Unfortunately, due to Islamic terrorism, many tourist cities have lost visitors in recent times. This is the case of Istanbul , a corner of Europe that is worth visiting for many reasons: the contrasts, the mosques, the gastronomy, the landscapes, the history, the monuments …
To convince you that Istanbul is a wonderful city that you must visit at least once in your life, today we are going to tell you about eight of its most beautiful places. We have had a hard time making a selection, but we believe that the corners that we are going to show you below are essential during a trip to the most important city in Turkey, with the permission of Ankara, the capital. Would you like to join us?
First of all, we want to talk about Hagia Sophia, the symbol of Istanbul. We are talking about an old Orthodox patriarchal basilica that was converted into a mosque. Today it is a museum, as well as being one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. Built in the 6th century, it is considered one of the masterpieces of Byzantine art.
The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is located in front of Hagia Sophia. In fact, only a garden separates them. It is the only mosque in Istanbul that has six minarets . Its spectacular exterior is in keeping with its sumptuous interior, in which it is possible to find beautiful blue mosaics.
How could it be otherwise, we must also talk about the Grand Bazaar, which is considered one of the largest bazaars in the world. Located in the center of the Old City , it has more than 48 streets and 4,000 shops, highlighting the jewelry, goldsmith, spices and carpet businesses. If you visit this place, feel free to haggle over the prices.
We also want to talk about the Basilica Cistern, the largest of the 60 cisterns built under the city during the Byzantine era. Its function was to house water to supply the population in case of being attacked. The cistern, also known as the Submerged Palace, will surprise you with its soft light, the background music and its freshness.
If you have the opportunity to travel to Istanbul, you cannot miss Topkapi Palace, which was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-15th century to the late 19th century. From here you can get wonderful views of the Bosphorus , also known as the Istanbul Strait. In the same enclosure is the Archaeological Museum, in addition to other buildings of interest.
Another place worth visiting is the Süleymaniye Mosque, also known as the Suleiman Mosque. It is an Ottoman imperial mosque that is located on the third hill of the city. It is the largest of all and offers a spectacular panoramic view of Istanbul.
On the European coast of the Bosphorus is the Dolmabahçe Palace, which served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1853 to 1922. It is a building that combines Western Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, and the traditional Ottoman style. With an area of 15,000 square meters, it is considered the largest building in the country. Since 1984 it has been a museum.
Finally, knowing that we are leaving many other interesting corners in the pipeline, we want to talk about the Galata Tower, also known as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) and Megalos Pyrgos (the Great Tower). Located north of the Golden Horn, a historic estuary at the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, it is considered one of the oldest towers in the world.
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