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August 21, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar

There are many lantern shops inside Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

Situated in Istanbul’s walled historic district, the Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest enclosed markets in the world.  Construction of the bazaar’s first buildings began in (more…)

August 13, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, Çemberlitaş Hamamı

The New Mosque: Istanbul’s sights are close enough to walk to but it is hard on the body.

A visit to Istanbul would not be complete without a visit to a Turkish bath or haman.   At least that’s what the guidebooks say, though I’m not sure why.  But for us this declaration applies even though our last visit to a bath was far from unequivocally pleasant.  Indeed, (more…)

August 10, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace’s neo-Baroque façade

After visiting the fabulous Topkapı Palace it is difficult to imagine that a replacement was needed.  Considering that in 1843, when construction was begun, the Ottoman Empire was (more…)

August 7, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, Şehzade Mosque and the Valens Aqueduct

Şehzade Mosque’s courtyard

Two interesting yet less visited sights in Istanbul are located near each other.  The 16th Century Şehzade Mosque and the 4th Century Valens Aqueduct are a few hundred feet and 1,180 years of history apart.


August 5, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, Topkapı Palace

Inside Topkapı Palace

Amongst Istanbul’s prime tourist attractions is the Topkapı Palace.  The palace was the principal residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years of their 624-year reign.  (more…)

August 4, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, Nusretiye Mosque

Inside Nusretiye Mosque (HDR)

Nusretiye Camii is an ornate mosque located along the Bosphorous near the modern day Tophane tramway stop.  It was built in 1823-1826 under the reign of Sultan Mahmut II.   (more…)

Turkey: Istanbul, the Bosphorus Strait

Sunrise as a container ship emerges from the Bosphorus Strait

The Bosphorus is Istanbul’s defining geographical feature.  Dividing Europe and Asia and connecting the Black and Mediterranean Seas, the Bosphorus Strait has been strategically (more…)

August 3, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, Süleymaniye Mosque

Looking up inside the Süleymaniye Mosque (HDR)

Capping the third of Istanbul’s seven hills is the Süleymaniye MosqueSüleymaniye Camii, as it is properly named in Turkish, is one of the largest mosques in Istanbul.  Its (more…)

July 30, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, The New Mosque

The New Mosque

Yeni Camii is an Ottoman era imperial mosque in Istanbul.  In English it is commonly known as The New Mosque.  (Yeni Camii translates from Turkish as “New Mosque.”) (more…)

July 29, 2012

Turkey: Istanbul, Basilica Cistern

Inside the ancient Basilica Cistern in Istanbul (HDR)

The Basilica Cistern is an ancient water reservoir beneath the city of Istanbul Turkey.  It is located not far from many of the Istanbul’s five star sites like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.   Built in the 6th century during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor (more…)

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