Istanbul Off The Beaten Path Tips by mrclay2000
Istanbul Off The Beaten Path: 520 reviews and 1,170 photos
Bulgarian Church on the Golden Horn
A walk up the Golden Horn, once you pass Suleimaniye on the Third Hill, is perhaps more revealing of Turkish life than any other comparable walk in the city. Away from the Galata Bridge, the inland bay is filled with dry-docks for Turkish military vessels, and whatever might left of the sea walls has been claimed as living quarters by impoverished immigrants. Toward the western limit, there stands this Bulgarian Church, erected here once its prefabricated frame arrived from its cruise down the Danube.
St Anthony of Padua detailed
A brief tour of the city reveals the striking difference between Ottoman architecture and those found in western Europe. A closer look at the facade of St Anthony of Padua reveals motifs and patterns not found elsewhere in the city.
Other Contact: Istiklal Caddesi
Phone: (0212) 244 09 35
St Anthony of Padua facade
Istiklal Caddesi has a number of side streets that branch away from the main thoroughfare. This street is well traveled and hosts the funicular which runs from Taksim Square a long way toward the Galata Bridge. Though storefronts line the modern road, a number of nicer attractions lie adjacent -- if you can find them. St Anthony of Padua, one of the city's best known Catholic churches, is tucked away in its own cove and features its own square.
Other Contact: Istiklal Caddesi
Phone: (0212) 244 09 35
German sub from World War I
A gentle walk up the Bosporus from modern Pera will take you past several things, namely the poshest hotels in the city above Dolmabahce Palace, the kissing lanes used by the resident Turks (the Villa Borghese performs this function in Rome) and some of the more charming mosques outside of old Stamboul. Apart from the local Naval Museum, you might also catch a glimpse of this WWI German submarine that struck a mine and exploded around 1916. It has stood near the embankment (still in fragments) since its recent recovery.
from my restaurant window, Anadolu Kavagi
The Bosporus ferry out of Istanbul eventually docks on the Asian side at the mouth of the Black Sea, the village of Anadolu Kavagi. On the hillside lie the ruins of a Byzantine/Genoese castle, but I confess I was too daunted by the presence of machine guns to ask admittance. As the entrance to the Bosporus from the Black Sea, this is a Turkish military station also. I'm sure people visit the ruins daily, but I was a little too gun-shy to ask the nearest gun barrel for instructions.
Meanwhile the friendlier merchants and restaurateurs swarm the planks to direct you to their establishments, which is generally more helpful than hindering. Prices are cheap in Turkey. You can get a great seafood meal for a few USD. I kept the fried mussels coming until the ferry left at 3:00 p.m. that afternoon.
waterfront keep, Rumeli Hisari
Just as the Greeks in Constantinople used a heavy chain to seal up the Golden Horn against invaders and unwanted Genoese or Venetians, so Mehmet used a heavy chain to seal up the Bosporus, usually against those same Italians (to prevent their trading or succouring the city). The chains were linked from one of the keeps pictured here and anchored across the Bosporus to a keep on the less impressive Rumeli Kavagi, the Castle of Asia.
Rumeli Hisari, Bosporus, Istanbul
Not far north of the Bosporus Bridge on your way up the strait, you'll pass the several keeps and ramparts of Mehmet's Rumeli Hisari, the Castle of Europe, constructed about the time of the overthrow of Constantinople (1453). Buses will take you there from the city, but taxis will also get you there cheaply and efficiently.
Russian supertanker Alexsandr running the Bosporus
Serious people can take an overnight train to Ephesus or Ankara or any number of interesting places. For me, a day trip up the Bosporus on a regular ferry was among the most exciting trips I've ever taken. The ferries leave from their moorings near the Galata Bridge and steam about 90 minutes up the western edge of the Bosporus, crossing to the Asian port of Anadolu Kavagi at the last second. Long before this you'll get your first glimpse of the mouth of the Black Sea.
In the 8th or 9th centuries, huge icebergs floated down from the Black Sea and seriously injured the seawalls at Constantinople. Now the largest things that come down are the supertankers, so large that they have to slow considerably to keep within the pylons and buoys.
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