Sights of Istanbul - TOP 40 exciting places


Sights of Istanbul - what to see and where to go in the city and the surrounding area. Description, photos, how to get, addresses, GPS-coordinates, tags on the map.

Once the center of the universe, the capital of the world and the “object of universal desire,” Istanbul (aka Constantinople and Constantinople) today is not even the capital of its not-so-visible country on the world stage. But, although the brilliance, splendor and arrogance of power left here, the city has preserved its rich history and unique geography to our days - suffice it to say that Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world, located on two continents: Europe and Asia, they are separated only by the winding Bosphorus.

1. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, the church of Divine Wisdom, one of the most beautiful and significant buildings in the history of world architecture, was consecrated on December 27, 537. For 916 years, Hagia Sophia was the cathedral of Constantinople and the main church of Byzantium and the entire Orthodox world. After the Turkish conquest, the temple became a Muslim mosque for 481 years, until in 1934 it was turned into a museum under the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Address: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.00858, 28.98017.

2. Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan)

In ancient Constantinople, there was a water supply system that a different modern metropolis would envy: it delivered water to underground tanks, 40 of them have been discovered at the moment - and this, apparently, is far from all. The Yerebatan tank itself was discovered by chance: in the 16th century, one of the Sultan officials was not too lazy to ask where the fish came from, which the residents of the houses in this place caught through holes in the floor.

The cistern is one of Istanbul’s most impressive sights, and it’s not without reason that it was featured in many films (for example, in one of the series Bondiana “From Russia with Love” and “Odyssey” by Konchalovsky) and books - including Dan Brown’s Inferno, where The denouement takes place precisely in the Yerebatan Tank.

Most of the columns of the Cistern were taken by Byzantine Christians from the ruined ancient temples (so the Turks and Hagia Sophia treated still relatively gently). At the far end of the dungeon, a column mounted on an upturned marble block depicting a snake-haired jellyfish attracts attention from the sight of which any mortal was supposed to turn to stone. This is not the negligence of the builders, but the deliberate humiliation of a pre-Christian idol.

Address: Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.00838, 28.97787.

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3. Divan Yolu Street

Behind the Cistern, the central street of the Istanbul Old Town begins - on its long journey through the entire peninsula, it changes its name more than once, and immediately after the Cistern it is called Divan Yola, that is, “Divan Avenue”, the Sultan’s Council of Ministers — it was on this street that dignitaries drove to it meeting. At the very source of the street, between Hagia Sophia and the Cistern, is located the Milion - a hole four meters deep with a stone sticking out of it - all that remains of the once grand triumphal arch of Constantinople. The name of the stone has nothing to do with the numeral — it’s just that the arch itself was called the Miliarium Aureum (Golden Mile), and it was the “zero kilometer” - distances from all roads of the empire were counted from it.

Coordinates: 41.00786, 28.97707.

4. Sultanahmet Square

Giant Sultanahmet Square It is one of the great sights of the historical center of Istanbul and occupies the territory which in the past was shared by the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the Grand Imperial Palace and several central Byzantine squares and buildings.

Coordinates: 41.00665, 28.97617.

5. The Blue Mosque

If you stand with your back to the main entrance to Hagia Sophia, then directly opposite, on the opposite edge of Sultanahmet Square, there will be another interesting attraction of Istanbul: Sultan Ahmed Mosque, better known under the tourist name Blue Mosque. Many consider it the most magnificent and beautiful of the imperial mosques of Istanbul decorating its hills.

The Blue Mosque has six minarets, and this number once caused a great scandal in the Islamic world: traditionally, no mosque can have more minarets than the main Muslim temple of the whole world - Al-Haram or the Mecca Sanctuary. But the builders of the Blue Mosque of Istanbul with their six minarets got a little excited: Al-Haram had only five minarets. They decided not to demolish anything more, they didn’t execute the architects either (“not for personal gain”) - they simply decided to attach a couple more to the five minarets in Mecca and thus restored their subordination.

Address: Sultan Ahmet, Atmeydanı Cd. No.7, 34122 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.0054, 28.97681.

