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tour-of-ist

Tour of Istanbul

The most striking characteristic of both old and new Istanbul is the silhouette of domes and minarets against the sky. Looking across Galata Bridge (which connects Beyoğlu and Old Istanbul), the view is dominated by the Yeni Cami (New Mosque or Valide – Queen Mathers’ Mosque), which almost tills Eminönü Square. To the right of the Yeni Cami, we see the Süleymaniye Mosque, built by the architect Sinan the Great, which extends almost down to the Golden Horn. To the right (west) above the shoreline the wonderful mosques of Fatih and Sultan Selim strike the eye, and to the left (east) lies Saray Point, with its trees towering above the walls, and behind It, higher up, buildings from the Byzantine era and from the time of Fatih onwards. At the head of the point stands Topkapi Palace, the famous Seraglio, and further back, the dome of Aya Sofya, Haghia Sophia.-
Eminönü Square: Arriving on the old Istanbul side, we enter Eminönü Square. In the 19th Century, the Yeni Cami (New Mosque] and the front entrance, of the Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Bazaar or Spice Market) were surrounded by shoddy huts and shops, robbing the square of much of its grandeur. These were however cleared away in 1940, the Egyptian Bazaar was completely restored, and a little park laid out. Eminönü is the most crowded traffic center on the Istanbul side.Yeni Cami (Queen Mothers Mosque): The 17th Century Yent Cami is one of the finest mosques. Its building was commenced In 1598 ot the orders of the mother of Mehmet III, but he died and his mother was secluded in the Old Palace. Building was continued by Sultan Ibrahim’s mother, but she was unfortumately killed, SO building was again interrupted to be finally completed by the mother of Mehmet IV. The Yeni Cami has 2 minarets with galleries each. The inside resembles the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, but the design is that of the Mosque of Fatih. The dome rests on 4 pillars, and 4 great arches and serial half-arches are built into the side walls. The dimly-lit interior is tiled half-way up in blue and light green. In the side wall, there is a miniature of the Kaaba, The imperial pew may be entered by the Vizier’s door, near the archway. The court, surrounded by 24 domed porticos with pillars with stalactite capitals, contains a delightful şadırvan (ablution fountain) with half-pillars and similar capitals, and fine bronze railings. Behind the Yeni Cami is the tomb of Turhan Sultan.

Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Bazaar or Spice Market): The long L-shaped building behind the Yeni Cami and the Tomb af Turhan Sultan, is the Mısır Çarşısı, built in 1600 by Turhan Sultán, and designed by Kasım Ağa. It was once an oriental market, selling drugs, medlcienes, herbs, many different spices, flowers, seeds, nuts and perfumes. It was excellently restored by the Municipal Council in 1941 and 1943. Now a wide range of wares ore sold in the present large enclosed market.

The Mosque of Rüstem Paşa: Following Hasırcılar Caddesi, we see on the right the Rüstem Paşa Mosque [1560), a fine example of Turkish architecture, with one minaret. The architect was Koca Sinan. Rüstem was the son-in-iaw and Grand Vizier of Süleyman the Lawgiver. The tiling on the walls is superb. From the Rustem Paşa Mosque we may go by the Çiçek Pazarı (Flower Market) to the Sebil (public fountain of the New Mosque), opposite follow Hamidiye Caddesi past the Hamidiye Tomb (corner of Mimar Vedat Sokağı), straight to Sirkeci Square .

Sirkeci Square: Sirkeci Railway Station (built 1890) the terminus of the Simpion Orient Express and the suburban lines, gives out onto Sirkeci Square, and below it, on the left, is the harbor with the Sirkeci quays. Following Ankara Caddesi up the hill, we pass the Journalists’ Association and the Iranian Consulate General and turn at the Directorate of the Ministry of Education into Kızılay Caddesi, with the Yerebaton Cistern on the right.

The Yerebatan Samoa (Underground Cistern): This was built near the Old Palace in the 5th century by Justinian, who also built Haghia Sophia, and is one of the most impressive of all Byzantine remains. It is the largest of the Byzantine cisterns (154×77 yards.) ond has 336 columns. It is the only old Byzantine cistern still containing water; it is now lit by electricity, and one can also row on It.

