. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country economic, cultural, and historical heart.Its commercial and historical centre lies in the European part of Eurasia, while about a third of its population lives in the Asian part.With a population of 14.1 million, the city forms the largest urban agglomeration in Europe as well as the largest in the Middle East, and the sixth largest city proper in the world.Istanbul vast area of 5,343 square kilometers (2,063 sq mi) is coterminous with Istanbul Province, of which the city is the administrative capital.Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus strait in northwestern Turkey between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish Sultan Ahmet Camii) is a historic mosque in Istanbul.The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I.Its Kulliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice.The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque.
. Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Muzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey.From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931.It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ.Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Saint Sophia), sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom.
. The Topkapi Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 400 years (1465 1856) of their 624 year reign.As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments.It is now a museum and as such a major tourist attraction.It also contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammed cloak and sword.The Topkapi Palace is among the monuments contained within the Historic Areas of Istanbul , which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described under UNESCO criterion iv as the best example of ensembles of palaces of the Ottoman period.
. The Basilica Cistern (Turkish Yerebatan Sarayi Sunken Palace, or Yerebatan Sarnici Sunken Cistern), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul (that is formerly Constantinople), Turkey.The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
. The Suleymaniye Mosque (Turkish Suleymaniye Camii, Turkish pronunciation) is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey.It is the largest mosque in the city, and one of the best known sights of Istanbul.
. The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (Turkish Kariye Muzesi, Kariye Camii, Kariye Kilisesi the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful surviving examples of a Byzantine church. The church is situated in Istanbul, in the Edirnekapi neighborhood, which lies in the western part of the municipality (belediye) of Fatih.In the 16th century, during the Ottoman era, the church was converted into a mosque and, finally, it became a museum in 1948.The interior of the building is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes.
. The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi in Turkish) called Christea Turris (the Tower of Christ in Latin) by the Genoese is a medieval stone tower in the GalataorKarakoy quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn junction with the Bosphorus.One of the city most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul historic peninsula and its environs.
. The Grand Bazaar (Turkish Kapalicarsi, meaning Covered Bazaar also Buyuk carsi, meaning 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 which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.In 2014, it is listed No.1 among world most visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors.
. The Golden Horn (Turkish Halic), or Altin Boynuz (literally, Golden Horn ), is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.It is a horn shaped estuary (hence, the name) that joins Bosphorus Strait at the immediate point where said strait meets the Sea of Marmara, thus forming a narrow, isolated peninsula, the tip of which is Old Istanbul (ancient Byzantion and Constantinople), and the promontory of Sarayburnu, or Seraglio Point.The Golden Horn geographically separates the historic center of Istanbul from the rest of the city, and forms a natural, sheltered harbor that has historically protected Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other maritime trade ships for thousands of years.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums
. The Istanbul Archaeology Museums (Turkish ?stanbul Arkeoloji Muzeleri) is a group of three archeological museums located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, Turkey, near Gulhane Park and Topkapi Palace.The Istanbul Archaeology Museums consists of three museums.
. Dolmabahce Palace (Turkish Dolmabahce Sarayi, IPA located in the Besiktas district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, apart from a 22 year interval (1887 1909) in which Yildiz Palace was used.
. The Yeni Cami, meaning New Mosque originally named the Valide Sultan Mosque (Turkish Valide Sultan Camii) and later New Valide Sultan Mosque (Turkish Yeni Valide Sultan Camii) after its partial reconstruction and completion between 1660 and 1665 is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminonu quarter of Istanbul, Turkey.It is situated on the Golden Horn, at the southern end of the Galata Bridge, and is one of the famous architectural landmarks of Istanbul.
. Galata was a neighbourhood opposite Constantinople (today Istanbul), located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople.The Golden Horn is crossed by several bridges, most notably the Galata Bridge.The medieval citadel of Galata was a colony of the Republic of Genoa between 1273 and 1453.The famous Galata Tower was built by the Genoese in 1348 at the northernmost and highest point of the citadel.At present, Galata is a quarter within the borough of Beyoglu in Istanbul, and is known as Karakoy.
Little Hagia Sophia Building in Istanbul, Turkey
. Little Hagia Sophia (Turkish Kucuk Ayasofya Camii), formerly the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus is a former Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire.This Byzantine building with a central dome plan was erected in the sixth century by Justinian, likely was a model for Hagia Sophia (St.Sophia), and is one of the most important early Byzantine buildings in Istanbul.It was recognized at the time as an adornment to the entire city, and a modern historian of the East Roman Empire has written that the church,by the originality of its architecture and the sumptuousness of its carved decoration, ranks in Constantinople second only to St.Sophia itself.
