Istanbul is a city you must see when travelling to Turkey. Istanbul is the world’s 5th largest city and Turkey’s cultural and financial center. It is located sultan toto 88 on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn. It is a magical and romantic city full of history and culture. Following are the best sites to see when you have only a few days to tour Istanbul.
The ancient Hippodrome is an enormous public entertainment arena that once seated as many as 100,000 zealous fans who came to watch chariot races, executions, and mock battles. Once the center of Byzantine civic life, it is still marked by the Egyptian Obelisk, the Bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
With its massive central dome flanked by six slender minarets, the Blue Mosque stands as the single most recognizable monument on the Istanbul skyline. Built between 1609 and 1616, during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I, the enormous complex also included a hospital, caravansary, public kitchen, marketplace, schools and the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet I. The mosque’s immense interior, flooded with sunlight streaming through 260 windows, is decorated with more than 20,000 precious Iznik tiles detailing traditional flowers of Ottoman design. It is the deep blue glow of the tiles in sunlight that gives the building its name.
This famous basilica was constructed in the 6th century A.D. It is often described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture. It was dedicated to Hagia Sophia which means Divine Wisdom, an attribute of Christ. Once the Church of Holy Wisdom, Christendom’s crowning glory, then converted to a mosque when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople. It remained a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Today, the Hagia Sophia is the fourth largest building constructed as a church in the world.