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Travel Tips to Istanbul (SAW)
Two continents, one amazing vacation
When it comes to popular tourist destinations, Istanbul is at the top end of the list. Book your flight to Istanbul today for the trip of a lifetime. In 2013, the city was chosen in a poll by European Consumers Choice as the “Best Destination in Europe". The fact that the city covers two different continents makes it even more interesting – you’re experiencing a holiday in Europe and Asia at the same time! The location on the Bosphorus strait offers a fantastic view in the town centre. This is just the first of many top-notch attractions in the city. For example, the Topkapi Palace is stated as one of the best preserved buildings of the Ottoman Empire.
Topkapi means "Cannon Gate" in English. During the time of the Seraglio’s establishment from 1460 to 1478, guns were placed at the front to protect the city. This fact along with a palace-owned cannon foundry made the entire system unique. In 1923, this was transformed into a museum of fascinating exhibits including the legendary Topkapi dagger, porcelain, gowns and even hairs belonging to the prophet Muhammad. The entire complex includes ten other mosques and 348 sultan rooms, where the Valide Sultan presents itself as the most outstanding of them all. The walls are decorated with colourful oriental scenery and plush thick carpeting on the floors, making the palace even more vibrant.
Dreams came true for Roman Emperor Justinian I
The famous Hagia Sophia was the world's largest Christian church before the establishment of the Roman dome of St. Peter. The finest choices of materials were drawn from all over the world during its construction. The columns came from Greece, Italy and Asia Minor. Countless marble slabs were imported from Anatolia while bricks and roof tiles came from the Greek island of Rhodes. Approximately 10,000 workers were said to be involved in the construction of this church, which was inspired by the dream of the Roman Emperor Justinian I.
"Sunken Palace" below the earth
No less impressive is the underground Basilica Cistern, which is also known as the "Sunken Palace". It was built in the 6th century as a reservoir holding 80,000 cubic metres of water for the Grand Palace. The brick vault is supported by 336 Corinthian and early Byzantine style columns. An installation of animated lighting creates a magical atmosphere, enhanced by classical music. The cistern is the only one in the city that is open to the public, and has been used as an impressive backdrop for films such as "From Russia with Love" and "The Accidental Spy". Experience the city on the Bosphorus strait by booking your flights to Istanbul with FlyDoha!