The Russians are extremely respectful of Istanbul. It is in many respects a kindred city, which our ancestors respectfully called Tsargrad. Christianity came to us from Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, and the culture of this amazing country had a significant impact on our art.
We offer you a list of unique historical monuments, buildings and palaces that have preserved the echoes of distant Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire.
When you first come to Istanbul, you should definitely visit Topkapi Palace. This is the business card of the ancient city. Here the sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived for more than 400 years, each of whom sought to outdo the decoration and architecture of the previous one. The result was an ensemble with an area of more than 50 hectares, on which, in addition to the palace and the buildings for those in attendance, there are gazebos, gardens, numerous statues, etc.
If your tour is limited in time, then visit the most interesting corners of Topkapi - a museum and a harem.
Externally, the cathedral looks inconspicuous and is unlikely to attract the attention of the tourist, if he does not point to this cultural monument of Istanbul. But if you enter into this mosque and the museum in combination, then a 55-meter dome will appear before the eyes of visitors, which will amaze even the most sophisticated traveler.
For centuries of history, Aya Sophia was an Orthodox cathedral, a Catholic church and a Muslim mosque. Not without fire, partial destruction, robbery and earthquakes. Despite these challenges, Hagia Sophia managed to survive and preserve its treasures.
The cathedral contains unique mosaic icons of the heyday of the Byzantine Empire and the Shroud of Turin, known to the whole world. The walls and decorative elements of the museum are decorated with Islamic calligraphic inscriptions. The carved tombs of the sultans and the architecture of the cathedral as a whole are striking in their beauty.
This is a favorite place for romantic encounters underground, which was popular with couples a few centuries ago. The Basilica Cistern is a reservoir whose history goes back over 1500 years. Here is stored a supply of drinking water in case of drought.
The reservoir was built from the marble columns of ancient Greek temples. Many of them have ornate carvings and bas-reliefs.
The coolness, the mysterious twilight and silence, broken only by the sound of flowing water - is it possible to find a calmer place to take a break from the heat and noise reigning above. Balsam's Tank Columns are illuminated with lamps, creating a diffused soft light.
This is the undisputed symbol of modern Istanbul. In the middle of the bustling city and cars rises a magnificent mosque, immersed in a lush park with fountains and lawns. The architect set himself the goal of surpassing the neighboring Ayia Sofya in the elegance of forms. In many ways, he succeeded and now we have the opportunity to contemplate the scattering of domes, unique frescoes and patterns on the walls.
But why Blue? In the construction of the mosque used ceramic tiles of blue and white. However, in the end, they were lost among the giant dome of the building and thousands of other tiles.
Visiting the museum is closed during the prayers, so when you hear the call for prayer, do not enter the mosque for at least 30-40 minutes.
One of the largest mosques of Istanbul and the historical symbol of the city. After a recent restoration, she acquired exactly the image that was conceived by the architects of the 17th century. In the courtyard are located the tombs of Sultan Suleiman and his Slavic wife Roksolana.
After visiting historical places, one would like to plunge into the original traditions of ordinary residents of Istanbul and look at their life from the inside, so to speak. The best place for this is the Grand Bazaar, which has gathered mosques, restaurants, shops, street mazes under its "roof". During the day there are more than half a million bangs.
If you have not been to the Grand Bazaar, consider that you have not been to Istanbul at all. This is comparable to a trip to Russia without visiting Red Square. However, buying something here is not recommended. Bazaar has long become a tourist destination, so prices are 2-3 times higher here.
One of the few buildings that preserved the echoes of the former great Byzantine Empire. Looking at the monastery of Chora, you will fully feel the atmosphere that prevailed at the time when our ancestors first visited distant Constantinople.
The streets encircling the monastery are similar to the paths that run along the houses closer to Tbilisi. The choir is enclosed by a powerful fortress wall that once surrounded the whole of Istanbul.
Going on an excursion to the Galata Tower, be sure to bring along a camera. From here you can see the magnificent panoramas of Istanbul.
The observation deck is located on the last floor of the 61-meter tower. Here are a restaurant and a nightclub. Dinner for two will cost 2-3 thousand rubles, but a great view from the window is worth the money.
The best time to visit the Galata Tower is before sunset or at night, when you can enjoy the view of Istanbul at night.
Modern Art Museum
Contemporary Istanbul is not alien to art, which counts from the strength of a dozen years. On the contrary, the inhabitants of the country are trying with all their might to catch up and to create business centers and representative offices of other states in this multi-million city.
Over the last decade, the industrial district Levent and the hipster Beyoglu, where hundreds of art exhibitions are presented, has received great development. Most of them are open with great frequency, but the largest museums and galleries thrive and organize world-class exhibitions within their walls. We advise you to visit the Pera Museum and Istanbul Modern.
Remember that visits to some museums and cathedrals are paid, so ask about the cost of entrance in advance. Some tourists find a way out of this situation by purchasing the Museum Pass, which is equivalent to a single entrance ticket to most of the tourist sites of the largest city in Turkey.
Istanbul is a colorful and very bright city that impresses with its friendly neighborhood of completely different cultures and traditions. Turks are very friendly people, for whom the most important values are hospitality and respect.