I'd love to visit Istanbul. Even some structures that are not part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It looks a good place to taste a good Turkish coffee
|Sultan Ahmet Moque and Hagia Sophia|
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The distinctive and characteristic skyline of Istanbul was built up over many centuries and encompasses the Hagia Sophia whose vast dome reflects the architectural and decorative expertise of the 6th century, the 15th century Fatih complex and Topkapi Palace - that was continually extended until the 19th century, the Süleymaniye Mosque complex and Sehzade Mosque complex, works of the chief architect Sinan, reflecting the climax of Ottoman architecture in the 16th century, the 17th century Blue Mosque and the slender minarets of the New Mosque near the port completed in 1664. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/356/
|Sultan Ahmet Mosque|
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The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Turkish: Sultan Ahmet Camii) is a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. A popular tourist site, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque continues to function as a mosque today; men still kneel in prayer on the mosque's lush red carpet after the call to prayer. The Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. Magnificent hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. - in: wikipedia
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The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns. -in: wikipedia
|Glazed Tile from Harem in Topkapı Palace|
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The Topkapı Palace or the Seraglio is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey that was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years (1465–1856) of their 624-year reign.
The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, and covered a large area with a long shoreline. It contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. It was originally called the New Palace (Yeni Saray or Saray-ı Cedîd-i Âmire) to distinguish it from the previous residence. It received the name "Topkapı" (Cannon Gate) in the 19th century, after a (now lost) gate and shore pavilion. The complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire. - in: wikipedia
Rumelihisarı (also known as Rumelian Castle and Roumeli Hissar Castle) or Boğazkesen Castle (literally meaning "Strait-Cutter Castle") is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey, on a series of hills on the European banks of the Bosphorus.
Conceived and built between 1451 and 1452 on the orders of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, the complex was commissioned in preparation for a planned Ottoman siege on the then-Byzantine city of Constantinople, with the goal of cutting off maritime military and logistical relief that could potentially come to the Byzantines' aid by way of the Bosphorus Strait, hence the fortress's alternative name, "Boğazkesen", i.e. "Strait-cutter" Castle. Its older sister structure, Anadoluhisari ("Anatolian Fortress"), sits on the opposite banks of the Bosporus, and the two fortresses worked in tandem during the final siege to throttle all naval traffic along the Bosphorus, thus helping the Ottomans achieve their goal of making the city of Constantinople (later renamed Istanbul) their new imperial capital in 1453. - in: wikipedia
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|Chora Church - Freco of the Resurrection|
The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora is a medieval Byzantine Greek Orthodox church preserved as the Chora Museum in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul. The neighborhood is situated in the western part of the municipality (belediye) of the Fatih district. In the 16th century, during the Ottoman era, the church was converted into a mosque; it became a museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with some of the oldest and finest surviving Byzantine mosaics and frescoes; they were uncovered and restored after the building was secularized and turned into a museum.
|Christ with Theodore Metochites presenting his model of Chora Church|
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The Chora Church was originally built as part of a monastery complex outside the walls of Constantinople, to the south of the Golden Horn.
The majority of the fabric of the current building dates from 1077–1081, when Maria Dukaina, the mother-in-law of Alexius I Comnenus, rebuilt the Chora Church as an inscribed cross or quincunx: a popular architectural style of the time. Early in the 12th century, the church suffered a partial collapse, perhaps due to an earthquake. The church was rebuilt by Isaac Comnenus, Alexius's third son. However, it was only after the third phase of building, two centuries after, that the church as it stands today was completed. The powerful Byzantine statesman Theodore Metochites endowed the church with many of its fine mosaics and frescos. Theodore's impressive decoration of the interior was carried out between 1315 and 1321. The mosaic-work is the finest example of the Palaeologian Renaissance. The artists remain unknown. In 1328, Theodore was sent into exile by the usurper Andronicus III Palaeologus. However, he was allowed to return to the city two years later, and lived out the last two years of his life as a monk in his Chora Church.
|Chora Church - Christ turning water into wine|
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The Chora Church is not as large as some of the other surviving Byzantine churches of Istanbul (it covers 742.5 m²) but it is unique among them, because of its almost completely still extant internal decoration. The building divides into three main areas: the entrance hall or narthex, the main body of the church or naos, and the side chapel or parecclesion. The building has six domes: two in the esonarthex, one in the parecclesion and three in the naos. - in: wikipedia