The following landmarks are considered the most famous and important ones in Istanbul, so make sure to visit them during your trip to the city because you are absolutely going to have fun.
Hagia Sophia is one of the most known places and land-marks of Istanbul, and it is one of the most important and famous Byzantine structures. It holds historical significance as a feature of the Byzantine Empire and stands as a monument to architectural achievement. It was built as a church in the beginnings and called the church of the holy wisdom. Hagia Sophia was built at Istanbul in the 6th century, specifically in 536 AD by the great Justinian, the emperor of Byzantine Empire. Later in 1453 the church was converted to a mosque during Ottoman era, finally in 1934 Ataturk the founder of modern Turkey converted the mosque into a museum.
With a huge 32 meters dome the Hagia Sophia stands steady in the heart of Istanbul next to SultanAhmet mosque. The great architecture of it will take your breath away. The marble used for floors was manufactured in Eastern Turkey and Syria, the amazing decoration was changed many times through the ages but still a magnificent piece of art.
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend inside, you will never get bored.
The Topkapi Palace:
The Topkapi palace or as some call it the Seraglio, is located at the heart of Istanbul and serves as a museum nowadays. During the 15th century this palace served as an administrative center of the ottoman empire. Its construction lasted for 6 years, began in 1459 by an order of Mehmet the conqueror.
You can enter the first courtyard by the Imperial Gate and see the stone niches that used to display the severed heads of criminals. On the left of the courtyard, you can see the imperial mint which goes back to the eighteenth century and was used to produce the gold and silver coins. Moving on to the second courtyard where you find Imperial Tower, above the ministers’ council or the Imperial Divan, next to it you will see the Treasury Building.
There is also the Harem which has 300 rooms and nine hammams and two mosques.A lot of stunishing details in Topkapi Palace you can see and enjoy when you visit.
The Grand Bazaar:
The Grand Bazaar is probably one of, if not the most popular landmark in Istanbul, it is also conThe Grand Bazaar has eleven entrances and contains approximately four thousand shops that offer hundreds of types of products such as souvenirs, traditional Turkish desserts, jewelry, antiques, clothes, carpets and many other products.
Even if you are not interested in shopping, only walking through this bazaar will guarantee you to have a good time.
The Dolmabahce Palace:
The Dolmabahce Palace is another important landmark in Istanbul. It was built in the 19th century and is considered one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire replacing the Topkapi Palace and the last of Ottoman Sultans was residing there.
This palace is absolutely breathtaking and fascinating because of every single detail inside of it. The handmade parquet in the dining hall and the 4.5 tonne chandelier in the ceremonial hall which was given as a present from queen Victoria, not to mention the 202 fine paints of 19th and 20th century.
The construction of Dolmabahce cost five million Ottoman mecidiye, which approximately equals 1.5 billions USD.
The Column with inverted Medusa head base in Basilica Cistern. Istanbul. Turkey
The world’s most amazing cistern. The Basilica cistern has a huge palace hall with its 336 columns that line up in 12 rows, the construction works started during the rule of Byzantine emperor the great Constantine but was finished in the 6th century during the rule of emperor Justinian.
Basilica cistern is considered the main source of water for Istanbul city for many centuries back at that time because of its ability to hold up to 2.8 million cubic feet of water.
One of the interesting things about this cistern is the two columns that have Medusa head on them to protect the cistern as it was believed.