The Old City of Istanbul “Historical Peninsula” and “Walled City” is the oldest part of Istanbul, and the location of most of its historical sights.
Places to Visit:
Hippodrome of Constantinople (Sultan Ahmet Square)
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social center of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultan Ahmet Square in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with a few fragments of the original structure surviving.
Sultan Ahmet Mosque (The Blue Mosque)
The Sultan Ahmet Mosque is a historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Kulliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque.
Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) is a former Greek Orthodox Church, later an imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, from the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931.
Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 400 years (1465–1856) of their 624-year reign. It is now a museum and as such a major tourist attraction. It also contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword. The palace contained mosques, a hospital, and bakeries.
The Grand Bazaar (Covered Bazaar)
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. The Grand Bazaar is located inside the walled city of Istanbul, in the district of Fatih. The Bazaar can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci by trams (Beyazıt – Kapalıçarşı stop).
The Basilica Cistern
One of the magnificent ancient buildings of İstanbul is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. Constructed for Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor (527-565), this big underground water reservoir is called as “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns. As there used to be a basilica in the place of the cistern, it is also called Basilica Cistern.
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