- Duration: 8 hours
- Included: Hotel Transfer, English Guide, Entrance Fees, Lunch.
- Pick up time: 09:00 a.m.
- Per Person Price: 70€
CLOSED: Hagia Sophia on Monday / Replaced with Underground Cistern. Topkapi Palace on Tuesday, Grand Bazaar on Sunday.
HAGIA SOPHIA: The ancient Byzantine church, built by Justinian I between 532-537 AD after the Nika Riot, was later converted to a mosque with the addition of minarets in mid-15th century. The remarkable structure with its 56m high immense dome is a museum today in which you can see both Christian and Islami art. There are good examples of the Byzantine mosaics as well. For about 1000 years this was the largest church in the world, and glory of the Byzantine Empire.
THE BASILICA (UNDERGROUND) CISTERN: Also known as the Sunken Palace, it was used as the water reservoir for the Byzantine Great Palace during the reign of Justinian in 532. Inside the huge building, there is a few feet of water but wooden walkways have been built for visitors. There are 336 columns supporting a cathedral ceiling and some of them were taken from torn-down temples. The interior of the building has special dim lighting and classical music is played to create an eerie atmosphere.
BLUE MOSQUE (SULTANAHMET MOSQUE): This 17th century mosque, near Haghia Sophia, is famous for the beautiful blue tile work ornamenting its walls. Its surrounding six slim minarets distinguish it from other mosques which normally have two or four minarets. It was built by architect Mehmet Aga by the order of Sultan Ahmed I as a complex in seven years and became the most important mosque of the city, right in Sultanahmet square.
HIPPODROME: The ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races was the center of Byzantine political life, standing in the open spance in front of the Blue Mosque, the area is now called as Sultanahmet. Of the Monuments which once decorated it, only three remain, the obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
GRAND BAZAAR: The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. Opened in 1461, it is well known for its jewelry, pot tery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by the type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry and the like. The bazaar contains two bedestens (domed masonry structures built for storage and safe keeping), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake.
TOPKAPI PALACE: The Topkapı Palace which has been the center of the state administration for nearly four centuries of the Ottoman Empire, is preparing to host the masterpieces of the Kremlin Palace. The exhibition that is named “Kremlin Palace Treasures are in the Topkapı Palace” is inviting all residents of Istanbul to be witnesses of the great meeting of the two palaces.
LITTLE HAGIA MOSQUE: Formerly the Church of the Saints and Bacchus, is a former Eastern Orthodox church dedicates to Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, later converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. Today the environment is a warth seeing natural culture center of lost Ottoman Arts.