Historical part of Istanbul with palaces, mosques and antique sights. All on the hill, overlooking the Marmara Sea or Bosphorus Strait itself. Pleasant strols in picturesque streats, though uphill, lead either to prinicipal monuments or to a hidden jewels where tasty food and refreshing drinks wait for visitors.
1 The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii) is 17th century built mosque in Istanbul. It is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built in 1616 and has 6 minarets.
2 The Basilica of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) built in middle of the 4th century. It was the largest cathedral in the world for over 1000 years. After the defeat of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453 it became a mosque. From 1931 on it is secularized and from 1943 onwards it serves as a museum.
3 Sultanahmet is picturesque part of the city overlooking the Bosphorus. Great benefits are iluminated sights of the principal Istanbul monuments (Hagia Sophia).
4 Yerebatan Sarnici is a former and the largest Constantinople water cistern that was built in the 6th century by emperor Justinian. It could store 80 000 cubic metres of water (size cca 138 x 64 m with 9 m high columns). there are 336 such columns.
5 Underground Yerebatan Basilica Cistern is a beautiful and quiet place. Though there are a lot of tourists, the space, 336 columns and lights make them disappear. There is not much water there now (about 1 m deep, though it could store 80 000 cubic metres of water (size cca 138 x 64 m with 9 m high columns) that was transported from Belgrade Forest by aquaducts.
6 Yerebatan Sarnici means "sunken palace" in Turkish. It is a former cistern that was built to store water in the 6th century. Name Basilica Cistern is related to the former name of the square that lied above the cistern (Basilica Stoa). Some columns are beautifully decorated and it is mystery but romantic feel there.
7 Istanbul Panorama with mosques - silhouette of Sultanahmet part looks great in the sunset from the boat travelling between European and Asian sides of Bosphorus.
8 Sunrise colours all mosques to a beautiful orange-pink shade. Even the Blue mosque cannot resist.
9 Each mosque in Istanbul has a beautiful interior court (revak) with a fountain and columns and many decorated doors and tiles or marlble floor. These columns are from the Blue Mosque (The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultanahmet Camii).
10 Splendid dome above the ornate interior of the Blue mosque - colourful (but mostly blue) tiles, carved window shapes and the space. The wires are holding the lights. The mosque can house 10 000 people.