Welcome to Istanbul!!
This magical meeting place of East and West has more top-drawer attractions than it has minarets (and that's a lot).
The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is an historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and a hospice.Besides still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.
HAGIA SOPHIA MUSEUM
Often referred to as the eighth wonder of the World, the
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish) in Sultanahmet is easily one of
Istanbul's most impressive sights. It also must have one of the most
turbulent histories of any museum in the world. To find out why, it's best
to look back through its previous incarnations. The Hagia Sophia Church
(AD360), The Hagia Sophia Mosque (1453), The Hagia Sophia Museum (1935)
The Greek hippodrome was similar to the Roman Circus. The
hippodrome was not a Roman amphitheatre which was used for spectator sports,
games and displays, or a Greek or Roman semi-circular theatre used for
The Greek hippodrome was usually set out on the slope of a hill, and the ground taken from one side served to form the embankment on the other side. One end of the hippodrome was semicircular, and the other end square with an extensive portico, in front of which, at a lower level, were the stalls for the horses and chariots. At both ends of the hippodrome there were posts (termai) that the chariots turned around. This was the most dangerous part of the track, and the Greeks put an altar to Taraxippus (disturber of horses) there to show the spot where many chariots wrecked.
A large ancient hippodrome was the Hippodrome of Constantinople, built between AD 203 and 330. However, since it was built to a Roman design, it was actually a circus.
The Topkapi Palace is the biggest and one of the most
popular sites to visit in Istanbul. It was built in between 1466 and 1478 by
the sultan Mehmet II on top of a hill in a small peninsula, dominating the
Golden Horn to the north, the Sea of Marmara to the south, and the Bosphorus
strait to the north east, with great views of the Asian side as well. The
palace was the political center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and
19th centuries, until they built Dolmabahce Palace by the waterside.
After the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Mehmet II ordered to built his palace in its present location on top of the ancient Byzantine ruins, meanwhile he spent some time during its construction at a smaller palace where there is the University of Istanbul today, in Bayezit square. Once they moved to Topkapi palace, the old one was called as "Old Palace" and Topkapi as the "New Palace". But local people called it as "Topkapi" which in Turkish means "Gate of Cannons" because of huge cannons displayed outside of its gates, those which were used during the Conquest.