The Aya Sofya Museum (Saint Sophia): St Sophia is generally recognised as one of the greatest temples ever built. It was originally constructed by the firfet Christian Roman Emperor Constantine in 347 A.D. Fifty-seven years later it was destroyed by fire. Emperor Theodosius’ reconstruction did not survive either. The church was destroyed during the great Nika rebellion in 532. After quelling the rebelión. Emperor Justinian determined to rebuild the church on an even more magnificent scale. Architects Anthemius and Isidore erected the present building in the incredibly short time of five years. The great dome collapsed during an earthquake in 557, and was rebuilt on a smaller scale. Supporting buttresses were added, notably by the famous Turkish architect Sinan in 1571. St. Şpphia was used os mosque until! 1935, when it was converted into a museum by order of Atatürk. The Fountain of Ahmet III: Built over the ruins of a fountain opposite the imperial Gate of the Topkapi Palace in 1729, it has Persian-style inscriptions on all sides and, as a central motif, a couplet in the writing of Sultan Ahmet 111.  Behind the fountain is the Seraglio, or Topkapi Palace, and, in the center of the walls, the largest entrance, the Imperial Gate, leading to the first court and, at the end of this the second gate, where the Museum begins.

The Topkapi Palace Museum: Sultan Mehmet II. called Fatih, the Conqueror, after conquering İstanbul in 1453, built his first royal palace in the Forum of Theodosius, on what are now the grounds of Istanbul University, in the district of Beyazit, Later, impressed by the situation of the Byzantine acropolis at today’s Saray Point, dominating the confluence of the Bosphorus, the Gofden Horn and the Sea of Marmara, Fatih gave orders for the construction [1475-1478) of what we know as the Tapkapi Palace. In fact an earlier royal structure, the Çinili Köşk, the Tiled Kiosk, was built in Fatih’s reign lower down on the landward slope of the Byzantine acropolis.
The Topkapi Palace, besides being the royal residence of the Ottoman Turkish Sultans, was also the administrative heart of the empire of the Turks. The Divan —the Ottoman equivalent of o Council of Ministers— met there, all important official ceremonies were held at the palace, and the widest frontiers of the empire were in constant communication with the palace.

In the reign of Abdülmecit in the 19th-century, the palace showed signs of phvsical decay, and was abandoned as the royal residence as succeeding Sultans built, inturn, the, palaces of Dolmabahçe, Beylerbeyi and Cirağan, Finally, on April 3, 1924, the Topkapj Palace, by now called the «Old Palace» was converted to a museum, the indentity it wears today.

The precincts of the Topkapi Palace Museum consist of four vast courtyards, separated from each other by three great portals or entrance ways. The complex itself Is divided into numerous suites of rooms, indiviudal kiosks, gardens, artificial basins and fountains, ond other constructions situated throughout the courtyard areas. From the first gate, called the Bab-i Hümayun or Imperial Gate, overlooking Sultan Ahmet Square, one enters the palaces Alay Meydani, or Courtyard of the Procession, the first courtyard of the Topkapi Palace. In imperial times, this courtyard was the scene of elaborate royal ceremonies that celebrated victories, mourned deaths or hailed births, paid honor to religious days and national holidays of ail sorts. At the end of the first courtyard, rises the Bafa-i Selam (The Gate of Salutation). Both sections of this gate are fortified by two octagonal towers.

From this gate, which leads to the Topkapi Palace’s second courtyard, we step into that courtyard which is named the Court of the Divan. Before the gate, the fountain seen to the . right, is the Executioner’s Fountain, Those condemned to death by Ferman royal order of the Sultan, including inhabitants of the palace itself, were beheaded on the spot, after which the executioners cleansed their hands and the instruments of beheading at the Executioner’s Fountain. Only the-, Sul tans themselves could enter and pass through the OrtaKapi, or Middle Gote, on horseback. All others had to proceed on foot, The right side of the second Courtyard Is covered completely by the palace kitchens. Here it was possible to cook the food, and to concoct the sweets, required by ail those thousands who made up the imperial household and its staffs.
The section on the left side of the courtyard, is- called the Kubbe Altı, or «Under the Dome.» Here may be found such important parts of the palace as the İç Hazine or the Inner Treasury. And it was in this section that functioned the very center of the palace’s official life.
History tells us that the Second Courtyard of the palace, was at times captured arid occupied by revolutionary forces, and that on occasion even certain Sultans themselves were brought before the third gate to the Ayak Divani.

