Istanbul Things to Do Tips by MikeAtSea
Istanbul Things to Do: 3,048 reviews and 6,693 photos
The Spice Bazaar
The Spice Bazaar or Egyptian Bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in Eminonu, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.
There are different accounts regarding the origin of the name of this bazaar. The bazaar was and to a lesser extend still is the center for the spice trade, and many spices used to be imported from Egypt in the past. On the other hand, in the Byzantine period, the site of the Spice Bazaar was the centre of corn trade. And the word misir has a double meaning in Turkish: "Egypt" and "corn".
The Arasta Bazaar, also known as Sipahi Carsisi in Turkish, is located behind the Blue Mosque in the old city center, just next to the entrance of the Mosaics Museum. Despite The Grand Bazaar, Arasta Bazaar is a small and simple traditional market in Istanbul. There are about 40 shops lined on both sides of a street, selling traditional items. Originally this place was built in the 17th century and used to be stables during the Ottoman period.
Directions: Next to the Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque Interior
The main dome of the mosque is 34 meters in diameter, rises to a height of 43 meters above ground level and rests upon four massive pillars five meters in diameter.
Four half-domes also support the main dome. The mosque is five stories high from ground level to top ot the dome and is illuminated by 260 stained glass windows. Other then the glazed tiles, the mosque is a showcase of the other important structural ornemantations of the period. The marble ’mimber’, or pulpit, features of mother of pearl relief; the prayer niche is made of decoratively carved marble, the wooden door, shutters and low reading table are inlaid with mother of pearl, striking chandeliers hang from the dome.
The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque is one of the largest of Istanbul’s structures, the complex includes a mosque, medreses, the sultan’s chamber, shops of tradesmen, a hamam, a public fountain with a spout, a mousoleum, a hospital, a soup kitchen and a primary school. Some of these have survived to the present.
The mosque is located in the center of the complex and referred to by foreigners as "The Blue Mosque" on account of the roughly 20,000 blue glazed tiles which cover its exterior. The mosque consists of a wide courtyard and an interior of equal size. The courtyard is above ground level and accessible by steps.
Directions: The complex is located opposite Hagia Sophia Mosque in Sultanahmet square.
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Over 40000 items are on display in the former palace of Ibrahiam Pasa, the most gifted of Sülyeman's many grand viziers.
The collection was begun in the 19th century and ranges from the earliest period of Islam through to modern times. Each room concentrates on a different chronological period or geographical area of the Islamic world.
Address: Atmeydani Sok
Istanbul's land walls are one of the most impressive remains of the city's Byzantine past. Pierced by monumental gates and strengthened by towers, the encompass the old city centre like a great arc, stretching all the way from Yedikule on the Sea of Marmara to Ayvansary on the Golden Horn, over a distance of 6,5 kilometres with 11 fortified gates and 192 towers.
Directions: Below the old town
Bath of Roxelana
These baths were built for Süleyman the Magnificent and are named after Roxelana, the sultan's wife. They were designed for the use of the congregation of the Haghia Sophia when it was still used as a Mosque. Today the building is a government run carpet shop, yet the original features are still visible.
Address: Ayasofya Meydani
Directions: Opposite of the Haghia Sophia
Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain
Emperor Wilhelm of Germany donated this fountain in memory of his visit to Istanbul in autumn 1898, when he was on an official visit to the Emperor of the Ottoman Hamid II.
Directions: Adjacent to the Hippodrome
Galata and Galata Tower
The Galata Tower was constructed in 1348, by the Geneose who settled in Galata in the 14th century. To prevent their region from the strangers and enemy attacks they built this tower attached to the fortresses of Galata. It is the main tower of the Galata Fortresses. In the 16th century it was used as a dungeon for the slaves working in Kasimpasa dockyard, later it was transformed to a depot for the dockyard. And the very first flight of the world was done from this tower to Uskudar by Hazerfan Ahmed Celebi.
Directions: In Galata across the Galata Bridge - one can't miss the tower as it is the tallest feature
The New Mosque
Sultan Mehmed III begun to build Yeni Mosque and Sultan Murad II completed it, in 1447. Yeni Mosque is called as “Cami-i Kebir” and also its common name is “Ucuncu Serefeli Mosque” Third Galleried Mosque. It is one of the most important Turkish constructions, and a paralysed architect from Konya designed it. The mosque has a big dome carried by six edged columns. The porch has 21 domes and they are propped up by 18 columns. The mosque has four minarets.
Directions: Next to the Galata Bridge
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