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Fascination Turkey
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Istanbul Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque viewed form the Bosporus
~ Byzantium - Constantinople - Istanbul ~

Bosporus bridgeLocated  at the point, where the Golden Horn flows into the Bosporus, riding on two continents, Asia and Europe, Istanbul is considered one of the most famous and fascinating cities in the world - a great metropolis during the entire course of its ancient history

Hagia Sophia erbaut 532-537History of Istanbul began with the Greek settlement "Byzantium", founded in 657 BC. After its destruction, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great erected a new city on the walls of Byzantium, with the intention to create a "Roma Nova"  (New Rome). In 330 AD he declared the city the capital of his empire and rechristened it "Constantinople". In 1453 the Osmane sultan Mehmed II conquered the city, gave it the name "Istanbul" and made the legendary metropolis the centre of  his empire.

Istanbul was the centre and mirror of two world empires and two world religions for 16 centuries and has kept the most significant testimonies from each era.

Hippodrome Egyptian obeliskFor one day we immersed in the magic atmosphere of this fabulous city and visited its most famous sights - Mosque of Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace and Justinian's Cistern, Justinian's Cisternhad lunch in the Ciragan Palace, the Sultan's ancient residence and as another highlight strolled over the Great Bazaar. What unique and unforgettable experiences!

The  most precious ancient remnant of the Hippodrome and oldest monument of Constantinople is the Egyptian obelisk, which was erected by Pharaoh Thutmosis III in Karnak 1471 BC. Would take a long time to tell its chequered history. Well, we visited the Topkapi Palace, but were disappointed, not to get the chance, to see the sultan's splendid rooms, or the Serail. However visited the museum with Osmane jewellery, precious objects, arms etc.

Bosporus view of the European side
Istanbul Harbour
Topcapi Palace entrence
Istanbul Ciragan Palace
Topcapi Palace
Ciragan Palace

Istanbul Ciragan Palace
Istanbul Grand Bazaar
Istanbul Grand Bazaar
Istanbul Great Bazaar
Ciragan Palace
Great Bazaar

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