CLASSIC ISTANBUL TOURS

HERITAGES OF OTTOMAN AND BYZANTINE HAGIA SOPHIA BLUE MOSQUE TOPKAPI PALACE

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HIGHLIGHTS: • Hagia Sophia Museum • Blue Mosque • Topkapi Palace • Grand Bazaar • Hippodrome Square • Hagia Irene Church (from outside) • Obelisk of Theodosius • Serpentine Column • Fountain of Wilhelm II • Caferaga Medrese • Sogukcesme Street

Price: 70 Euro per person  

Included: Lunch, entrance fees, all local transportations, professional guide

Excluded: Drinks at lunch, personal expenses

HERITAGES OF OTTOMAN AND BYZANTINE TOUR
Pick up from your hotel around 08:30am. We will start visiting Hippodrome Square where we will see Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpentine Column, and Fountain of Wilhelm II. After that, we will visit Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Grand Bazaar will be our last place to visit before having the lunch. After lunch, we will continue to visit Topkapi Palace (Harem is not included). At the end of the tour, we will see Hagia Irene Church (from outside), Caferaga Medrese, Sogukcesme Street. Return to your hotel around 17:00. 

NOTES

* The tour includes pick ups from hotels in Sultanahmet or Taksim area. There will be an extra charge for pickup service from other locations.
* Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday. It will be replaced with Chora Museum.
* Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday
* Caferaga Medrese is closed on Monday. 
* Child aged 0-2 free of charge, %30 discount for child aged under 7 years old.
* This tour is regular. Please contact us for private tour options.

Hagia Sophia
 was the largest church for nearly thousand years, after it was built in 360 by Emperor Constantius. Its architects were geometry experts Isidorus of Miletus and master mathematician Anthemius of Tralles. Justinian, on entering Hagia Sophia for first time, exclaimed, “Glory to God that I have been judged worthy of such a work. Oh Solomon! I have outdone you!”
Blue Mosque was built by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga upon the order of Sultan Ahmed I in the 17th century. The “blue” of the mosque is comes from the blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design. 
Hippodrome square was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople in Byzantine period. Then, the hippodrome was converted to Horse Square where Jereed (a special old Turkish horseman competition with Javelin) games were held. Today, it is an open-air museum with various monuments from different periods. 
Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered bazaar in the world with 61 streets and over 4.000 shops (handmade carpets, jewellery, leather, souvenirs…). 
Topkapi Palace was built by Mehmet II after the conquest of Constantinople in 15th century. It was served as the home of the Ottoman Sultans until Dolmabahce Palace was constructed in 1839. There are four courtyard in the palace. The Topkapi treasury is housed in the four rooms of Conqueror’s Pavillion. The Harem of Topkapi Palace was an area restricted to the Sultan’s private family (the tour will not cover the Harem part of palace). 
Obelisk of Theodosius, the oldest monument of Constantinople, was carved around 1450 BC. It was erected by the emperor Theodosius in 390. 
Serpentine Column is a three-headed snake carved by the ancient Greeks. The monument was moved from Delphi by Constantine after the victory of the Greeks over the Persians.
Walled Obeliks was built by Emperor Constantine in the 10th century. It was originally covered with gilded bronze plaques, but they were stolen and melted down for re-use by Latin troops in the Fourth Crusade. 
Fountain of Wilhelm II was constructed to commemorate the second anniversary of German Emperor Wilhelm II's visit to Istanbul in 1898. 


Historical areas of Istanbul are in the UNESCO World Heritage List.