Istanbul, a charming city built on two Continents, divided by the Bosphorus… With this amazing geographical location, the city offers different tastes, cultures and spirits thanks to its two different faces; West and East…
From the foundation of Byzantium in the 7th century BC until today, Istanbul has the power of being one of the most important cities on all over the world. Since the proclamation of Republic of Turkey in 1923, Istanbul continued to grow and has become both financial and cultural capital of Turkey. And this union finally creates the spirit of Istanbul; always dynamic, 24 hours living, a metropole for everyone…
Byzantium’s largest cathedral, Haghia Sophia was the centre of eastern Christian Church in its time. First built in 360 by Emperor Constantine, the church was burned down twice during revolts. Between 537 and 537 AD, it was rebuilt on a larger scale to match Emperor Justinian’s plans to re-unite the old Roman Empire. Its architects were the geometry expert Isidorus of Miletus and the master matematician Anthemius of Tralles. The church is dedicated to Haghia Sophia, or Holly Wisdom.
Four minarets were added to the complex in later period. The mosaics were covered with plaster in 1750, but after the building turned into a museum in 1934, the mosaics were uncovered under the direction of Thomas Whittemore. The restoration was complated in early 2010.
The construction of Topkapı Palace, which is at the top of the list of places to be seen in Istanbul, was lunched in1478 by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror who took the city in 1453. Located where the oldest acropolis in Istanbul originally stood., the palace grew gradually by new buildings added by various sultans. It served as the seat of imperial rule and the official residence of Ottoman sultans for 380 years until Sultan Abdulmecit relocated the centre of adminstration to the newly built Dolmabahçe Palace. Following the proclamation of the republic, Topkapı Palace was placed under the administration of the Museum of Ancient Buildings upon the instructions of Atatürk in 1924. Through this instruction it was openede to public visit.Through continuous restoration more pavilions have been opened to public acces in the museum.With the Holy Islamic Relics displayed in a renovated pavilion, with its unmatched jewellery, weaponry, books, manuscript and garment collections it is the most frequently visited museum of Istanbul.,
Sultan Ahmet I's grand architectural gift to his capital was this beautiful mosque, commonly known as the Blue Mosque today. Built between 1609 and 1616, the mosque caused a furore throughout the Muslim world when it was finished, as it had six minarets (the same number as the Great Mosque of Mecca). A seventh minaret was eventually gifted to Mecca to stem the dissent.
The mosque gets its nickname from its interior decoration of tens of thousands of Iznik tiles. The entire spatial and color effect of the interior makes the mosque one of the finest achievements of Ottoman architecture. A great sightseeing joy of a trip to Istanbul is wandering amid the gardens sandwiched between the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofya to experience their dueling domes in twin glory. Come at dusk for extra ambience, as the call to prayer echoes out from the Blue Mosque's minaret.
The Basilica Cistern is one of Istanbul's most surprising tourist attractions. This huge, palace-like underground hall, supported by 336 columns in 12 rows, once stored the imperial water supply for the Byzantine emperors. The project was begun by Constantine the Great but finished by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century.
Many of the columns used in construction were recycled from earlier classical structures and feature decorative carvings. The most famous of these are the column bases known as the Medusa stones in the northwest corner with their Medusa head carvings. A visit here is very atmospheric with the columns beautifully lit and the soft, steady trickle of water all around you.
For many visitors, sightseeing in Istanbul is as much about shopping as museums and monumental attractions, and the Grand Bazaar is where everyone comes. This massive covered market is basically the world's first shopping mall, taking up a whole city quarter, surrounded by thick walls, between the Nure Osmaniye Mosque and Beyazit Mosque. The Beyazit Mosque (built in 1498-1505) itself occupies the site of Theodosius I's Forum and has architecture inspired by the Aya Sofya.
Entrance to the bazaar is through one of 11 gates from where a maze of vaulted-ceiling laneways, lined by shops and stalls selling every Turkish souvenir and handicraft you could imagine, cover the area. The various trades are still mostly segregated into particular sections, which makes browsing easier. Near the bazaar's Divanyolu Caddesi entrance is the Burned Column. This stump (still 40 meters high) of a porphyry column was set up by Constantine the Great in his forum. Until 1105, it bore a bronze statue of Constantine.
The bazaar is open between 08:30 and 19:00 on weekdays and Saturday and the only off-day is Sunday.
Chora means "country" in Greek, and this beautiful Church (originally called the Church of St. Saviour of Chora) lay just outside old Constantinople's city walls. The first Chora Church was probably built here in the 5th century, but what you see now is the building's 6th reconstruction as it was destroyed completely in the 9th century and went through several facelifts from the 11th to 14th centuries.
The church (now a museum) is rightly world-famous for its fabulously vibrant 14th-century mosaics, preserved almost intact in the two narthexes and fragmentarily in the nave, and the frescoes along the walls and domes. These incredible examples of Byzantine artistry cover a wide range of themes, from the genealogy of Christ to the New Testament stories.
For detailed information about Istanbul, please visit the official website of Directorate of Culture and Tourism:
ESPRAS (The European Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery), endorses the International Congress on Occupational Accidents, Hand Injuries and Amputations.