ISTANBUL The guide The Bosphorus The Bosphorus is the 32 km (20-mile)-long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul, and separates the continents of Europe and Asia. It's great for a half-day cruise north toward the Black Sea. You can return to Istanbul by land along the European shore and see all the sights. It runs right through the heart of Istanbul, past theIstanbul Modern Art Museum, several Ottoman palaces, at least two fortresses, forested hills, and shore villages with Ottoman architecture.. Its English name comes from a Greek legend: Zeus had an affair with a beautiful women named Io. When Hera, his wife, discovered his infidelity, she turned Io into a cow and created a horsefly to sting her on the rump. Io jumped clear across the strait. Thus bous =cow, and poros = crossing-place: Bosphorus = "crossing-place of the cow." Recent marine archeological research in the chill, deep waters of the Black Sea has revealed sunken cities on the underwater slopes along the Turkish coast. Geological evidence supports the theory that in ancient times the northern end of the Bosphorus was blocked by earth and rock. The Black Sea had no outlet (like Lake Van today), and its water level was below that of the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus. However, an earthquake destroyed the Bosphorus blockage, releasing a deluge of water from the Bosphorus into the Black Sea, raising the water level and flooding its coastal communities. So it may well be that the Bosphorus is the source

of Noah's flood and the legend of Noah's Ark! (Mount Ararat is also in Turkey.) 32 km (20 miles) from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara...The Bosphorus has been a waterway of the highest importance since ancient times. Ulysses passed through. Byzas, who founded Byzantium (later Constantinople, later Istanbul) sailed up and down looking for the perfect place to found his village. In 1452, Mehmet the Conqueror ordered the construction of the mighty fortresses of Rumeli Hisar(Fortress of Europe) and Anadolu Hisar (Fortress of Anatolia) so he could control the strait and prevent reinforcements from reaching the besieged Byzantine capital of Constantinople. To the Ottomans it was mostly an obstacle: each spring they had to ship their gigantic armies across the strait from Istanbul for campaigns in Anatolia, Syria and Persia. During World War I, the Bosphorus was the key to the Black Sea and Russia. The Sultan held the key. The Entente powers wanted it. What they failed to get in battle they got by treaty, and British gunboats anchored outside Dolmabahe Palace. Today, the way to enjoy the Bosphorus is to take a cruise by traditional ferry ,TurYol boat or Dentur Avrasya boat, a self-guided tour of the European History of Instanbul What is now called Asian Istanbul was probably inhabited by people as early as 3000 BC. Eventually, in the 7th century, Greek colonists led by King Byzas established the colony of Byzantium, the Greek name for a city on the Bosphorus. Byzas chose the spot after consulting an oracle of Delphi who told him to settle across from the "land of the blind ones." Indeed, Byzas concluded, earlier settlers must have been

deprived of their sight to have overlooked this superb location at the mouth of the Bosphorus strait. This proved an auspicious decision by Byzas, as history has shown Istanbul's location important far beyond what these early Greek settlers might possibly have conceived. Byzas gave his name to the city: Byzantium. In the early 100's BC, it became part of the Roman Empire and in 306 AD, Emperor Constantine the Great made Byzantium capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. From that point on, the city was known as Constantinople. The mid 400's AD was a time of enormous upheaval in the empire. Barbarians conquered the western Roman Empire while the Eastern, also called the Byzantine Empire, kept Constantinople as its capital. In 532 during the reign of Justinian I, antigovernment riots destroyed the city. It was rebuilt, and outstanding structures such as Hagia Sophia stand as monuments to the heights Byzantine culture reached. The attribute that made the city so desirable, its incomparable location for trade and transport between three continents, was also its nemesis. For the next several hundred years Persians, Arabs, nomadic peoples, and members of the Fourth Crusade (who for a time governed the city) attacked Constantinople. Finally, in 1453, when Constantinople was so weakened by almost constant invasions and battles, the Ottoman Turks led by Sultan Mehmet II were able to conquer the city. Renamed Istanbul, it became the third and last capital of the Ottoman Empire. It was the nerve center for military campaigns that were to enlarge the Ottoman Empire dramatically. By the mid 1500's, Istanbul, with a population of almost half a million, was a major cultural, political, and commercial center. Ottoman rule continued until it was defeated in WWI and Istanbul was occupied by the allies. When the Republic of Turkey was born in 1923 after the War of Independence, Kemal Ataturk moved the capital to the city of Ankara. The city of Istanbul has continued to expand dramatically and today its population is over 13,6 million and increases at an estimated 700,000 immigrants per year. Industry has