Entrance is obtained to the Third Courtyard through the Third Gate, called the Bab-i Saadet, or the Akağalar Kapısı, the latter name meaning White Aghas’ Gate. This gate is the most important entrance to the palace of Topkapi. in front of the gate is a reach a pavilion or gallery supported by marble columns. During the ceremonies attending the accession of the Sultan to the throne, the throne it seif was set up here,  it was during religious hofidays or when the Sultan received official acts of homage.
And it was here that the Flag of the Army was handed to the Sadrazam, or Grand Vizier, just before the army set off on a new campaign.  The Third Courtyard is the area where the private life of the palace went on. This courtyard is called the Enderun Avlusu. The building just ahead as soon as one passes through the gats, is the Arz Odası, the equivalent of a throne room.  Ail ceremonies of reception were held here. At the rear of the Arz dasr, the throne room or Room of Ceremonies, is found the Library of Ahmet III. At the end of this courtyard, and through the stairway of today’s Museum Directorate building, there is a passage leading towards the section of royal kiosks or pavilions. This is also colled the fourth section of the palace. The most important features of this section are the Mecidiye Kiosk, the Mustafa Pasha Kiosk, the Revan Kiosk, and the Baghdad Kiosk. These kiosks were the scene of important events in the history of the Ottoman Empire, even those that might have shaped the history of the world.

Palace Section : In the seven rooms of the Topkapi Palace kitchens, are exhibits of Chinese and Japonese porcelain, os well as European glass and porcelains, and objects made by Turks themselves of precious metals, The Chinese porcelains are arranged according to the various dynasties of imperial China. The oldest porcelains belong to the celadon type, from the 9th-to the 13th-cen-luries. Those belonging to the Ming period represent the work of the 14th to the 17th centuries. The Sung and Yuan period porcelains are products of the 960-1279 and 1260-1368 respectively, and are worthy of great interest. The porcelains of the 17th- through the 20th- centuries of the Ching dynasty, may be looked upon as a continuation of the Ming period. Those here are colored pink and green. Most of the Japanese porcelain here belongs to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and were manufactured with commercial designs. In the section catted the Helvahane of the imperial kitchens, the one used for the making of Turkish sweets and jams, there is an exhibit of Turkish kitchen utensils. These are mostly items, made of copper, used at the palace between the 16th and 19th centuries. Istanbul glass and porcelain wares, are on exhibit in the kitchen Sabunhane, or Soap Factory, section. Here ore Yıldız and Topkapi glass products, manufactured in these workshops during the 17th, 18th ond 19th centuries. They all possess great artistic value. In the building that once was the living quarters of the Sultans personal servants, the Sultans own robes are shown. One’s attention Is drawn particularly in this section to the dresses, kaftans, furs and robes of the Royal children. Today, what is probably the most valuable treasury collection in the world, may be seen in the four large rooms of the third courtyard, the Treasury of the imperial Ottoman family. The Treasury of the Sultans Is displayed in a section of the Topkapi Palace affording a magnificent view of the Bosphorus and of the Sea of Marmara. The Treasury is a record in precious objects of the deeds and Ehe aspirations of Turkey’s former sovereigns, a . documentotion of events in the history of the Ottoman Empire. The booty of war, ambassadors gifts of other kings or emperors to the Turkish Sultans, gifts presented at the time of. royal circumcisions, mementos of royal weddings, the reiics of acquisition, all became the property of the Treasury. From the fourth room of the treasury, a passageway leads the visitor to a rnarbie balcony and to what is probabfy one of the most beautiful panoramas of Istanbul astride two continents. The natural and the man-made beauty of Istanbul appear before your very eyes. In the sleeping area of a palace upper story built during the regin of’ Sultan Abdülrrtecit II. miniatures and Sultans’ portraits ore displayed in chronological order. On the lower floor of -the same structure, are examples of the art of Islamic miniatures. Watches and clocks used by Turkish Sultans in one part of the palace or another from the 16th through the 19th-century, including pocket watches, wall and table clocks, are at present exhibited in the Silahtar Treasury. Some of these watches were purchased privately by the Sultans, while others were royal gifts to Turkey’s monarchs, or were acquired through other channels.

