Are you thinking of visiting İstanbul? Explore with us! Besides being a very good option for Istanbul Turkey, it emerges in a very different way of people coming from abroad. It is a cosmopolitical city that has developed itself very historically by hosting many civilizations. Besides its historical aspect, it also enchants its visitors with its natural beauty. Different religions and cultures have lived in Istanbul for a long time and left their traces.
Let’s look at the countless beauties of Istanbul from every angle.
İstanbul as a representation of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism
İstanbul is a city that hosts many religions together and you can see the effects of this in architecture. Religious buildings were built in Istanbul by emperors of all religions. Ready for a real tour of the İstanbul city? Let’s dive in!
Important buildings for both Christianity and Islam
When it comes to İstanbul, the first thing that comes to mind is the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Hagia Sophia was opened as a church on December 27, 537, and was built by Justinian. It has been called the largest building outside of the pyramids for about 1000 years. Its dome was the largest dome of worship for 1000 years. Justinian did something very important and built a dome on the rectangular structure.
Kariye mosque was formerly known as Saint Savior Hora Church. The mosque is famous for its mosaics. The building was built in 536 during the reign of Justinian I and it is still a building that will impress you.
Let’s take a deep look at the buildings from the Christian culture
- Istanbul hosts the Hagia Yorgi Greek Patriarchate. It is the center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and contains a sacred stone. According to the belief, this stone was used when Jesus was chained and whipped in Jerusalem.
- Antuan Catholic Church is also an important building in Istanbul for Christianity and the largest congregation is St. Anthony of Padua Church. The building, which will impress you with Gothic architecture, was built in 1906.
- Hagia Eirene is also known as Saint Irene and is an Orthodox Church. The church, whose architecture belongs to Byzantium, started to be built in the 4th century.
For a religious education: Greek Orthodox Theological School
The Greek Orthodox Seminary is located on an island in Istanbul. This school is a university. The school building was originally built as the Aya Triada Church in the 9th century. Later, he taught at a university and gave the last High School education. The Fener Greek Patriarchate did not welcome this and the school was completely closed to education.
The most beautiful traces of Islam in Istanbul: Mosques
- Apart from Hagia Sophia, Istanbul hosts 2 major and important mosques that represent Muslims; Suleymaniye mosque and Sultanahmet mosque. Süleymaniye Mosque was built by Mimar Sinan, one of the world’s greatest architects of his time. Suleymaniye Mosque is one of the greatest examples of Ottoman Architecture and despite many earthquakes, it did not receive the slightest damage.
- The Sultanahmet Mosque, on the other hand, became the main mosque of Istanbul after Hagia Sophia became a museum. Its guests from abroad also know the mosque as the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was built by Architect Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa between 1609-1617.
- Eyüp Sultan Mosque is next to a mosque where tombs, tombs, and sarcophagi are intertwined. No other mosque has intertwined tombs and tombs so much, and this building was opened for worship in 1458.
How about discovering Judaism?
The Ahrida Synagogue, which is very important for the Jews, is also located in Istanbul. The building has a school, namely midrash, in its courtyard. When Sabetay Sevi wanted to worship, he only came to this synagogue. Sabetay Sevi is the prophet of the Sabetayians. Although the building was built at the beginning of the 15th century, its structure has survived until today.
You will be fascinated by the Palaces in Istanbul
Istanbul has many magnificent and rich palaces. Today, all of them are used as museums and you cannot get enough of them.
Get to know the Ottoman Empire buildings closely
- Topkapı Palace is the first on our list. Topkapi Palace served the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire for 400 years. It was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who conquered Istanbul in 1453. The building was built in 1478. Today, the building takes the lead within Istanbul in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Dolmabahçe Palace: whose construction started in 1843, is the place where the state administration was carried out after the Topkapı Palace. Dolmabahçe Palace stands against a perfect sea view. A building that will fascinate you with its seafront view and architecture. Ottoman ships were anchoring here before the palace.
- The third on our list is the Yıldız Palace: This palace III. It was built for Selim’s mother, Mihrişah Sultan. The palace is in a grove. It does not consist of a single building and contains mansions, parks, and service buildings. This palace, which will help you understand Ottoman architecture, is located on the seafront. It is one of the most typical examples of Ottoman architecture.
- Another palace that will fascinate you: Beylerbeyi Palace: This palace is located at the seaside just like Dolmabahçe and Yıldız Palace. All of them will be enough to enchant you with their view. The area where the palace is located was used as a settlement even in the Byzantine period. So it is a historical place. It contains 5 different mansions and does not consist of just one building. The palace has a pool that takes its water from the sea and its surroundings are full of rooms.
