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Yildiz Palace Museum

Yildiz Palace Museum (Barbaros Bulvari, Serencebey Yokusu, No. 62 Besiktas/ Istanbul) — The first pavilion on this site was built by Sultan Ahmed I, during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. At the end of the 18th century, Sultan Selim III built Yıldız Pavilion for his mother Sultan Mihrişah and a fountain for his father. […]

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Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Sultanahmet Mh., Meydanı Sok. No:46, 34122 İstanbul) — Built in 1524, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is housed in the former palace of İbrahim Paşa, the grand vizier to Süleyman the Magnificent. The palace is truly spectacular and impressive, and it was even more so in its heyday. Before […]

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Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi, Sultanahmet, Eminonu, Istanbul) — this was the first Ottoman palace to be built (1466-1478) in the newly conquered capital of the Empire by Mehmet II. Located on the spot where the foundations of the city were first laid in ancient times by Megarian Chief Byzas in the 7th century BC, the […]

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Sultanahmet Mh., At Meydanı No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul) — although it is popularly known as the Blue Mosque, its real name is Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Befitting his original profession, its architect Mehmet Aga decorated the interior fastidiously like a jeweler. Built between 1609-1616, the mosque used to be part of a large complex, […]

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Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque (Professor Sıddık Sami Onar Caddesi, Istanbul) — the truly staggering size of the Süleymaniye Camii (Suleymaniye Mosque) is one of its most distinctive features – built by the legendary architect, Mimar Sinan, it is known as one of his masterpieces, and his largest design. It is not just the awe-inspiring size that is […]

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Rahmi M. Koc Museum

Rahmi M. Koc Museum (Hasköy Cd. 5, Istanbul) – this is the first major museum in Turkey dedicated to the history of Transport, Industry and Communications (founded by the head of the Koç industrial group – one of Turkey’s most prominent conglomerates). Housed in magnificent buildings – themselves prime examples of industrial archaeology – on […]

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Obelisk of Theodosius

Obelisk of Theodosius (Binbirdirek, Istanbul) — Around 1490 BC the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III erected two obelisks before the Karnak temple in Luxor to commemorate the victories of his forces in Mesopotamia. The obelisks were made of rare pink granite. In the 4th century AD, an unknown Roman emperor who wanted to accomplish something impressive […]

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Maiden’s Tower

Maiden’s Tower (Üsküdar Salacak Mevkii, Üsküdar/İstanbul) – a.k.a. “Kiz Kulesi”, this site is located off the coast of Salacak neighborhood within Istanbul’s Üsküdar district (at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus). The name comes from a legend: the Byzantine emperor heard a prophecy telling him that his beloved daughter would die at the age of […]

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Little Hagia Sophia

Little Hagia Sophia (Küçük Ayasofya Mh., Fatih/İstanbul) — The oldest surviving Byzantine monument in Istanbul, Küçük (“Little”) Hagia Sophia was constructed under the emperor Justinian near the southern city walls on the shores of the Sea of Marmara in 527–536 AD. In 1504, the building was converted into a mosque. In the 1950s, the area […]

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Istanbul Modern / Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

Istanbul Modern / Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo 4, Karaköy, Istanbul) — The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first private museum to organize modern and contemporary art exhibitions was founded in 2004 and occupies an 8,000 square meter site on the shores of the Bosphorus. Istanbul Modern […]