultan would receive distinguished guests from all over the world and the Harem - where the Sultan's wife, mother and concubines lived.The palace is sumptuously decorated throughout - Bakara crystals, pictures by famous artists, luxurious furniture, rugs and carpets from the famous carpet manufacturers of the city Hereke. Every square meter was decorated with the best money can buy.A 2,000 square-meters salon has a crystal chandelier weighing 4.5 tons which was a present from the Queen Victoria of England. To heat this enormous salon it was necessary have to begin 3 days before the event.Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, lived and governed Turkey from this palace for just 3 months. You can visit his simple, modest bed-room and office, symbolic of a man who lived and died for his country.
During the Byzantine period the area of the Grand Bazaar was a trade center. After the Turks came to Istanbul, two bedestens which formed the essence of today's Grand Bazaar were built between 1455-1461 by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in an attempt to enrich the economic life in the city. Later on as people needed more places for their trade, they also added parts outside these bedestens. In time the Grand Bazaar was formed.Throughout the Ottoman period, the bazaar underwent earthquakes and fires and was restored several times.
Today, shops selling the same kind of merchandise tend to be congregated in their own streets or in hans as this was originally the Ottoman system. In addition to two bedestens there are also 13 hans in the Grand Bazaar.
With 18 entrances and more than four thousand shops it is one of the greatest bazaars in the World. The atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar is very interesting for tourists and has consequently become a very popular place for foreign visitors.It is open during working hours on weekdays, closing earlier on Saturdays, while on Sundays and religious holidays it is closed.A part of the Yeni Cami complex which is located next to it. Misir in Turkish means Egypt and it is called the Egyptian Bazaar because the shopkeepers used to sell spices and herbs which were brought from or through Egypt. During the Ottoman period it was known as a place where shops sold only spices. Today there are only a few spice and herb specialists. The rest sell dried fruit, borek, basket work, jewelry, haberdashery, drapery and suchlike.
On a finger of land at the confluence of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara stands the Topkapi Palace, that maze of buildings that was the focal point of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. Cosntruction of New Palace (Topkapý Palace) is started after 1466, and completed on 1478, a couple of years before the death of Fatih. This palace is not a building like other European Palaces, and composed of various mansions and chambers. Initially constructed Çinili Mansion is a Glass Palace and concluded on 1472. Mansion with Middle East architecture character and two layers become Archeology Museum on 1875 and Turkish Islam Pieces of Art Museum on 1908. It is also opened as Fatih Pieces of Art Museum on 1953. Çinili Mansion, Kubbealtý Arzodasý (Under Dome Submission Room), Hasoda, Treasury, Pantries and Expeditionist like barracks, a part of kitchens, patients room, hamam, now a library, Aðalar Mosque, stables and other buildings' construction is followed and finally structure is completed with the construction of main gate at Sultanahmet direction, known as Bab - ý Humayun and Palace ramparts on 1478.Palace residents, which were approximately 750 persons during Fatih period, become more crowd and during XIXth century, it reached to 5000 during normal days and extraordinary days like festivals 10.000. For this reason, new additions had been made to this palace.Topkapı Palace Harem division is constructed between 1574 -1595 during IIIrd Sultan Murad period and then Harem residents in Bazayýt had been moved to this place. Harem residents were 474 persons at the beginning of XIXth century. There were Black Eunuch in Sultans Palace Chamber while entering the Harem, and on the upper level of it, Prince's School for little princes. In the course of time, Enderun School, Master Doctor's Room, Enderun Pharmacy, mansions within internal courtyards and summer mansions at Sarayburnu coasts are constructed in the Palace, kitchens and stables are widened, and new mosques and libraries had been added.
Beylerbeyi palace was built by Sultan Abdulaziz at the site of the original wooden palace. The sultan who was a keen sportsman, and a known artist, is believed to have prepared the sketches for the decoration of the palace. The palace is a three storey structure and is decorated with 19th century European style. The structure is constructed from stone and marble.
