Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodoxpatriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader established Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.
Istanbul Archaeology Museum (Arkeoloji Muzesi)
Besides its importance as the first Turkish museum, it remains one of the world's largest museums with over one million works. Opened to the public in 1891, it houses a collection of Greek, Roman and Byzantine artifacts.
"Sunken Palace", is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul .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
Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasahand a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction.
The Topkapı Palace is a palace which was the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign.
The palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments and is a major tourist attraction today, containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the Prophet Muhammed's cloak and sword.Topkapı Palace is among those monuments belonging to the "Historic Areas of Istanbul", which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described in Criterion as "the best example of ensembles of palaces of the Ottoman period."
Ortaköy (literally Middle Village in Turkish) is a neighbourhood, formerly a small village, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, located in the middle of the European bank of the Bosphorus.
Ortaköy was a cosmopolitan area during the Ottoman era and the first decades of the Turkish Republic, with communities of Turks, Greeks, Armeniansand Jews. Today the neighbourhood still hosts many different religious (Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, and other Christian) structures. It is also a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with its art galleries, night clubs, cafés, bars, and restaurants.
Rumelihisarı (Rumelian Castle) is a fortress located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosporus. 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's viziers, Sadrazam Çandarlı Halil Pasha, who built the big tower next to the gate, Zağanos Pasha, who built the south tower, and Sarıca Pasha, who built the north tower.
Dolmabahce Palace is located on the European shore of the Bosporus, between Kabataş and Beşiktaş, and opposite Üsküdar on the Asian side.Lavishly decorated with sumptuous materials, the palace served as the Sultan's residence and the main administrative centre of the Ottoman Empirefrom 1856 to 1922, apart from a 22-year interval (18871909) in which the Yıldız Palace was used.
Beyoglu is a district located on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as Pera (meaning "Across" in Greek) during the Middle Ages, and this name remained in common use until the early 20th century and the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
The Turkish name of Pera, Beyoglu, is linked to the Venetian ambassadorial title of Bailo, whose palazzo was the most grandiose structure in this quarter. The informal Turkish-language title, Bey Oglu (literally Son of Governor/Emir) was originally used by the Ottoman Turks to describe Lodovico Gritti, son of Andrea Gritti who was the Venetian Bailo in Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II (Andrea Gritti was later elected Doge of Venice in 1523, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.)
The district encompasses other neighborhoods located north of the Golden Horn, including Galata (the medieval Genoese citadel from which Beyoğlu itself originated, which today is known as Karakoy).
The main thoroughfare is Istiklal Caddesi, running into the neighbourhood from Taksim Square, a pedestrianised 1 mile (1.6 km) street of shops, cafés, patisseries, restaurants, pubs, wine houses and clubs, as well as bookshops, theatres, cinemas and art galleries. Some of Istiklal has a 19th century metropolitan character, and the avenue is lined with Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings. The nostalgic tram which runs on İstiklal Avenue, between Taksim Square and Tunel, was also re-installed in the early 1990s with the aim of reviving the historic atmosphere of the district.
Check out the link for the list of museums in the city
Click here for sightseeing tours and excursion alternatives
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