6. Topkapi Palace

The Turkish conquest of Constantinople was preceded by several decades of decline, during which the territory of the once great empire shrank to the size of Constantinople itself and several islands nearby. And when finally the young Sultan Mehmed Fatih (The Conqueror) triumphantly drove into the blood-drenched city, he found the famous imperial palace simply unsuitable for living by a self-respecting Sultan. And Mehmed made a wise decision beyond his years: for his hectic personal life with two harems, he built a special palace on the third city hill, and for business - Topkapi official residence (Topkapı Sarayı - “Cannon Gate Palace”) on the first hill of Constantinople, at the very edge of the peninsula.

Address: Topkapı Sarayı, Sultanahmet, Istanbul. Coordinates: 41.01151, 28.98337.

7. Gulhane Park

Once Gulhane Park was part of the Topkapi palace complex - here the sultans and their many courtiers could hide from the scorching summer heat of Istanbul.

The majestic plane-tree alley leads to the very end of the cape - along the way you can see the 15-meter Gothic column, the oldest surviving monument of Byzantium. The column was installed in honor of the victory over the Goths, gained under the emperor Constantine (according to other sources, under Claudius II). The hardly distinguishable inscription on the pedestal expresses the hope that after this victory, Fortuna who has left it will return to the Empire again.

Coordinates: 41.01317, 28.98139.

8. Archaeological Museum of Istanbul

The Archaeological Museum is located on the territory of Topkapi Palace, in its collection all the most significant artifacts preserved in Turkey from ancient times are presented. The museum was founded in the middle of the 19th century with the goal of preserving the cultural heritage of the empire and preventing its plunder by nimble Western archaeologists - the last straw was the famous Troy gold exported to Berlin by the German Schliemann.

The pride of the museum is the so-called sarcophagus of Alexander - it was made in the era of the great conqueror and is presumably its last earthly haven.

Address: Cankurtaran, 34122, Fatih. Coordinates: 41.01168, 28.98133.

9. Sokolu-Mehmed Pasha Mosque

This beautiful small mosque was built by one of the most intelligent and respected dignitaries of the golden age of the Ottoman Empire. In general, Mehmed Pasha’s name was Baiko Sokolovich - it was a Serbian boy who was taken from his parents and forcibly converted to Islam. As a result, he made an enviable career at the Sultan’s court and, having become rich a lot, spent part of his fortune on building a mosque - one of the prettiest in all of Istanbul.

The mosque is not only remarkable for the personality of its creator, but also for its magnificent Iznik tiles and three small pieces of the Kaaba (the sacred black stone from Mecca - the main shrine of Islam) embedded in a prayer niche above the door. Experts confirm the authenticity of the pieces, but find it difficult to clearly explain how the former Baiko Sokolovich managed to get them.

One of the three pieces of the Kaaba

Address: Küçük Ayasofya, 34122 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.00474, 28.9722.

10. The Byzantine Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus

A unique temple of the 6th century, the Istanbul people call it Small Hagia Sophia - and for good reason: it was built by the same architects as Sofia, but a little earlier. That is, they seemed to be training, rehearsing on Revolutionary Construction Solutions on minor Sofia - the same proportions of the interior, symmetrical half-domes that serve as supports for the main dome.

Address: Küçük Ayasofya, Küçük Ayasofya Cami Sk. No.20, 34122 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.00272, 28.9722.

11. Grand Bazaar

Istanbul Grand Bazaar (or Covered Market) is a whole quarter in the labyrinths of which you can spend more than one hour and lower all the cash. The market began to build Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror immediately after the capture of Constantinople - it was necessary to breathe new life into the extinguished former capital of Byzantium. Over the past centuries, the Grand Bazaar has grown to absolutely incredible sizes - now on its 60 hectares there are about 400 shops, 2,000 workshops, 18 restaurants, 2 mosques, 2 baths, as well as many indoor gallery streets.

One of the souvenir shops of the Grand Bazaar

Address: Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No.22, 34126 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.01068, 28.96806.

12. Egyptian Bazaar

The Egyptian bazaar (or Spice Bazaar) is located on the banks of the Golden Horn - it was here that merchant ships were once unloaded, customs officers weighed cargo and levied duties, and sailors regularly sorted out relations in port taverns. Initially, in the bazaar everyone was run by the Genoese and the venetians - they owned the monopoly on trade in oriental spices. The Egyptian market was called due to the fact that trade caravans from India went through Egypt.

Now in the L-shaped room of the market there are about a hundred shops - and although they do not only sell spices, the Egyptian bazaar is still the best place in Istanbul to buy real spices.