. The Galata Bridge (in Turkish Galata Koprusu) is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey.From the end of the 19th century in particular, the bridge has featured in Turkish literature, theater, poetry and novels.
. Nisantasi is a quarter of the sisli district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.It comprises neighbourhoods like Tesvikiye, Macka, Osmanbey and Pangalti.A popular shopping and residential district, it is considered to be one of Istanbul most exclusive neighbourhoods.The area includes brand name stores, popular European style caf
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. The Maiden Tower (Turkish Kiz Kulesi), also known as Leander Tower (Tower of Leandros) since the medieval Byzantine period, is a tower lying on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m (220 yd) from the coast of uskudar in Istanbul, Turkey.
. Miniaturk is a miniature park situated at the north eastern shore of Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey.It was opened May 2, 2003.Miniaturk covers a total area of 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft).It is one of the world largest miniature parks with its 15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) model area.Miniaturk has 40,000 m2 (430,000 sq ft) of open space, 3,500 m2 (38,000 sq ft) of covered area, 2,000 m2 (22,000 sq ft) of pools and waterways, and a parking lot with a capacity of 500 vehicles.The park contains 122 models done in 1or25th scale.58 of the structures are from Istanbul, 52 are from Anatolia, and 12 are from the Ottoman territories that today lie outside of Turkey. Also featured are historic structures like the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus (now Bodrum).Additional space is reserved for potential future models.
. Rumelihisari (also known as Rumelian Castle and Roumeli Hissar Castle ) is a fortress located in the Sariyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosphorus.It gives the name of the quarter around it.It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople. The three great towers were named after three of Mehmed II viziers, Sadrazam candarli Halil Pasha, who built the big tower next to the gate, Zaganos Pasha, who built the south tower, and Sarica Pasha, who built the north tower.
. Fatih is a municipality (belediye) and district in Istanbul, Turkey that encompasses most of the peninsula coinciding with historic Constantinople.In 2009, the district of Eminonu, formerly a separate municipality located at the tip of the peninsula, was merged into Fatih.Fatih borders the Golden Horn to the north and the Sea of Marmara to the south, while the Western border is demarked by the Theodosian wall.The mayor is Mustafa Demir (AKP).
. Gulhane Park (Turkish Gulhane Parki, Rosehouse Park from Persian, house of flowers ) is a historical urban park in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, Turkey it is located adjacent to and on the grounds of the Topkapi Palace.The south entrance of the park sports one of the larger gates of the palace.It is the oldest and one of the most expansive public parks in Istanbul.
. The Beylerbeyi Palace (Turkish Beylerbeyi Sarayi, Beylerbeyi meaning Lord of Lords) is located in the Beylerbeyi neighbourhood of Istanbul, Turkey at the Asian side of the Bosphorus.An Imperial Ottoman summer residence built in the 1860s, it is now situated immediately north of the 1973 Bosphorus Bridge.
Walls of Constantinople
. The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople (today Istanbul in Turkey) since its founding as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great.With numerous additions and modifications during their history, they were the last great fortification system of antiquity, and one of the most complex and elaborate systems ever built.Initially built by Constantine the Great, the walls surrounded the new city on all sides, protecting it against attack from both sea and land.As the city grew, the famous double line of the Theodosian Walls was built in the 5th century.Although the other sections of the walls were less elaborate.
. The Caferaga Medresseh (Turkish Caferaga Medresesi) is a former medresseh, located in Istanbul, Turkey, next to the Hagia Sophia.It was built in 1559 by Mimar Sinan by orders of Cafer Agha, a eunuch during the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1520 1566).The medresseh, listed within the independent medressehs and having had a number of restorations until today, was changed by the Turkish Cultural Service Foundation in 1989 into a tourist centre with 15 classroomsorexhibition rooms, a big salon and a garden where traditional Turkish handicrafts such as calligraphy, ceramics, jewelry and so forth are taught, made and sold.
Obelisk of Theodosius
. The Obelisk of Theodosius (Turkish Dikilitas) is the Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III re erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople (known today as At Meydani or Sultanahmet Meydani, in the modern city of Istanbul, Turkey) by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in the 4th century AD.