Church of St Irene: Built on the ruins of the temples of Artemis, Aphrodite and Apollo by Constantine the Great, and opened in 330 A.D., it was originally combined with the first Haghia Sophia, dedicated to the Holy Wisdom, Following the arches downhill, we pass the Archeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient and the Tiled Kiosk. The Tiled Kiosk  Built in 1472 by Sultan Mehmet II as an annex to Topkapi Palace, it was converted into an Archaeological Museum in 1875. It was then used as a Museum of Turkish and Moslem Art, finally remaining empty. It has recently been successfully restored to its original condition and is a fine example of Turkish Moslem architecture. Following the broad avenue through the Gulhane Park from the entrance gate, and passing ths Alay Kiosk from which Sultans used to watch processions, we come within sight of the Bosphorus, Turning to the right towards the palace before the Bridge, we see the 40 ft. high Goth’s Column.

The Goth’s Column: Erected, in granite with a Corinthian capital, by Marcus Aurelius on the occasion of his victory over the Goths at Nish in 268. Many believe that it is ihe oldest monument in Istanbul, and once bore the statue of Byzas, founder of Byzantium. Beyond the railway bridge, in the midst of greenery, stands the Statue of Atatürk.

Statue of Atatürk: Built of bronze on a marble base, this was the first statue of the Republic, it is a token of the gratitude of the Turkish people for the military, political and economic reforms of Atatürk.

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum : The Istanbul Archaeological Museum, with its exhibits pertaining to the oldest and most valuable archaeological works and remains of Anatolian civilizations, and from ajacent regions, is at once the greatest and the most important museum in Turkey. Objects of archaeological significance discovered within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire, were first brought to Istanbul in 1846, and protected and preserved at the church of Saint Irene in the grounds of the first courtyard of the Topkapi Palace. The assembled works of art were subsequently at first exhibited in the Çinili Köşk (Çinili Kiosk), thus firmly establishing the foundation of the Archaèological Museum to be. The need soon arose for a new and larger museum building, as newly acquired works of art accumulated from endless excavations throughout the empire. Consequently, through the persistent efforts of the then Museum Director Osman Hamdi Bey, the construction’of the present museum building began. The architect of the museum edifice, was inspired in his design of the museum facade by the tomb of Alexander the Great and that of the Weeping Women, both now on display in the present building.

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum, not counting the new wing, consists of 36 large hails, with 20 of these on the lower floor, and 16 upstairs. In the halls of the lower floor, are shown important Archaic. Greek Classical, Roman and Byzantine architectural and sculptural works of art. In the upper floor halls are the results of numerous excavations, in particular smaller objects made of fired earthenware, stone, bronze and glass.

The richest collections of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum cover historical items covered by nearly all books on historical art. particularly relating to tombs, tombstones, statues, portraits, coins and clay tablets. Epochs covered range from 500 B.C. to 1300 A.D. The Classical Art Works Collection includes works related to the iron Age, some two-thousand years B.C., and the end of the Byzantine Period in the 15th century. There are also exhibited works belonging to- prehistoric ages, for example 6000 years B.C. These are the oldest finds obtained from excavations carried out in the neighborhood of Burdur, in Anatolia, in the village called Hacilar, and at Troy- These display the Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures of Anatolia.

Finds representing the Yortan Culture» of western Anatolia, belonging to the Bronze Age; the Frigg works of art secured from Gordlon and Midas City works of art rom such cities as Miletus, Ephesus, Phocaea, Pitane, Assos, all representing Greek culture in western Anatolia works of art belonging to the period of Persian domination in Anatolia; and the ancient tombs of Sldon with the magnificent carvings, all draw the admiring attention of visitors and the interest of scientists from the whole world. The world-famous sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, which is included among the Sidon sarcophagi at the museum has a special interest.