Address: Rüstem Paşa, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No.92, 34116 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.0165, 28.97051.

13. Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye is the most beautiful mosque in Istanbul, a masterpiece of the brilliant architect Sinan. Interestingly, the creator himself called his creation "the modest work of an apprentice." Four Suleimaniye minarets have a symbolic meaning - the mosque is named after the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and he was the fourth Ottoman sultan who ruled in Istanbul. In addition, Suleiman was the tenth sultan of the dynasty, reminiscent of ten balconies on the minarets.

Address: Süleymaniye Mah, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No.1, 34116 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.01617, 28.96415.

14. Valenta Aqueduct

Ancient Constantinople had a highly branched and perfect water supply system - and the huge Valenta aqueduct is part of it (by the way, the Yerebatan tank mentioned in paragraph 2 is another component of the city water supply).
Valens aqueduct is about 900 meters long and 20 meters high.

The aqueduct was used for its intended purpose until the XII century, after which it was abandoned. Under Suleiman the Magnificent he was put in order and began to be used to deliver water to the Topkapi Sultan's Palace. The pipes of that aqueduct were lead and Teofil Gauthier, a French writer, journalist and traveler, described the taste of water as "disgusting."

Address: Kalenderhane Mah., Haşim İşcan Gç., 34134 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.01586, 28.95591.

15. Galata bridge

Galata Bridge is the best way to get from the Old City to the Beyoglu district (the former Genoese Galata Trade Colony for centuries). There are a lot of people on the bridge day and night - during the day they are mainly tourists, and after sunset they are replaced by Istanbul fishermen with fishing rods. The nibble begins in the evening, and the bridge in the dark illuminates a myriad of cigarette lights and small candles on carts of sellers of Turkish fast food.

Fishermen on the Galata Bridge

Address: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Galata Köprüsü, 34425 Beyoğlu. Coordinates: 41.02001, 28.97322.

Tunel is a unique Istanbul “subway”, one of the oldest in the world (and, apparently, the shortest). A funicular travels inside the tunnel built in 1875, which takes you only one and a half minutes from the embankment to the top of the Galata hill. Here you can transfer to an old tram extremely popular with tourists, which, ringing the district with a ringing, will take you along Istiklal Street to the center of Beyoglu district, Taksim Square.

Address: Azapkapı, Tersane Cd. No.9, 34421 Beyoğlu. Coordinates: 41.02282, 28.97406.

17. Galata Tower

The Round Galata Tower, once the center of the Genoese colony in the Turkish capital, managed to visit its barracks, arsenal, fire tower, lighthouse and prison in its time. Now the tower is a tourist attraction - inside there are several cafes and a restaurant with very high prices. However, the views from the circular observation deck at the top of the tower are almost the best in Istanbul - they are especially good after sunset.

Address: Bereketzade, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu. Coordinates: 41.02563, 28.97415.

18. Museum of Modern Art

As befits a decent museum of modern art, its formerly abandoned warehouse in the port of Kadikoya became its haven. On the ground floor of the building, temporary thematic exhibitions are usually arranged, on the second floor Turkish art of the 20th century is constantly exhibited.

Even if contemporary Turkish art is not of particular interest to you, it makes sense to look into the museum for the sake of an excellent bookstore and cafe, from whose windows a wonderful view of the strait opens.

Address: Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd. No.99, 34430 Beyoğlu. Coordinates: 41.02993, 28.97331.

19. Istiklal street

What is now called Istiklal (Independence Street), in the relatively recent past, was the main thoroughfare of the European part of Istanbul and was called in the French manner Grande Rue de Pera. Unlike the prim and more “Asian” Sultanahmet in its atmosphere, it is here that Istanbul is most similar to a European city - which is not least contributed to by the history of the Beyoglu district (formerly the Galois colony of Genoa). The pedestrian Istiklal stretches from the Golden Horn to Taksim Square - it is always full of people, tourists and locals, for whose services there are many restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs.

Old tram on Istiklal street

Coordinates: 41.03168, 28.97607.

20. Taksim Square

Taksim is the center of the Asian side of Istanbul and is known as a favorite place for all kinds of rallies and anti-government demonstrations. In the center of the square stands the Monument of the Republic, erected in 1928 and symbolizing the unity of the nation under the wise leadership of Atatürk - decisive soldiers are walking in one direction from the stone arch, and civilians in the other, whose faces are not inferior to soldiers with militancy. The father of the nation Mustafa Kemal Ataturk also heads both.

