Istanbul Old City Tour Highlights: A Journey Through Time
Istanbul, the cultural and historical hub of Turkey, is a city that has been shaped by centuries of history. The city has a rich history that dates back to ancient times, and it has been home to some of the world's most significant empires. Istanbul's Old City, also known as Sultanahmet, is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the city's history and culture. The Istanbul Old City Tour is an excellent way to explore the area, and here are some of the highlights of the tour.
Hippodrome Square, also known as Sultanahmet Square, is one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in Istanbul. The square is surrounded by important buildings and monuments, such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Obelisk of Theodosius. The Hippodrome Square was once used as a chariot racing arena during the Byzantine era and it is now a popular tourist destination. The highlights of Hippodrome Square include the Egyptian Obelisk, which is the oldest monument in the square, and the Serpentine Column, which was brought from the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful fountains and gardens in the square, as well as the stunning architecture of the surrounding buildings.
The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Istanbul. The mosque was built in the early 17th century, and it is known for its impressive architecture and intricate tilework. The mosque gets its name from the blue tiles that adorn the interior walls. Visitors are welcome to enter the mosque, but they must dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering.
The Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia is another iconic landmark in Istanbul's Old City. The building was originally a church, but it was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. Today, it is a museum that showcases the building's rich history and architecture. Visitors can admire the building's stunning mosaics and frescoes, as well as its impressive dome.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. The market has been in operation since the 15th century, and it is home to over 4,000 shops. Visitors can browse through a wide variety of goods, including textiles, jewelry, ceramics, and spices. The market is a bustling and vibrant place, and it is a great place to experience Istanbul's culture and history.
The Topkapi Palace
The Topkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for over 400 years. The palace is a vast complex that includes courtyards, gardens, and several buildings. Visitors can explore the palace's many rooms and halls, which are filled with stunning works of art and artifacts from the Ottoman Empire. The palace also offers stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait and the city of Istanbul.
The Obelisk of Theodosius
The Obelisk of Theodosius is one of the most iconic landmarks in Istanbul, Turkey. This impressive structure stands tall in the Hippodrome Square and is a must-see for any tourist visiting the city. The Obelisk of Theodosius was originally erected in Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III and later brought to Istanbul by Emperor Theodosius in the 4th century. It features intricate carvings and hieroglyphics that tell the story of ancient Egypt. During an Istanbul obelisk tour, visitors can marvel at this incredible structure and learn about its rich history.
The German Fountain
The German Fountain, located in the heart of Istanbul's historic district, is one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II in the late 19th century, the fountain was a gift to the Ottoman Empire as a symbol of friendship between the two nations. The fountain's intricate design features a central column adorned with eagles and dragons, surrounded by eight smaller columns representing the different regions of Germany. The fountain is also adorned with intricate reliefs depicting scenes from German folklore and history. Today, the German Fountain is a popular tourist attraction and a must-see for anyone visiting Istanbul.