Topkapi Palace, (Topkap Saray) Topkapi Palace is definitely the best looking palace in Turkey. Home for the Ottoman Sultans, is now a perfect place to be a Museum to reflect the glory of Ottoman Empire, Sultans and their way of living. The Museum is open between 9:00 am- 7:00 pm everyday except for Tuesdays. Tickets are purchased in the gateway to the Second Court. The tickets cost 20,- TL (approx. to 13 USD or 9 EURO) per person for 2011 season. The Harem section needs a separate admission fee and costs another 15,- TL. There is a discounted fee for the students. The Harem Section can be visited with a separate ticket in the ticket office near the Harem entrance. The tours to Harem are operated every half hour from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Topkapi palace has now an audio guide system which can be rented on the entrance for a cost of 15,- TL. The audio guide system is much like a big mobile phone. All important items on the palace was identified with numbers and if you dial the code number of the item or place, you can get a full description of it. Currently the system is available on following languages, English, Germain, French, Spanish and Italian. When Sultan Mehmed II captured Constantinople in 1453, he found the palaces of the Byzantine Emperors in such ruins as to be uninhabitable. He chose a large area on the broad peak of the Third Hill as the site of his first imperial residence. He constructed a great complex of buildings and gardens here and they came to be known as "Eski Saray" which means "The Old Palace". A few years later, he decided to have his palace on the N side of the First Hill which had been the acropolis of the ancient Byzantium. He constructed a massive wall surrounding the area along the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn. This took place during the period 145965 after the Sultan left the former palace to women of his father's harem. The Harem in Topkapi Palace in its present state dates back to the reign of Murat III(1574-95), Mehmed IV(1648-87) and Osman III(1754-57). Topkapi Palace was more than just the private residence of the Sultan and his court. It was the seat of the supreme executive and judiciary council, the Divan and the training school, the Palace School. In the First Courtyard, there were a hospital, bakery, arsenal, a state mint, a part of the treasury and the Outer Service. It was open to public. The Second Courtyard was open to people who had business with the council. The Third Courtyard was reserved to the Sultan's household and palace children. The Fourth Courtyard was

exclusively reserved for the Sultan's use. Topkapi Palace continued to be the principal residence for four centuries until in 1853, Sultan Abdul Mecid I moved into the new palace of Dolmabahce on the Bosphorus. The old palace was used as house for the women of the departed sultans and their servants until the Harem was officially disbanded in 1909. In 1924, Topkapi Palace was converted to a museum with the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The final step was the opening of the Harem to the public in 1960. THE BLUE MOSQUE The Blue Mosque is so named because of the beautiful blue Iznik tiles decorating the interior. Officially called the 'Sultan Ahmet Mosque' by local people, it was built by Sultan Ahmet in 1609 and completed 7 years later... The Blue Mosque in the Old City of Istanbul is so named because of the beautiful blue Iznik tiles decorating the interior. Officially called the 'Sultan Ahmet Mosque' by local people, it was built by Sultan Ahmet in 1609 and completed 7 years later... The architect who oversaw its design was Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, better known as a student of Sinan (the greatest architect ever seen in the Ottoman Empire). Not only was it built to serve as a mosque, but its huge surrounding complex also held a medrese (theological school), turbe (tomb), hospital, caravanserai, primary school, public kitchen and market, although the hospital and caravanserai were destroyed in the nineteenth century. After the public kitchens were destroyed in a fire in 1970, they were restored and incorporated into

the School of Industrial Art. It presently serves as the Dean's Office for the Marmara University. The Blue Mosque is open all day except during prayer times. THE GALATA TOWER The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi in Turkish) is a medieval stone tower in the Galata district of Istanbul, just to the north of the Golden Horn. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and affords a panoramic vista of Old Istanbul and its environs. The tower was built in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople and is 66.90 meters tall. In 1875, during a storm, the conic roof on the top of the building was destroyed. The tower remained without this conic roof for the rest of the Ottoman period. Many years later, in 1965-1967, during the Turkish Republic, the original conical cap was restored.

GALATA BRIDGE The Galata Bridge (in Turkish Galata Kprs) is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul. It was a symbolic link between the traditional city of Istanbul , site of the imperial palace and principal religious and secular institutions of the empire. The first recorded bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul was built during the reign of Justinian the Great in the 6th century, it was close to the area near the Theodosian Land Walls at the western end of the Roman city. Then there were built other bridges over the Golden Horn and one of the projects has been thought by Leonardo The Golden Horn The Golden Horn is an inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming a natural harbor. It is a scimitarshaped estuary that joins the Bosphorus just at the point where that strait enters the Sea of Marmara, thus forming a peninsula the tip of which is "Old Istanbul"

