In the seventh century BC Byzas, Megara leader consulted the oracle of Delphi to know where you should build their new city. The Oracle said that he should establish it in front of the “Country of the Blind”. Leaving Greece entered the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara and stopped at the Asian side of Istanbul, and found that those who lived there were blind, because they couldn’t see the beauty and strategy of the natural harbor, now called “Golden Horn “located on the European side of Istanbul. In 326 AD Constantine invaded Byzantium and renamed the city with Constantinople. In 1453 Sultan Mehmed II ruled Constantinople and started calling Istanbul.
Jewel of the Ottoman Empire
The only one city in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia.
In it converge the civilizations of East and West as their churches, mosques, bazaars, palaces and spectacular landscapes of infinite beauty.
In honor of its founder, the city was named after with the name of Byzantium. Subsequently, the construction of several important monuments during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great, the city was renamed with Constantinople: City of Constantine.
After the Ottoman conquest became Istanbul, becoming one of the largest and most populated in Europe.
Today, with a population of over 12 million, Istanbul is the economic and cultural center of the Republic of Turkey. With a lifestyle increasingly sophisticated, has a diverse and with high quality tourism offers.
Istanbul – 3 Hightlights
1. The Golden Horn
The ancient Byzantium, surrounded by the original walls on one side, and on the other, the Sea of Marmara.
The palace complex is surrounded by three miles of walls. It is one of the oldest and largest palaces in the world. It was built in 14 years by Sultan Mehmet II, being completed in 1479. Typical building of Turkish palace, has a series of courtyards connected forest with three large buildings, one of the main Harem. This place was internally Sultan, formed approximately 400 rooms, living there wives, children, eunuchs and concubines, in perpetual slavery.
They are exposed in the palace treasures and relics.
Kariye Museum – Saint Salvador in Chora
The meaning of the word “Chora” is “rural area”. This was the name given to the churches dating from the fifth century. The last of these churches, which still can be visited, dates from the 11th century and 14. Kariye is after Hagia Sophia, the most important Byzantine monument in Istanbul, with its walls decorated with wonderful mosaics and frescoes.
One of the oldest covered bazaars in the world, is a labyrinth that contains more than 4,000 stores of all kinds, such as carpets, jewelry, leather goods shops, antique shops, souvenirs and clothing. The Grand Bazaar is located in Beyazit Square at the end of Yeniceri Street (Avenue of the Janissaries).
Also called Egyptian Bazaar, is located along the Galata Bridge, the building is part of the new mosque and rents of the shops were intended to pay the expenses of the complex.
2. Modern City
Built in the late 19th century, is the commercial center of Istanbul today, surrounded by the Bosphorus.
Built in the middle of 19th century by Sultan Abdülmecid, has 600 meters in front of the Bosphorus. The most impressive part of the palace is the ballroom with 56 columns and a spider with 4.5 tons of silver and 750 crystal chandeliers. In this palace Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, died on November 10, 1938.
The strait that separates Europe from Asia, is 670 meters wide at its narrowest point, and 4.5 kilometers at its widest point. It’s full of cafes, restaurants, caves, Yalis (the name given to the old wooden houses), many mosques and various palaces. The entrance to the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea is an area of 35 km. It’s amazing the movement of ships from around the world who visit this strait, fishermen and migration of various birds.
Silently all progress occurred over the centuries, are these two stone forts built by the Turks: Anadolu Fortress (1390) and Rumeli Fortress.
From Taksim to Galata Tower
Taksim Square is the center of the new city. From this square to Galata tower to Istiklal Avenue is a vibrant pedestrian avenue with its old tram, with stores, restaurants and jazz clubs.
The Galata Tower is built on top of a hill overlooking the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn, has a unique view. It is known that from the 5th century there was a tower in this place, but this was built by the Genoese in 1348, as the bastion of the walls that protect them from attacks Byzantines. They named the Tower of Christ. During the Ottoman period was used as a prison and observatory. After this time the watchtower became fire watch.
Sophisticated place with all major global brands, trendy restaurants and charming hotels.
3 – Lado Asiático
Separated from the European side of the Bosphorus on the Asian side, overlooking the Sea of Marmara, where finished the ancient Silk Road.
Also called the hill of lovers, is this point that has the most exuberant view of Istanbul. Whether on the European or Asian side. An amazing true vision of 360 degrees of Istanbul.
Built by Sultan Abdulaziz in the nineteenth century, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. All in white marble, the palace has a magnificent garden with different types of trees, brought from different parts of the world, highlighting the magnolias. It was used as a summer palace of the sultans, as well as a guest house for distinguished visitors from other countries.
Sophisticated 6km Avenue shop and terraces, framed by elegant residential districts is 200 meters from the sea of Marmara where once was the end of the Silk Road.
This is a set of 9 small islands and two islets located in the Marmara Sea about 20 km from the coast. In the Byzantine period were named Papadanisia, ie Priests Islands. They built several Christian churches, especially monasteries. It was here where the priests, nobles and Byzantines Princes were exiled or reted.
It is a pleasant destination for a summer tour, using the various boats for transferred. These islands no cars are allowed, and are available beautiful horse-drawn carriages.