Classic Istanbul City Tour
Visit Hagia Sophia , Blue Mosque , Old City ,Topkapi Palace
- 8 hr8 hours
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ISTANBUL HERITAGE TOUR - Combining IMPERIAL & OTTOMAN SPLENDOURS TOUR Full Day Private Tour THE IMPERIAL TOUR St. SOPHIA This ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great, in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time. SULTANAHMET IMPERIAL MOSQUE Across from St. Sophia built in the 17th century by the architect Mehmet, this is known as the BLUE MOSQUE because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. HIPPODROME, The scene of ancient chariot races, the ancient Hippodrome, with its four monuments; the GERMAN FOUNTAIN OF WILHELM II, the OBELISK OF THEDOSIUS, the bronze SERPENTINE COLUMN and the COLUMN OF CONSTANTINE. GRAND BAZAAR (COVERED MARKET) In this labyrinth of streets and passages are more than 4000 shops with each trade having its own area; the goldsmiths’ street, the carpet sellers, Turkish arts and crafts, such as handpainted ceramic plates, hand-honed copperware, brasware and trays, water ewers, onyxware and meerschaum pipers. We begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia. Next we visit the Blue Mosque which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style. LUNCH OTTOMAN SPLENDOURS We begin at Topkapı Palace, from the 15th to the 19th century, the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. Our next stop, Hagia Eirene, the Church of the Holy Peace, is one of the few churches in Istanbul that was never converted into a mosque, as it was used as an arsenal until the 19th century. Hagia Eirene reputedly stands on the site of a pre- Christian temple and has the distinction of being the first church built in Byzantium as it was converted into the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.