The name Ceragan comes from the word "cerag" which means torch in Persian. The area in which the Palace is located was called Ceragan because of the famous Ottoman parties which were held in tulip gardens with torches.The palace was built during the reign of Abdulmecit and was designed by the Armenian Architect Serkis Balyan. The building was constructed using the financial loans that were obtained for restructuring the water system of Istanbul and the construction of a new railway. The construction took 12 years. This is the last palace built by the Ottoman Empire for the royal family.Unfortunately the main building was destroyed by fire on 6 january 1910. Only the exterior walls remained from the structure.The main building has been renovated and with the addition of a modern hotel building the site has been converted to a hotel.The other surviving buildings in the complex are being used as school.
Kariye Museum originally formed the center of a Byzantine monastery complex. Only the church section, which was dedicated to Jesus Christ the Savior, has survived. After the arrival of the Turks in Istanbul, this building, like the Hagia Sophia, was converted into a mosque. In 1948 it was made a museum leaving no Islamic element in the building except the 19C minaret outside in the corner."Kariye" is the Turkish adaptation of an ancient Greek word "Chora" which refers to countryside. Considering the perimeter of the walls of Constantine (4C AD) the building was located out of the city. If this theory is correct Chora Monastery should have been from the 4C. But unfortunately according to sources, the existence of Chora Monastery before the 8C is not certain.
The Suleymaniye is the second largest but by far the finest and most magnificiant of the imperial mosque complexes in the city.It is a fitting monument to its founder, Suleyman the magnificent, and a master work of greatest of Ottoman architects, thi incomparable Sinan.The mosque itself, the largest of Sinan's work, is perhaps inferior in perfection of design to that master's Selimiye at Edirne, but its incotestably the most important Ottoman building in Istanbul.The construction of Suleymaniye began in 1550 and the mosque itself was completed in 1557, but it was some years later before all the buildings of the complex were finished.Where the lend slopes sharply down toward the Golden Horn, the courtyard is supported by an elaborate vaultedsubstructure; from the terrace here on has a suberb view of the city.Around this courtyard on three sides are arranged the other builings of the complex with as much symmetry as the nature of the site would permit.Nearly all of these pious foundatuons have been well restored and some of them are once again serving the people of Istanbul as they did in the days of Suleyman.The mosque is preceded by a porticoed courtyard of exceptional grandeour, with columns of the richest porphyry, marble and grenite.The western portal of the court is flanked by a great pyloon containing two stories of chambers; these were the muvakithane, the house and workshop of the mosque astronomer.At the four croners of the courtyard rise the four great minarets.These four minarets are traditionally said to present the fact that Suleyman was the fourth sultan to reign in Istanbul; while the ten serefs or balconies denote that he was the tenth sultan of the Ottoman.Entering the mosque we find ourselves in a vast, almost square room surmounted by a dome.The interior is approximately58.5 by 57.5 meters, while the diameter of the dome is 27.5 meters and the hight of its crown above the floor is 47 meters.To east and west the dome is supported by semidomes, to north and south by arches with tympana filled with windows.The dome-arches rise from four great irregularly shaped piers.Up to this point the plan follows that of Hagia Sophia, but beyond this all is different.Between the piers to north and south triple arcades on two enormous monalithic columns support the tympana of the arches. There are no galleries here, nor can there properly be said to be aisles, since the great columns are so high and so far apart as not really to form a barrier between the central area and the walls; thus the immense space is not cut up into sections as at Haghia Sophia but is centralized and continuos. The method Sinan used to mask the huge buttresses required to support the four central piers is very ingenious, the device is extremely succesful, and is indeed one of the things which gives the exterior its interesting and beautiful distinction.
A 12th century stone tower 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 lighthouse, became the source of many legends in ancient days. It has recently been opened to the public and hosts concerts and meetings.According to a Turkish legend a princess was locked up in the tower by her father because of a 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 the 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.
The Underground Cistern is located near the Saint Sophia Church in the Sultan Ahmet district. The Turks call it "Yerenbatan Sarayi" which means "underground palace".The cistern was built by Justinian in the 6th century. It is 70 meters wide and 140 meters long, with a capacity of 80,000 cu.m. of water.The cistern is supported by 336 beautiful beautiful columns two of which are carved with the head of Medusa on the plinth.The cistern has been renovated and is open to the public every day of the week.While inside, you can enjoy classical background music, the differently illumuinated coloumns and watch fishes swimming in the water.
Istanbul Hotel Suadiye Anadolu yakası 'nda, Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadyumuna ve Formula 1 Istanbul Parka a en yakın ve en kaliteli otel dir.