. It is a flooded prehistoric estuary long 7.5 kilometers and 750 meters across at its widest. Its maximum depth, where it flows into the Bosphorus, is about 35 meters. It is today spanned by four bridges. The Byzantine Empire had its naval headquarters there, and walls were built along the shoreline to protect the city of Constantinople from naval attacks. At the entrance to the Horn on the northern side, a large chain was pulled across from Constantinople to the old Tower of Galata The Grand Bazar The Grand Bazaar (Kapalar) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops, and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewellery and the like. The bazaar has been an important trading centre since 1461 and its

labyrinthine vaults feature two bedestens (domed buildings), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake. The complex houses two mosques, four fountains, two hamams, and several cafs and restaurants. In the centre is the high domed hall of the Cevahir Bedesten, where the most valuable items and antiques were to be found in the past, and still are today, including furniture, copperware, amber prayer beads, inlaid weapons, icons, mother-of-pearl mirrors, water pipes, watches and clocks, candlesticks, old coins, and silver and gold jewellery set with coral and turquoise. A leisurely afternoon spent exploring the bazaar, sitting in one of the cafs and watching the The Chora Church The Chora Church was originally built outside the walls of Constantinople, to the south of the Golden Horn. Literally translated, the church's full name was the Church of the Holy Saviour in the Country: although "The Church of the Holy Redeemer in the Fields" would be a more natural rendering of

the name in English. The last part of that name, Chora, referring to its location originally outside of the walls, became the shortened name of the church. The original church on this site was built in the early 5th century, and stood outside of the 4th century walls of Constantine the Great. However, when Theodosius II built his formidable land walls in 413414, the church became incorporated within the city's defences, but retained the name Chora. The name must have carried symbolic meaning, as the mosaics in the narthex describe Christ as the Land of the Living and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the Container of the Uncontainable. The majority of the fabric of the current building dates from 10771081, when Maria Dukaina, the mother-in-law of Alexius I Comnenus, rebuilt the Chora Church as an inscribed cross or quincunx: a popular architectural style of the time. Early in the 12th century, the church suffered a partial collapse, perhaps due to an earthquake. The church was rebuilt by Isaac Comnenus, Alexius's third son. However, it was only after the third phase of building, two centuries after, that the church as it stands today was completed. The powerful Byzantine statesman Theodore Metochites endowed the church with much of its fine mosaics and frescos. Theodore's impressive decoration of the interior was carried out between 1315 and 1321. The mosaic-work is the finest example of the Palaeologian Renaissance. The artists remain unknown. In 1328, Theodore was sent into exile by the usurper Andronicus III Palaeologus. However, he was allowed to return to the city two years later, and lived out the last two years of his life as a monk in his Chora Church. During the last siege of Constantinople in 1453, the Icon of the Theotokos Hodegetria, considered the protector of the City, was brought to Chora in

order to assist the defenders against the assault of the Ottomans. Around fifty years after the fall of the city to the Ottomans, Atk Ali Paa, the Grand Vizier of Sultan Bayezid II, ordered the Chora Church to be converted into a mosque Kariye Camii. Due to the prohibition against Dolmabahe Palace Dolmabahe Palace (Turkish: Dolmabahe Saray) located in the Beikta district of Istanbul on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922. The design contains eclectic elements from the Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, blended with traditional Ottoman architecture to create a new synthesis. The palace layout and dcor reflect the increasing influence of European styles and standards on Ottoman culture and art during the Tanzimat period. Functionally, on the other hand, it retains elements of traditional Ottoman palace life, and also features of traditional Turkish homes. Dolmabahe Palace was home to six Sultans from 1856, when it was first inhabited, up until the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924: The last royal to live here was Caliph Abdlmecid Efendi. A law that went into effect on March 3, 1924 transferred the ownership of the palace to the national heritage of the new Turkish Republic. The palace is composed of three parts; the Mabeyn-i Hmyn (the quarters reserved for the men), Muayede Salonu (the ceremonial hall) and the Harem-i Hmyn (the Harem, the residential apartments of the family of the Sultan). The palace has an area of 45,000 m2 (11.2 acres), and contains 285 rooms, 46 halls, 6 baths (hamam) and 68 toilets. Egyptian Bazar

The Spice Bazaar, (Turkish: 'Msr ars', or Egyptian Bazaar) in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the largest bazaars in the city. Located in Fatih, in the neighborhood of Eminn, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. There are several documents suggesting the name of the bazaar was first "New Bazaar". The building was endowed to the foundation of the Yeni Mosque, and got its name ("Egyptian Bazaar", Turkish: Msr ars) because it was built with the revenues from Egypt.The word msr has a double meaning in Turkish: "Egypt" and "maize". This is why sometimes the name is wrongly translated as "Corn Bazaar". The bazaar was (and still is) the center for spice trade in Istanbul, but in the last years more and more shops of other type are replacing the spice shops. [ The building itself is part of the klliye of Yeni Mosque, and rents from the shops within was intended to help pay for the upkeep of the mosque. The structure was designed by the chief

court architect Koca Kasm Aa, but completed by architect Mustafa in 1660. The Spice Bazaar is an L-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now Created by: Andrea Flamini Sandro Marseglia Lorenzo Maugeri Francesco Mazzetti Massimiliano Zampano

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