Travel to Turkey

Day 2 Istanbul (Dolmabahçe, Galata)

Turkey


 

Istanbul: We started the tour of the city by the Dolmabahçe Palace, built in the mid nineteenth century by Sultan Abdülmecid I to replace as residence the Topkapi Palace. The palace was built in the Ottoman Renaissance style similar to European palaces with marble of the Marmara Sea, Egyptian alabaster and paintings of Italian and French artists decorate the interior of the palace. In 1923 it became the residence of Ataturk and still have the luxury of their furniture, decor and original objects that are part of the museum´s collection. You can visit their gardens, where the official guests were received and the harem.

Istanbul - Dolmabahçe palace
Istanbul - Dolmabahçe palace

We crossed the international bridge crossing the Bosporus linking Europe with Asia, to reach the Beylerbeyi Palace. In the sixteenth century, in the time of Sultan Murat III, Rumeli Beylerbeyi Mehmed Pasha built his personal residence. Preferably be used as a summer palace. It has three main entrances, six large rooms and twenty-four luxuriously decorated rooms with Bohemia glass lamps, rugs, porcelain, etc.. Around the building of the palace are the gardens, two pools and several kiosks.

Istanbul - Dolmabahçe
Istanbul - Dolmabahçe palace

The Golden Horn is a narrow estuary that divides the European side of the city into two parts: the old town and Galata. The Golden Horn extends for about 8 kilometers from its opening on the Bosphorus to the entrance of the valley. It was so named because of the beauty of its shape like a horn. In the vicinity of the Galata bridge small boats will come and go between the two sides of the city and between the Princes Islands. Large tour boats use the piers located in this part. The shipyard of Topkapi Palace, the Basketmakers´ palace (Sepetçiler Kasr), the Yeni Valide Mosque (Yeni Valide Camii) and the Egyptian Bazaar are aligned in the shore of the historic city. By one side the Bosphorus strait connects the Sea of ​​Marmara with the Black Sea and by the other side separate two continents, Asia and Europe. It is a water channel that is 31.7 Km in length. Its average depth varies between 50-120 meters.

Istanbul - Beylerbeyi Palace
Istanbul - Beylerbeyi Palace

The Kapalıçarši (Covered Market) or Grand Bazaar was built in 1452, but has undergone several expansions and reconstructions due to fires and earthquakes, the last being in 1954. The Grand Bazaar is like a small city. It is estimated that in 1880 the bazaar had about 4400 shops, 2200 workshops, 500 looms, 12 warehouses, 18 sources, 13 mosques, etc. Although the bazaar seems a labyrinth in which one can be lost, is nearly a orthogonal plane especially in the center where the street names are named for the items that are sold in their stores. There are streets for jewelers, goldsmiths, cobblers, clothing manufacturers, shops tourist items, carpets, furniture and decoration, as well as restaurants, cafes and tearooms.

Istanbul - View from Galata Bridge
Istanbul - View from Galata Bridge

The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) was built in 1348 by Genoese (they called "e;Tower of Christ"e;) on top of a hill overlooking the Bosphorus, the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Golden Horn. It has a viewpoint that can be reached by climbing 143 steps or with an elevator. Originally it was used as a watchtower to guard against possible attacks by the Byzantines. During the Ottoman period was used as a prison to incarcerate prisoners of war. Finally became fire watchtower and as an observatory. It is 61 meters high and 9 meters in diameter.


 

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