- An excellent fortress built for the sake of war: Rumeli Fortress: This fortress was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet to prevent attacks. It was built right across the Anatolian Fortress. The fort has 3 big towers and its construction was finished in 90 days. If you want to have a magnificent view of the Bosphorus, you should see the Rumeli Fortress.
- Küçüksu Pavilion: Built-in an area where fresh and saltwater meets, this pavilion was once the biggest entertainment venue.
You will be captivated by the sights of Istanbul
Istanbul is a city where you can be in touch with the sea and has wonderful views. Let’s take a look at places where you can be in touch with the sea.
- Galata Tower and Maiden’s Tower: Galata tower is one of the oldest towers in the world and its view is the sea. People date people they fall in love with and rumor has it, they never leave. Maiden’s Tower was built on an islet. When you look at it from the land, it emerges as a magnificent structure in the middle of the sea.
- The Bosphorous: A natural beauty that will come to mind when it comes to the scenery: the Bosphorus. This strait separates the Asian and European continents and connects the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. It is also an international waterway. It is this strait that separates the city of Istanbul from the European and Anatolian sides.
- Istanbul Islands: Islands consist of 9 small and large islands and transportation is made by sea. Besides being able to swim, the island is also an excellent area for bicycle tours and nature walks. Want to have a good time isolated from the crowd? Then Adalar will be the right choice.
- Pierre Loti Hill: This hill is one of the most visited areas by tourists because you can sip your coffee by looking at the view of Istanbul from very high. The hill got its name from the French writer Julien Viaud, who often comes here.
- Great Camlica Hill: This hill, which is 268 meters above sea level, is a monocknod hill. It was formed naturally, and only its arrangement was made later. It consists of resistant rocks and is in the form of a witness hill.
For a bird’s eye view of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and the Bosphorus Bridge: Otağtepe Park. A place where you can take a glimpse of the sea and these bridges.
A city that will improve you with cultural tours: İstanbul
Apart from all these things, İstanbul hosts many historical and cultural places. Find out with us these places and their importance!
- Are you keen on toys? Istanbul Toy Museum is just for you. Founded on April 23, 2005, this museum is a cultural museum devoted only to toys. You will both have fun and learn while traveling.
- Not without shopping while in Istanbul. Nişantaşı is a favorite place for shopping. This region, where all kinds of brands are located side by side, will make you very comfortable. You can also visit the cafes here and have a coffee.
- A favorite place for all tourists: Grand Bazaar. This bazaar is the largest in the world and one of the oldest covered bazaars. It contains exactly 4,000 shops. It is almost like a district by itself. With 91 million tourists a year, it is one of the regions that receive the most tourists in the world. Its construction is based on the 1460s.
- Spice Bazaar: It is another favorite place for tourists. It has its streets and shops. From here, you can get a lot of special cultural and Turkey.
- Basilica Cistern: The biggest closed cistern in Istanbul is the basin cistern. You can enter this cistern from the Hagia Sophia building. The Cistern was built in the Byzantine Empire. People called this cistern the Yerebatan Cistern because of the rise of many marbles from the water.
- Şerefiye Cistern or Teodosus Cistern: The entrance to this cistern is from Piyer Loti street. The dates of its construction are 428-443. The cistern is supported by 32 marble columns. They will offer you a magnificent feast under the ground.
- Museum of Innocence: It is nothing like the museums you normally see. Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk wrote a book called The Museum of Innocence and built a museum according to the fiction in this book. In other words, the museum was built based on the fiction of a book.
- City Wall: Among the buildings built up to this time, one of the most complex and detailed is the City Wall built during the Roman period. These walls protected the city against attacks from both sea and land until 1453.
If you are interested or curious about art, we have a suggestion for you: Beyoğlu Art Gallery. The gallery is located on Istiklal Street, one of the most crowded and famous streets of the city.
FAQs About İstanbul tours
Is it safe to go to Istanbul in 2020?
İstanbul is a very safe city. Every region you go to is under state protection. Museums and palaces are guarded by security guards. Moreover, wherever you look, you can see the cops who are there to protect you.
Is it expensive to travel to Istanbul?
Visiting most of the regions we mentioned in İstanbul is completely free. You can find accommodation for every budget. Needs such as food are not too expensive in Istanbul. To summarize, Istanbul will not be expensive for you.
Do they speak English in Istanbul?
Many tradesmen in İstanbul speak English because they encounter tourists a lot. You won’t have a problem getting along.
Is Istanbul safe for a woman traveling alone?
As a woman, you can travel comfortably in İstanbul. Cops will be everywhere to protect you, and crime rates are not worrisome.
Writen by : Bercem Dinc