Coordinates: 41.03697, 28.98507.

21. Dolmabahce Palace

This palace was built by order of Sultan Abdul-Majid I, who wished to move from a modest Topkapi to something more appropriate to the status of the residence of the ruler of a great empire. The palace was completed during the days of the Crimean War and it turned out so luxurious that they decided to postpone the move - in days of military hardship this would have seemed defiant.

After the proclamation of the republic, Dolmabahçe was empty for some time until it became the summer residence of the “father of the nation” Atatürk - in which he died in 1938. Today, the palace is a public museum.

Address: Vişnezade, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş. Coordinates: 41.03916, 29.00045.

22. Yildiz Palace

If you can rightly apply the epithet “luxurious” to other palaces on the shores of the Bosphorus, then “charming” is more suitable for Yildiz. The palace is a complex of elegant wooden pavilions scattered throughout the park.Museums are now open in some of them - the most interesting of which is the Chalet guest pavilion, intended for the honored guests of the Sultan (in particular, a German Kaiser lived here during his visit to Istanbul). An interesting point - carved oak furniture in the pavilion was made personally by Sultan Abdul-Hamid, a good amateur carpenter.

Address: Barbaros Bulvari, Serencebey Yokusu, No. 62, Beşiktaş. Coordinates: 41.04944, 29.01526.

23. The Bosphorus Bridge

The Bosphorus Bridge is one of the longest and most beautiful suspension bridges in the world. Its length is 1560 meters, the height above the water is 64 meters, the distance between the supports is 1074 meters. The bridge was inaugurated in 1973 in the presence of the President of Turkey. Thanks to its illumination, the bridge is one of the most photographed objects in Istanbul - one of the best views opens from the site behind the Medjidiye Mosque (GPS coordinates 41.04725, 29.027).

Address: Kuzguncuk, 15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü, Üsküdar. Coordinates: 41.04569, 29.03457.

24. Beylerbey Palace

The palace, originally built as an appendage to the Sultan's residence Dolmabahce, turned out to be so successful that it even impressed Empress Eugene, the wife of Napoleon III - she ordered in her Paris Tuileries to make the same windows. Beylerbey was planned as the summer residence of the Sultans - the facade of the building is specifically oriented to the northwest, so that as little sunlight as possible gets into the windows.

Address: Beylerbeyi, Abdullahağa Cd., 34676 Üsküdar. Coordinates: 41.04267, 29.03988.

25. Maiden's Tower

The Maiden’s Tower, which rises on a tiny island off the coast of the Uskudar district, is no less famous landmark of Istanbul than the Galata Tower or Topkapi Palace. In the past, the tower was a lighthouse and an arsenal, now it has a tourist-oriented restaurant with belly dancing and incredible prices by Istanbul standards. However, they are compensated by the amazing circular panorama of the city, which opens from the windows of the tower. You can get to the Maiden’s Tower by boat from the marina of Salacak in Uskudar.

Address: Salacak, Üsküdar Salacak Mevkii, 34668 Üsküdar. Coordinates: 41.02112, 29.00411.

26. Kariye Museum

Kariye Museum is located in the usual residential quarter of Istanbul and is housed in the building of the ancient Savior Monastery in Chora. The monastery was built in 1315 and decorated with frescoes, considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Byzantine painting.

After the Turkish conquest of Constantinople, the frescoes, fortunately, were not destroyed, but only painted over - now most of them have been restored. As in medieval Europe, the frescoes in Byzantium served as the gospel for the illiterate and were combined into successive stories on biblical subjects.

Address: Dervişali, Kariye Cami Sk. No.18, 34087 Fatih. Coordinates: 41.0312, 28.93918.

27. The city walls of Constantinople

According to historians, not a single city in the world has been besieged as often as Constantinople. And all the sieges were unsuccessful - except for one, the year 1453, which became the fateful and last for the capital of the once great Byzantium.

The Theodosius Wall, which still encircles the old part of Istanbul, is the most grandiose structure of the ancient era that has survived to this day - its length is more than 6 kilometers! The city walls owe their good safety to the Ottomans as well - after the capture of the city they restored them.

Coordinates: 41.0199, 28.92478.

28. The panorama museum of 1453

Istanbul counterpart Borodino panorama in Moscow and the Panorama Museum "Defense of Sevastopol" in the Crimea. The last and successful assault of Constantinople by the troops of Sultan Mehmed II Fatih (Conqueror) is captured on a giant circular canvas.

As befits the instrument of propaganda and patriotic education of youth, the Turks going to the attack are depicted as courageous and full of determination, and the doomed city defenders are depicted as miserable and insignificant.

Address: Merkez Efendi Mahallesi, Topkapı Kültür Parkı, 34015 Zeytinburnu. Coordinates: 41.01821, 28.92047

29. Khaidarpasha Station

Once this grandiose creation of German architects was the first station of the Baghdad Railway - it was assumed that trains from here would go to Damascus, Cairo and Jerusalem. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the secession of most non-Turkish territories from it, the need for such long routes disappeared, and now trains from Khaidarpasha go only to the borders of Turkey with Iran, Syria and Armenia.

Address: Rasimpaşa, 34716 Kadikoy. Coordinates: 40.99682, 29.01929.

30. Fortresses of Rumeli-Hisary and Anadolu-Hisary

The Rumeli Hisarya fortress was built in 1452 by Mehmed the Conqueror in the narrowest spot of the Bosphorus Strait during the siege of Constantinople - with its help the sultan planned to cut off the doomed city from the Black Sea. On the opposite (Asian) shore rises the fortress of Anadolu Hisarya, built by Mehmed's predecessor Sultan Bayazid Lightning during his unsuccessful siege of the Byzantine capital. Contemporaries called the bottleneck of the strait between the two fortresses a “cut throat” - it was completely impossible to break through it.

Rumeli Hisarya Fortress on the European shore of the Bosphorus

The address of the Rumeli Hisarya fortress is: Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sarıyer. Coordinates: 41.08482, 29.05669.
The address of the Anadolu Hisara fortress: Anadolu Hisarı, Körfez Cd., 34810 Beykoz. Coordinates: 41.08218, 29.06689.

Where to stay in Istanbul

Istanbul, and especially its historical center, Sultanahmet district, has absolutely no shortage of hotels and guesthouses for every taste and budget. Below I will briefly mention some of them, in which we stayed during our visits to the Turkish capital.

Cheaper first:

Erenler - Rating 8.6, price from $ 16 for a double room. Very good location - just five minutes from Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.

Antique hotel - Rating 8.0, price from $ 17 for a double room. Nice small economy hotel in the city center.

Ercan inn - rating 8.2, price from $ 20 for a double room. Good economy hotel within walking distance of the Hagia Sophia of the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar.

Arasta hotel - rating 8.4, price from $ 22 for a double room. Nice family hotel near the walls of the Blue Mosque.

More expensive:

Arven boutique - Rating 9.6, price from $ 30 for a double room. A wonderful hotel in the most pleasant place of Sultanahmet - not far from the Bukoleon Palace, the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus and the Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Mosque.

Merial hotel - Rating 9.1, price from $ 30 for a double room. A great option in the heart of Sultanahmet, a stone's throw from Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.

Angel’s Home Hotel> - Rating 8.6, price from $ 36 for a double room. An excellent hotel with individually decorated rooms on the very edge of the peninsula, between the sea and the Blue Mosque.

Divalis hotel - rating 9.3, price from $ 40 for a double room. Very good value hotel, 200 meters from the Blue Mosque. There is a terrace with sea views.

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Sights of Istanbul - TOP 40 exciting places

The symbol of this city is the love of Suleiman the Great for his wife Alexandra Anastasia Lisowska, who from a simple foreign concubine turned into the most influential woman at court in the history of Turkey, the main sights of Istanbul are dedicated to them. This city is unique in combining eastern and western cultures.

Muslim mosques, pompous palaces and vibrant markets with spices seem to have just left the pages of Turkish fairy tales, and at the same time, restrained Christian temples and fountains dilute with their calm the noisy and many-sided Istanbul.

1. Walls of Constantinople

The walls of Constantinople are the most ancient landmark of Istanbul. More than 200 times, different peoples tried to take this city, but it was possible to do this only with the Ottomans, and until then the walls reliably protected the family of the Byzantine emperor. On the defensive fortifications there were even traces of cannon shots, but the Turks themselves are not very reverent about this monument - at home you can meet homeless people, and greenhouses and vegetable gardens are located around the buildings.

Take a look at the main attractions of Turkey to get to know this ancient and fascinating country.

2. Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace covers an area of ​​more than 170 hectares, which is divided into 4 courtyards. Residential premises, bakeries and palace kitchens, a prison, a mint, a collection of weapons, porcelain and frescoes are open to visitors every day, but the most interesting object of this palace is, of course, the Harem. The concubines' bedrooms, luxurious robes and decorations attract thousands of tourists to the palace of the Sultans. But it should be remembered that without a scarf on the head and in open clothes, entry will be prohibited.

3. The Palace of Ibrahim Pasha

The palace of Ibrahim Pasha is remarkable not only for its decoration, but also for the pasha himself. This man, being the son of an ordinary fisherman, managed to achieve friendship with the emperor and obtain the highest position at court. He was married to the sister of Suleiman I, and the sultan himself promised that Ibrahim would never be executed. But by order of the ruler, he was killed. Now the palace has become a museum, and within its walls are stored personal items not only of Pasha, but of Suleiman I.

4. Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace was built by Abdul-Majid under the impression of European architecture. The palace was decorated with more than 15 tons of gold, and the main decoration of the palace is a chandelier with 750 candles weighing 4.5 tons - a gift from Queen Victoria.

In the exhibition hall "Treasury" there are now canvases of the most famous artists, including Aivazovsky, who painted about 40 paintings for the sultan himself, and in the "Salon of Precious Items" - jewelry and household items from the castle’s precious stones. Having visited the “Clock Museum”, you will proceed to the most interesting part of the excursion - the chambers of the Sultan and the harem, where the ruler and his concubines once had fun.

5. Beylerbey Palace

Beylerbey Palace is a summer residence of Turkish sultans, which is not so popular among tourists. But the marble palace in the Neo-Baroque style is not inferior in its beauty to the others, and there are practically no queues. The building has 3 rooms and 26 rooms, where grandiose chandeliers, porcelain vases, antique clocks and luxurious carpets convey the spirit of the time.

6. Yhlamur Palace

Yhlamur Palace is another summer residence of the Sultans. Without this attraction of Istanbul, the Sultan Abdul-Majid could not imagine a vacation at one time. He not only relaxed here, but also received important guests. Double baroque staircases, bohemian glass chandeliers and French furniture make the palace magnificent and unforgettable.

7. Edikule Castle

The Edicule castle originally belonged to the Byzantine emperors, but in 1453 the sultan Mehmet conquered Constantopol and the fortress became the property of the Ottomans. The seven towers of the castle are famous for their bloody stories, so the faint of heart should not come here - the torture chamber and equipment for them have been preserved here. One tower served as a well, into which the heads of defeated enemies were lowered, prisoners were planted in another, and the third was used as a treasury. Each had its own purpose.

8. The fortress of Rumelihisar

Rumelihisar Fortress is an architectural masterpiece created to protect Constantinople from a siege. The fortress consists of 3 main towers and 13 additional turrets connected by a battlement. The place for its construction was chosen very well - on the opposite side a defensive citadel was also built, as a result of which the narrow Bosphorus Strait protected the city from attacks from two sides. You can appreciate not only the power and scale of the fortress itself, but also visit the Museum of Artillery, which houses a collection of weapons and uniforms from different eras.

9. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia had to be reconstructed several times, as it either burned in a fire, or was destroyed during the period of popular rebellion. In 1453, under the Sultan Mehmed, the building was renovated, and later it was supplemented with small details only in 1847.

An interesting fact is the visit of the Russian ambassadors here, where, inspired by the beauty of the Orthodox service, they advised Prince Vladimir to adopt Christianity. The grandiose building impresses not only with its size, but also with its internal decoration - mosaics, ornaments and plots from both the Christian religion and the Muslim religion harmoniously adorn the walls of the basilica.

10. The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is known throughout the world as the Ahmed Mosque. By order of an ambitious sultan who wanted to surpass the grandeur of Hagia Sophia, the construction of a new shrine began. 6 minarets rose above it, which caused discontent among Muslims - after all, before that only a mosque with 5 minarets was located in Mecca.

To solve this problem, the Sultan had to finish building two more towers to the temple in Mecca. When all construction issues were resolved, the young ruler, aged 26, died of typhoid. In addition to the temple itself, you can visit the caravanserai shed, hospital, kitchen and schools that surrounded the building.

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