Among other attractions are works of art belonging to famous sculptors of the Hellenistic Age, and beautiful copies of works of the Hellenistic period executed by the Romans. The Statue of the Ephebe, belonging to the Tralles school, is one of the most beautiful works of the Hellenistic Age.Votive offerings found at temples and at tombs, such as trinkets made of baked earthenware and of metal, mementoes of the Hellenistic Age, are among the works of art that attract special attention to the museum,A most important expression of the Roman period, is the art of realistic portraiture, showing clearly the peculiarities of the individual personalities of those so depicted. There exist, clad in bronze and armor, portraits from this period, accurate and revealing likenesses of emperors and empresses and other great figures of their time. The larger part of the sculptures from the time of the-Romans, are copies or the work of an earlier age, such as female figures from such sites as Miletus, Aphrodisios, Crete and Yalvaç. The Byzantine age began fallowing the acceptance or Christianity as the state religion in the Roman world, and there exists at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, a very rich collection of  Byzantine art. ranging from the earliest days of the Byzantines until If* conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1453.

Saray Point: The Saray Point contains, as we have seen, much of great historical interest, and is itself one of the most beautiful sights of Istanbul, According to the legend, Byzas of Megara, desirous of founding a city in the most beautiful situation on earth, travelled far and wide without finding satisfaction, finally lighting on Saray Point, where, inspired by Zeus, he founded Byzantium. The Saray Point commands a wonderful view of the beauties of Istanbul: to the right, the islands and the Anatolian coast of Marmara past the Maiden’s Tower and Üsküdar, on the left Galata Bridge and the Golden Horn. Even before Byzantium, there was a town on the first hill. In Ottoman days, many elegant kiosks, palaces and villas were built along the shore of the point, including the Yalt Köşkü, where the Sultans would review their fleets and receive returning admirals.

The Hippodrome: The Hippodrome first came into being when the Emperor Septimius Severus rebuilt the city after destroying it, in 196 A.D. Here were held chariot races and other public games. The Hippodrome, object of enormous expenditure, was at its best in the days of Constantine the Great and Theodosius II. On one side was the Imperial box (kathismat, place of the Emperor, his family, and high dignitaries of the Empire, located near the German Fountain of today. On the other 3 sides were tiers of marble benches. When Byzantium became the centre of Constantine’s Empire ¡t gained greatly in beauty and importance, and new statues were erected in marble, copper ar.d bronze. In the passages leading to the arena of the Hippodrome were statues of the emperor and illustrations of legends and the gods. But fires and looters, especially the ravages of the Crusaders, wrought untold damage, and there is no sign of the statues of the Emperors Ausgustus, Theodosius and Heraclius. Of the former splendor of the Hippodrome only the Serpent Column and the obelisks of Theodosius and Constantine Porphyrogenftus remained to the Turkish Conquerors

The Kaiser’s Fountain : Kaiser Wilhelm It’s fountain was buiit by him in 1895, at one end of Sultan Ahmet’s Park. The dome rests on pillars of black porphyry, and the internal mosaics bear the Sultan’s monogram and the arms of the Kaiser.

The Obelisk of Theodosius: This monolith in pink granite was first erected by Thotmes III at Heliopolis in Egypt, as a gift of gratitude to Amon-Ra, the deity who, according to the hieroglyphs on all folir sides, had enabled him to «conquer the entire world, and extend the frontiers of his Empire as far as Syria and across the Euphrates. It was brought to Byzantium by Constantine and Julian, arriving in the reign of ihe latter. But it was only set up In the Hippodrome some 30 years later, by Theodosius, The pedestal is decorated with relief carvings of scenes from the Hippodrome. On the west side, Theodosius I and his family are receiving gift-bearing ambassadors; on the south side, they are watching a chariot race. Oh the east side, he is presenting a prize to the winner In the games.

The Serpentine Column: Standing in a pit just behind the obelisk, and surrounded by railings, this column once stood in Delphi, representing 3 serpents supporting a golden urn on their heads; but the top 3 meters were destroyed in the time of the Roman Emperor Theophilus of Byzantium by the Patriarch, who believed it to represent Satan. Excavations have exposed inscriptions, according to which it had been cast from metal taken from the Persians by Pausanias and Themistocles in 497B, C„ and erected in gratitude for this victory by 31 Greek cities in the Temple of Apollo in Delphi.

