"Spanning Asia & Europe!" Istanbul by Durfun
Istanbul Travel Guide: 7,638 reviews and 19,502 photos
This museum is very interesting... a former church in the times of the Eastern Roman Empire, later converted into a mosque after the fall of Constantinopole, and now a museum showing features from both periods!
After the Muslim invasion, the frescoes were painted over instead of destroyed, and so, after careful restoration, we can see the wall & ceiling frescoes from Byzantine times.
Now you'll notice 4 minarets, though the church originally only had one (the current brick one). The other 3 were added after the Islamic period following the standard form of a mosque.
One needs to see this place to appreciate how the Sultans lived.
Many of the courts & chambers have amazing ceilings, intricate colours, and engravings.
Check out the harem & guards quarters. Did you know the Black Guards were mainly Ethiopians?
How about a boat ride starting from Europe, and ending up in Asia in under 15 minutes??
Start your trip from Eminonu (the busy port/bus station beside Galata bridge). There are luxurious boats plus local ferries departing regularly.
Glide across the Bosphorus to Ortakoy, on the Asian side. Dine at a fish restaurant, then sit at the funky 'cafes' by the sea. Finally walk along the promenade to Harem, to board a ferry back to Eminonu.
- Pros:Wonderful sights, intriguing history, great transport
- Cons:Very hot summers, lack of back-street signs
- In a nutshell:Mystical east, or west?? How about east/west!
I know of a hotel in a very good location in the historic quarter of Sultanahmet, 5 minutes walk from the Blue... more travel advice
I must confess that I left this to the last minute. Then, whilst waiting at Taksim for my bus to the airport (SG), I... more travel advice
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