ISTANBUL

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TOPKAPI PALACE

Open daily between 09:00-17:00 except Tuesdays
The Topkapı Palace (Turkish: Topkapı Sarayı[1] or in Ottoman Turkish: طوپقپو سرايى) is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey,
that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign.
As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammed’s cloak and sword.The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described under UNESCO’s criterion iv as “the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces [...] of the Ottoman period.”

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HAGIA SOPHIA

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Mondays

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 Islamic 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

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SULTAN AHMET 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.

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BASILICA CISTERN

Open daily between 09:00-19:00

One of the magnificent historical constructions of Istanbul is the Basilica Cistern. It was founded by Justinianus I, a Byzantine Empire (527-565). This cistern has fine brick vaulting supported by 336 Corinthian columns. It is the largest covered cistern in Istanbul, dating back to the Roman times. Its dimensions are 140 by 70 meters, and it is capable of holding 80.000 cubic meters of water.

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GRAND BAZAAR

Open daily between 09:00-19:00 except Sundays

The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarsı, meaning Covered 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, pottery, 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.

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MOSAICS MUSEUM

Open daily between 09:00-16:30 except Mondays

This Museum was built to preserve “in-situ” the exceptionally fine mosaic pavements from the 5th and 6th centuries which were in the Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperor