Istanbul has been named as the European Capital of Culture for 2010 so
a wide variety of events are available throughout the year that
celebrate the vibrant arts, culture and civilization that makes this
cosmopolitan city one of the most exciting places in the world to
Across from Hagia
Sophia stands the supremely elegant Imperial Sultanahmet Mosque
with six minarets. Built between 1609 and 1616 by the architect
Mehmet, the building is more familiarly known as the Blue Mosque
because of its magnificent interior paneling of blue and white
Iznik tiles. During the summer months an evening light and sound
show both entertain and inform visitors.
The cascading domes
and four slender minarets of the Imperial Suleymaniye Mosque
dominate the skyline on the Golden Horn's west bank. Considered the
most beautiful of all imperial mosques in Istanbul, it was built
between 1550 and 1557 by Sinan, the renowned architect of the
Ottoman Empire's golden age. Erected on the crest of a hill, the
building is conspicuous for its great size, emphasized by the four
minarets that rise from each comer of the courtyard.
The Rustem Pasa
Mosque, another skillful accomplishment of the architect Sinan,
was built in 1561 by order of Rustem Pasa Grand Vizier and
son-in-law of Suleyman the Magnificent. Exquisite Iznik tiles panel
the small and superbly proportioned interior.
The Imperial Fatih
Mosque, constructed between 1463 and 1470, bears the name of the
Ottoman conqueror of Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, and is the site
of his mausoleum. Standing atop another of Istanbul's hills, its
vast size and great complex of religious buildings - medreses,
hospices, baths, a hospital, a caravanserai and a library make it
well worth a visit.
The great Mosque of
Eyup lies outside the city walls, near the Golden Horn, at the
traditional site where Eyup the standard bearer of the Prophet
Mohammed, died in the Islamic assault on Constantinople in A.D. 670.
The first mosque built after the Ottoman conquest of the city, this
greatly venerated shrine attracts many pilgrims.
Built between 1597 and
1663, the Yeni (New) Mosque looms over the harbor at Eminonu,
greeting the incoming ferryboats and welcoming tourists to the old
Sokollu Mehmet Pasa Mosque built on an awkwardly shaped plot on
a steeply sloping hill near Sultanahmet, is one of the most
beautiful examples of classical Turkish architecture and another
masterpiece of the architect Sinan.
Walls of glass fill
the four immense arches that support the central dome at the
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque inside the Edirne gate of the old city
The province of
Bilecik lies southeast of Iznik in the verdant and fertile
Sakarya River Valley and houses
the Orhan Gazi Mosque.
The Museum of the
Ancient Orient displays artifacts from the Sumerian, Babylonian,
Assyrian, Hatti and Hittite civilizations.
or European Fortress built by Mehmet has the Open-Air Museum
amphitheater that is the site for some events of the Istanbul Music
Originally built in
the 15th century as a kosk, or pavilion, by Mehmet the Conqueror,
the Cinili kosk, which houses the Museum of Turkish
Ceramics, contains beautiful 16th- century specimens from Iznik
and fine examples of Seljuk and Ottoman pottery and tiles.
Like the Ayasofya
Museum, the St. Irene Museum was originally a church. It
ranks, in fact, as the first church built in Istanbul. Constantine
commissioned it in the fourth century and Justinian later had the
church restored. The building reputedly stands on the site of a
Across the street from
the Ibrahim Pasa residence is the Museum of Turkish Carpets
which contains exquisite antique carpets and kilims gathered from
all over Turkey.
The Aviation Museum
in Yesilkoy traces the development of flight in Turkey.
In the Military
Museum the great field tents used by the Ottoman armies on
campaigns are on display. Other exhibits include Ottoman weapons
and the accoutrements of war.
The Kariye Museum,
the 11th-century church of "St. Savior" in the Chora complex,
is, after Hagia Sophia, the most important Byzantine monument in
Istanbul illustrating scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin
Also in Besiktas is
the Museum of Fine Arts that houses Turkish paintings and
sculptures from the end of the 19th century to the present.
located within the gardens of the Yildiz Palace, preserves and
documents the history of Istanbul since the Ottoman conquest.
Landscapes in Istanbul exhibit different
colors of life like
Sunset in Istanbul
Misir Carsisi (Spice Bazaar)
Rumeli Hisari (Rumelian
Cicek Pasaji (Flower
Kapali Carsi (Covered
Manyas Kus Cenneti
Manyas Kus Cenneti
Meric Bridge, Edirne