ASIA FREE PICTURES / TURKEY

ISTANBUL


It is a town with three different names which remind us of its stormy history. It was capital city of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Istanbul connects Europe and Asia with the bridge Galata. Among monuments worth seeing we must mention mosque Aja Sofia, one of the most monumental architectural achievements of all times, The Blue Mosque with six minarets and museum Tob Kapu which used to be residence of sultans. Nowadays Istanbul is the financial and cultural centre of the Turkey.

Istanbul is an utterly bewitching city, a mesmerising, schizoid medley of sumptuous palaces, domes and minarets, cobble-stoned streets, decrepit old wooden houses, squalid concrete tower blocks, graceful art nouveau, apartmants, international fashion shops, bazaars and beggars, street vendors and stray dogs and above all the boats of the Bosphours and the promise of the orient, Istanbul is Turkeys cultural and economic centre, Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus Strait looking towards Europe but with its soul firmly rooted in Asia, on European side the city is divided to north and south of the Golden Horn inlet, in south are the superb World Heritage sites of the Blue Mosque the magnificent Topkapi Palace and Ayasofya the mother of churches a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, Grand Bazaar and Kapali Carsi a vast labyrinth of narrow coverd passageways selling everything from cheap tat to carpets worth thousands, Suleymaniye Caami, Ottoman Mosque, the old city walls and the Beatiful Kariye Camii, Galata Bridge, Genoese landmark Galata Kulesi a magnificent landmark with fantastic view, the main boulevard Istiklal Caddesi leads up to Taksim and the impressive Monument of the Republic, Istanbul enchantswith haunting memories like the breathtaking interior of the Blue Mosque, the smells and clatter of the fish market, the tiny boats vying with huge tankers in the Bosohorus, genuine Turkish bath in the Cemberlitas or the Cagaloglu hamamas, interesting tour of the Dolmabaahce Sarayi a sumptuous palace with the largest chandelier in Europe, the buzzing port area of Karakoy with the Balik Pazari fish and vegetable market, cheap local restaurants and street food.

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