Merhaba Istanbul… Hello, Istanbul.
I know Istanbul the most famous city if Turkey because people around the world know Istanbul rather than another city. Am I right? But Istanbul not the capital of Turkey, the capital of Turkey is Ankara. The Istanbul is the first place of most population citizen in Turkey.
|Sorry, this photo turn like this.|
On Day 9, I visit many places around Istanbul. I like Istanbul so much. The first place I was visited is the Topkapi Palace. The Topkapi Palace or Topkapi Sarayi is the residence of Ottoman Sultans for almost for centuries and Istanbul's premier must-see attraction. Its large compound consists of pavilions, kitchens, audience chambers and kiosks built around a series of garden courtyards.
The palace was opened to the public as a museum in 1924 by the order of Ataturk. There are many sections in the Topkapi Palace which can be visited today, these are exhibition halls and doesn't contain any furniture. Some of the exhibition halls are closed for restorations but still the visit of the palace would take a half day for an interested person. Please note that in some of the exhibition halls you're not permitted to take any photographs, such as Treasury, Sultans' costumes, and the Holly Relics.
Once you pass the first gate, Imperial Gate, you'll be in the first courtyard called as the "Courtyard of the Regiments". From this gate, anybody could pass but only the Sultans would be on the horse while all others on foot. The second gate has two guard towers and is called "Gate of Salutation" because everybody had to salute the Sultan before going through. From this gate, only the Sultan and people working in the palace could pass, it wasn't for the public access. Today, passing through this gate there will be a security check and ticket control, and you access to the second courtyard of the palace (courtyard of the Divan).
The third gate is called "Gate of Felicity" because the Sultan and his court celebrated important events here; sitting on his throne; when the Sultans were happy everybody was happy. This gate was protected by the white eunuchs and nobody could pass through without the permission of the Sultan. When you enter the third courtyard (courtyard of the Underrun), the first building is the Audience Hall where the Sultan received his viziers or foreign ambassadors. Behind this room, there is a library as well.
On the left of the third courtyard, there is the Holly Relics section where religiously important items are displayed, such as the mantle, footprint, a tooth and hair of the Prophet Mohammed, swords of the first caliphs, container of the Black Stone from Ka'ba, and so on. Next to this hall, there are several other rooms with the paintings of the Sultans, miniatures, old clocks etc.
After the third courtyard, there are several passages to the fourth and last courtyard of the palace, the private garden of the Sultan (Sofa0i Humayun in Arabic) where he had roses and tulips and some kiosks from which he had a great view of the city while drinking his tea or coffee.
Then, we visit the Hagia Sophia or Aya Sofya, one of Old Istanbul's most imposing sights. Hagia Sophia is a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for Byzantine and for Ottoman Empires. Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum at the Turkish Republic, Hagia Sophia has always been the precious of its time.
It has also been called "the eighth wonder of the world" by East Roman Philon as far back as the 6th century. The current Hagia Sophia is the third construction, done in a different architectural style, even though it occupies the same location as the previous two. The original building was constructed by the most important architects of the period (527-565), Anthemios (Tralles) and Isidoros (Miletus), under the order of Emperor Justinian's. It is mentioned in the resources that during its construction period, the two prominent architects each had 100 architects working under them, who in turn had 100 workers each working under them.
It was used as a church for 916 years but, following the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed, the Hagia Sophia was converted into the mosque. Afterward, it was used as a mosque for 482 years. Under the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia is open for the visit every day. The winter visiting hours for the Hagia Sophia are from 09.00 to 17.00, with the final entry being at 16.00. During the summer, the visiting hours are between 09.00 and 19.00, with the final entry being at 18.00. Passes are available at the box office in the museum.
After we visit the Hagia Sophia, we take lunch but we walk thru pass the Roman Hippodrome when Horse Chariot races were held in Constantinople. The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social center of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı (Sultan Ahmet Square) in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with a few fragments of the original structure surviving.
The word hippodrome comes from the Greek hippos (ἵππος), horse, and dromos (δρόμος), path or way. For this reason, it is sometimes also called Atmeydanı ("Horse Square") in Turkish. Horse racing and chariot racing were popular pastimes in the ancient world and hippodromes were common features of Greek cities in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras.
We take our lunch at dubb Kebab restaurant. This time, our lunch is chicken and rice. I this deserts but I forget its name. It's so delicious.
After lunch, we visit the Blue Mosque the famous mosque in Istanbul. The layout of the Blue Mosque is classic Ottoman design. The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is a historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice.Besides still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.
Besides being the tourist attraction, it's also an active mosque, so it's closed to nonworshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers. The best way to see great architecture of the Blue Mosque is to approach it from the Hippodrome. (West side of the mosque) As if you are the non-Muslim visitor, you also have to use the same direction to enter the Mosque.
P/S: Please ignore and avoid people who offer you to enter the mosque without queue up. Those people mostly will try to sell you something and take you to some shopping place. The best way is to line up and enter Mosque just like other tourists. Don't worry if the line looks very long, it will move very fast for sure.
Now is shopping time at Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world.
After 3 hours we shopping there, then we take our dinner at the seafood restaurant as our last dinner at Istanbul, Turkey before us going back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Day 10. The meals are gill fish and it suits to me. I like it so much.
Time to packing and take last rest at the beautiful city of Istanbul, Turkey. I feel sad when I think about the last day we holiday at Turkey,