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Sultanahmet Area

Topkapı Palace at Raffles Istanbul

Topkapı Palace Museum

The Topkapı Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 400 years (1465–1856) of their 624-years reign. Palace was built upon a 700.000 square meters area on an Eastern Roman Acropolis located at the Istanbul Peninsula between the Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Topkapı Palace, was the administrative, educational and art center of the empire. The palace transformed into a museum on April 3th, 1924 after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. Topkapı Palace is one of the biggest palace-museums with its architectural structures, collections and approximately 300.000 archive papers.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, known as “Megale Ekklesia” (Great Church) during the first construction phase, rises in Eminönü district. It was inaugurated on February 15th, 360 A.D and completely burned down in 532 A.D. The current building was constructed again as a church employing ten thousand workers between 532 and 537 AD by Justinian I.

A new period began after the conquest of Istanbul by Sultan Mehmed II. in 1453 A.D. The Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque in the period of Sultan Mehmed II. and today, serves as a museum.

Blue Mosque

It is located just across the Hagia Sophia, in the Eminönü district of Istanbul. The architect of the mosque is Sedefkar Mehmed Aga, who is the head architect after Architect Sinan. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known mainly as “Blue Mosque” due to its magnificent interior paneling of more than 20,000 blue and white Iznik tiles with floral motifs.

Blue Mosque is the only mosque with 6 minarets among mosques in Istanbul. It is also one of the recent masterpieces of the classical Ottoman architectural heritage.

The Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern, located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul next to the Hagia Sophia, was built to provide water for the city of Istanbul during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE. This cistern is an underground chamber of 138 x 64.6 meters, broken up by 336 marble columns.

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors daily. The construction of the Grand Bazaar's core started in 1455 and completed in 1730’s. Today the Grand Bazaar is a thriving complex, employing 26,000 people and one of the major landmarks of Istanbul.

Maiden’s Tower

The Maiden's Tower is a lying on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m (220 yd) from the coast of Üsküdar since the medieval Byzantine period in Istanbul. Today, there is a restaurant in the first floor and a café at the top of the tower welcoming visitors.

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