Istanbul, European side and Asian side, not only geographically, but spiritually is a constant mix of sensations. Like ancient Rome, its predecessor in the capital of the world status of the “Caesars” and possessed of seven hills. Founded by Greek colonists in about 667 BC, at first called Byzantium. from Constantine the Great, became the new capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD, became known as Constantinople. Ddurante 1125 years and 18 days was the capital of what we now call the Byzantine Empire. On 28 May 1453, after a siege in the city, was taken by the Ottoman forces of Mehmed II the Conqueror. According to some legends, the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, died bravely in battle. Thereafter, Constantinople would be the capital of the great Ottoman Empire until Kemal Ataturk, in 1923, decided to move the headquarters of the Turkish Government in Istanbul to Ankara.
Istanbul, separated from European and Asian parts by the Bosphorus, is a special city to wander. The undulating topography, street addresses unfamiliar lines, mosques, Orthodox churches, museums, superb views of the Bosphorus at sunset are pins.
Those visiting the city for the first time immediately note a presence. It’s the founding father of modern Turkey (1881-1938 Mustafa Kemal), better known as Kemal Ataturk, “Father of the Turks”, which could draw the country out of quagmire after the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. From the notes, gigantographies in some public and private buildings and statues. The Face of Atatürk is very present.
Which sites are pins on a visit not too long? The Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, the Harem, The Grand Bazaar, the Church of Chora, for example. Also, navigation through the Bosphorus can be an everlasting experience.
Close together, there are three points of the city inevitable. The first, Topkapi Palace (admission: 10 lire), seat of government during the era of the sultans. Built by a command of Mehmet II, is not structured as a single building, but as a set of built around large courtyards. Some highlights: The Library of Ahmet III, the rooms of the Treasury, the House of viziers and the Gate of Felicity.
The Grand Bazaar (Labyrinth of shops):
Much of eastern exoticism, we live in the Grand Bazaar, where seamless pile crowded souvenir shops, ranging from shirts, hookahs, water pipes, gold jewelry, highly sought after, rugs and other objects.
Haggling in this magical maze of narrow streets is almost mandatory and not worry about the language: the seller probably will understand. A carpet with a little effort, can go from 400 euros to 250, in a nutshell you have to fight the price.
Public transport is varied in Istanbul. From collective, trams, taxis, bus and so on. The modern tramway is passing through the historic area, is a very comfortable and ideal for enjoying the journey.
Enjoy your trip to Istanbul!