The Built Column (Walled Column): Behind the Serpent Column stands on obelisk built of blocks by the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, grandson of the Emperor Basil the Macedonian. It has many little holes which originally held bronze plates Illustrating Basil’s wars, but these were looted by the Crusaders. The inscriptions at Its foot states that Constantine wished it to rival the Colossus of Rhodes.

The Mosque of Sultan Ahmet: One of the most beatiful and elegant Mosques, built in the 17th century by suitan Ahmet I and carried out by the architect Sedefkar (worker of mother-of-pearl) Mehmet Ağa in 7 years. The dome and slender minarets are a masterpiece. The dome is a little broader and higher than that of Ay a Sofya, and is supported together with the finely harmonising subsidiary and semi-domes, on 4 massive pillars. The interior is imposing for Both its proportions and decoration: the light from the numerous windows is reflected from the blue tiles of the walls and produces both a feeling of great space and that special quality of light which gives itthename of the Blue Mosque. In 1826 Sultan Mahmut’s decree abolishing the Janissaries was read there.

The Mosque of Sultan Ahmet: One of the most beatiful and elegant Mosques, built in the 17th century by suitan Ahmet I and carried out by the architect Sedefkar (worker of mother-of-pearl) Mehmet Ağa in 7 years. The dome and slender minarets are a masterpiece. The dome is a little broader and higher than that of Ay a Sofya, and is supported together with the finely harmonising subsidiary and semi-domes, on 4 massive pillars. The interior is imposing for Both its proportions and decoration: the light from the numerous windows is reflected from the blue tiles of the walls and produces both a feeling of great space and that special quality of light which gives itthename of the Blue Mosque. In 1826 Sultan Mahmut’s decree abolishing the Janissaries was read there.

The Tomb of Sultan Ahmet: Opposite Sultan Ahmet’s mosque stands his tomb, where he is buried with his sons and mother. Walking down the Küçük Aya Sofya Caddesi, we reach the Church of Little Aya Sofya, by the railway.

Mosque of Little Aya Sofyo : Built In 550 by Justinian near his palace, out of gratitude for the divine intervention which he believed had caused Anastasius to reprieve him. It was originally the Church of St. Serge and St. Bacchus, but was converted into a mosque under Bayezit ll. its plan is similar to that of Aya Sofyo: the dome rests on an octagonal base. Inside, Justinian inscribed a dedication, eulogy and prayer to the martyr St. Serge. The Cistern of 1001 Columns (Binbirdirek Sarnıcı): This cistern, 220ft.x184ft., with 224 identical 2-piece columns in 15 rows, is claimed by some to have been built by Philoxenus, a Roman senator of Constantine’s court, and by others to have been the work of Justinian. it Is the jargest Byzantine cistern, with a capacity of over 7 million gallons, though the Yerebatan cistern has more columns (336). Light and air are admitted through eleven holes, and admittance is gained by a small yellow entrance. Following the Divan Yolu past the Tomb of Mahmut II, the Köprülü library, containing many historical works, and the tombs af 2 famous Ottoman grand vczirs, Köprülü Mehmet Paşa and his son Fazıl Ahmet Paşa, we reach, on the right.

The Burnt (Hooped) Column (Çemberlitaş): This column, built of nine cylindrical blocks of red porphyry, was brought from Rome by Constantine, and stands in the spot which was once the center of his forum. It supported in Rome the statue of Apollo, then, in its present position, Constantine’s, then that of Julian and, later still, that of Theodosius; a Corinthian capital was added in the reign of Alexis Comnenus. The hoops were added to reinforce it after it was damaged by fire in the reign of Mustafa 111, when its various names, and the base was strengthened with masonry in 1701. A little beyond the Burnt Column is the Atik Ali Paşa Mosque, one of the oldest mosques of Istanbul (1497). Turning right down Vezir Han Caddesi at the Burnt Column, past the Vezir Han, one of the oldest Ottoman offices, we reach…

The Nuruosmanîye Mosque: This Mosque, built In the 18th century, with a cool courtyard, library, and a single minaret, shows o transition in style from that of the 16th century. Just below the Nuruosmanlye is the Mosque of Mahmut Paşa, built in Fatih’s time. Next to the Nuruosmaniye is the big gateway of…

