What to Do İn Historic Old City Istanbul? Where To Visit?

2021-07-27

What to Do İn Historic Old City Istanbul? Where To Visit?

 

Istanbul's historical peninsula, Sultanahmet, is the place that both local and foreign tourists most want to visit and see. Hundreds of historical monuments, Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, universal cultural and artistic activities, shopping opportunities in historical bazaars with their mystical texture, and streets dating from the Empire are undoubtedly the most curious place for tourists coming to Istanbul.

Sultanahmet Square (this was the hippodrome in Roman times) is also a known meeting point. The square, which was once the administrative and living center of the Ottoman Empire, is now Arasta Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Mosque (Museum-church), Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Hürrem Sultan Bath, Obelisk, Snake Column, Hagia Irene Museum, Turkish Islamic Artifacts Museum, Soğukçeşme Street, Istanbul Archeology Museum, Cağaloğlu Bath, Grand Bazaar, Çemberlitaş, There are works such as III. Ahmet Fountain. Sultanahmet is also the first hill of the seven hills of Istanbul.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace is an Ottoman dynasty palace located in Istanbul. Located at a point overlooking the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, right behind the old Orthodox church Hagia Sophia mosque, the palace has been added to its current form many times. It consists of additional structures built over time as the residence of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Built between 1459-1465, Topkapı was used not only as a residence but also as Enderun School, which trained soldiers and civil servants.

There is the Archeology Museum in the first courtyard, the Justice Tower in the second courtyard, the school section in the third courtyard, and the Archeology Museum at the exit, sections where social activities are held for the monarch and his family. Some of the must-see sections are Divan-ı Hümayun, Iftariye Gazebo, Baghdad Mansion, III. Ahmet Library, Valide Sultan's Room, Double Mansion, Eunuchs Stone House.

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art is a unique museum that combines historical artifacts with Turkish and Islamic synthesis. It is located opposite the Blue Mosque in the Ibrahim Pasha Palace, one of the most important buildings of 16th century Ottoman architecture, which was the last museum opened during the Ottoman period. There are unique Turkish and Islamic artifacts such as manuscripts of the Holy Quran, miniatures, carpets, manuscripts, wood, glass-metal-ceramic, and old carpets in the ethnography sections of the museum.

Hurrem Sultan Bath 

The Hurrem Bath is located between the Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque, across the Topkapi Palace. It was built by Hürrem Sultan between 1556 and 1557.

The bath, which served actively until 1910, was then closed for a long time. For a while, it was used as a gas and paper tank. The Hurrem Sultan Bath was restored in 1958 and served as a carpet shop until 2008. The building, which is in the design of a classical bath from the Ottoman period, is in the form of a double bath and has a length of 75 meters.

Serpent Column

The Serpent Column is also known as the bent column. The symbol of the Hippodrome, located in today's Horse Square in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district, is an ancient Greek monument made of bronze with three intertwined python snakes. It is the oldest and largest monument that has survived from the Classical Istanbul period.

In 479 BC, after thirty-one Greek cities came together and defeated the Persians, the Serpent Column monument was built after the bronzes among the loot were melted. The monument, which was built at that time, was erected on the opposite side of the temple of Apollo in the area known as Delphi. The reason for choosing the figure of three intertwined snakes stems from the belief that Apollo killed a three-headed snake. At the time it was built, there were cauldrons that were presumed to be gold or gold-plated on snakeheads, and in these cauldrons, fires that never went out were lit. The names of the thirty-one Greek city-states that defeated the Persians are written on the column. Today, these names are still visible on the surface facing the direction of the Blue Mosque.

Hagia Irene Church

Hagia Irene is both the first church and the first museum of Istanbul. The name Hagia Irene comes from the name Hagia Irene (Saint Irene), meaning "Holy Peace". The temple, which has a history of close to 2500 years, has a legendary history and architectural structure. Hagia Irene church is the largest temple from the Roman period after Hagia Sophia. In addition, the 588 Council convened here.

Hagia Irene Museum

Hagia Eirene hosts art events today. Today's Hagia Irene is not the church built during the Constantine period. The original building was burned in the Nika revolt in 532 and a new one was built in its place by Emperor Justinian. Although it was burned once again in the same century, this time it was not destroyed, it was enough to be repaired. The Hagia Irene Church, which was badly damaged in the heavy earthquake that took place in the 7th century, was restored and the ceilings, frescoes, and mosaics were redecorated.

Sogukcesme Street

Sogukcesme Street, where the historical Istanbul houses are located, comes from Sultanahmet Square towards Topkapi Palace and III. When you go to the left of Ahmet Fountain, you will see it. Carpet and Rug Museum on the left, colorful historical houses on the right...One of Istanbul's corners of paradise, named after a Turkish fountain dated 1800.

Sogukcesme Street has an important place in the history of Istanbul. Most of the old Turkish movies were shot here. Located next to the Carpet & Rug Museum, the street is frequented by those who want to experience the old Istanbul a little, with its colorful houses, its library describing Istanbul, the famous Cistern Restaurant, and houses with bay windows.

On this street, which is closed to traffic, there are structures leaning against the Sur-i Sultaniye, as well as a water cistern from the Byzantine period, 2 recently discovered cisterns, the mansion of the Sheikh of the Naziki lodge, and houses with bay windows. An Ottoman structure and street from the period when Hagia Sophia was used as a mosque. It was named after III. There is a fountain built during the Selim period.

III. Ahmet Fountain

In the Ottoman period, fountains were first built as a whole in order to meet the water needs of the buildings. Later, in the 18th century, this monumental fountain emerged as the Ottomans turned their faces and adapted the new architectural styles they saw to their own tastes.

With its impressive appearance as Topkapi Palace, III. Ahmet Fountain was built on the site of an old Byzantine fountain. Although the architect of the fountain is not known exactly, Mehmet Ağa from Kayseri is mentioned as the chief architect of the period in many writings.

With the advice of Grand Vizier Damat İbrahim Pasha from Nevsehir, III. The fountain, which was built by Ahmet in the 17th century, is also important in terms of being the first work to see the effects of Westernization in Ottoman Architecture. III. Ahmet Fountain is one of the must-see structures in Sultanahmet Square.

The most dazzling example among square fountains in Turkish art history is III. Ahmed Fountain. The building, which is a masterpiece in Ottoman fountain architecture, is described with admirable expressions in the works of foreign travelers who came to Istanbul.

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