The Cowered Bazaar: This Is one of the few surviving regular covered oriental bazaars. It was originally built by Fatih in 1461 as a cloth market, and enlarged by Süleyman the Lawgiver, it sustained much damage from fires and earthquakes In the 16th and 17th centuries, and was completely burnt down in 1894-after an earthquake, and rebuilt in 1898. Inside it is like a small symmetrical city, and many hawkers and agents are to be seen in its streets. Most interesting are the old Cloth Market and weapon and antique markets, entered through 8 big entrances, and open on weekdays from 7. a. ni: till 7. p. m. The interest and importance of this bazaar has declined greatly in the last 100 years. Following Çadırcılar Caddesi for the Covered Bazaar, and then Okçularbaşı Caddesi, we reach Bayezit (Hürriyet) Square, and, In’ its center…

The Bayezit Mosque: This fine Mosque, the first in Turkish style, with stalactite instead of Byzantine capitals, was finished In 1506 by the architect Hayrettin Ağa, and has changed least, of all mosques, since then. In style it resembles the Green Mosque in Bursa four massive columns support the main dome; 2 of the four great arches each support 2 half-domes, and 2 are filled in with sculptured walls. Green columns support the Imperial balcony. The green pillars of the courtyard porticos bear 24 domes, and there is a fine hexagonal ablution fountain. Its pigeons are well-known and fostered, The mosque garden contains the tomb of Bayezit. Following Takvimhane Caddesi from Bayezit Square, we reach…

The Mosque of Süleymaniye : This superb mosque, finished in 1557, at the peak of Ottoman splendor under Süleyman the Lawgiver, was built by the great Slnan, and is a fitting eoression of the glory of the times. It Is attributed to the .middle of Sinan’s 3 periods,studentship and the Şehzade Mosque, apprenticeship in the Siileymaniye, and mastership In the Selimiye. Nevertheless, it is this mosque which formed the node of the Empire. The interior, of individual style, conveys an overwhelming sense of space and grandeur. The tight from the 138 windows, combined with the luminous effect of the pulpit, stained glass, and great chandeliers, contributes to Its overawing majesty and spaciousness, The great dome and the semi-cupolas appear to rest on the 4 great pillars, two from Iskenderum and two purportedly Byzantine. The acoustics are excellent and may be tested by striking a wooden board near one of the columns.

Süleyman’s Tomb: This tomb, with its elegant and dignified portico, the valuable corved marble on the outside, arid the exquisite inscribed tiies on the inside, is one of the finest of its kind. It is fitting resting place for Suleymart the Magnificent, or Lawgiver, who is remembered as one of the greatest Sultans. The Museum of Turkish and Moslem Art : This Museum, situ ated near the Siileymaniye Mosque, contains Seljuk carpets, golden Korans, superb minitures, Sultans’ seals, and many other treasures. Passing through the narrow Ese Kapısı lane, we come out into Koca Mustafa Paşa Caddesi.

The Mosque of Koca Mustafa Paşa : Originally a convent for nuns, the Byzantine Church of St. Andrew In Crisei was converted into a Mosque under Bayezit II by the vizier whose name it now bears. The Mosque of Imrahor (The church of the Stoudion Monastery)Built as a monastery in the 5th century by a Byzantine nobleman called Stoudius, it was, until the Conquest, the center of the influential Acemlte monks, a sect who worshipped incessantly day and night in 3 teams. The monastery also served as a prison for Emperors and heirs overthrown by the characteristic Byzantine rebellions ond has served as a condemned cell for many noblemen. After the Conquest It was converted by the Master of the Horse (Imrahor) of Bayezit II. It is now a ruin, with only the walls and roofless minaret standing. Turning left into a lane just before the end of the main street, we see…

The Castle of Yedikule (Seven Towers) Museum : This fortress prison, scene of many political murders and incarcerations, is portly of Roman, partly of Turkish origin. The western section consists of 4 towers connected by walis and the «Golden Gate» built by Theodosius in 390 A.D. as a triumphal arch. The eastern part, 3 towers and a wall built under Fo.ih, completes the present circular fortress around on Inner court. It was used as a treasury and a political prison under the Ottomans.

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