The most popular autumn destination: 10 places to visit in Istanbul PHOTO

Hagia Sophia Photo: Shutterstock / LALS STOCK

Hagia Sophia Photo: Shutterstock / LALS STOCK

If you are going to Istanbul for the first time, these are the places you should visit

Istanbul is a city you will love with its history, strong contrasts, beautiful mosques and dervish culture.

Here are the places not to be missed when visiting this Turkish city:

1. Santa Sofia

Legend has it that the Byzantine emperor Justinian, when he finally entered his finished Orthodox church, shouted “Solomon, I have overcome you” alluding to the famous Jewish ruler who built the First Temple in Jerusalem.

Hagia Sophia is the fastest Orthodox church (construction lasted five years).

He crossed the road to the Orthodox Church through the mosque into which the Ottomans converted it when they captured Constantinople in 1453. After that, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk turned it into a museum in 1935, but the last year it was once again a mosque.

2. Topkapi Palace

It was built by Mehmed II the Conqueror in the 15th century, and this magnificent palace next to the Bosphorus is the place where the sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived and ruled.

It is a dazzling representation of Islamic culture. The most popular complex is the Harem, as well as the Second Palace, where you can stroll through the spacious kitchens of the palace and marvel at the bright interior of the Imperial Council Chamber, as well as the Third Palace when the sultan’s private rooms

It will take at least half a day to fully see Topkapi Palace

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3. Blue Mosque

Ahmet I imagined this beautiful mosque, now called the Blue Mosque, as a grand architectural gift to his city.

Built between 1609 and 1616, the mosque aroused the admiration of the Muslim world because it had six minarets (the same number as the Great Mosque of Mecca), and finally the seventh minaret was given to Mecca to stop the disagreement.

It was nicknamed the interior design of the original tiles

4. Archaeological Museum

It is close to Topkapi Palace and houses artifacts from Turkey and the Middle East. There are three separate works: the Museum of the Ancient Orient displays a collection focused on pre-Islamic art and Middle Eastern heritage.

There are mainly statues and tombs, including the famous sarcophagi of Sidon in Israel, as well as an exhibition hall. Istanbul through the centuries

The third building is the Tile Pavilion, built by Mehmed II the Conqueror and which houses a wide variety of ceramic works.

5. Shopping at Kapala Bazaar

For many visitors, visiting Instabul is also like visiting museums and monumental attractions, as well as shopping.

The Kapali Bazaar is practically the first shopping center in the world and occupies an entire neighborhood, surrounded by thick walls, between the mosques of Nuruosmania and Bayazit.

6. Soliman Mosque

The second largest mosque in Istanbul. Its construction was ordered by Soliman the Magnificent in 1557, and the architect of the mosque was Mimar Sinan.

You will have Istanbul in the palm of your hand, a building you can’t miss PHOTO

7. Spice Bazaar / Egyptian Bazaar

A place where you will find all those foods for which Turkey is famous: rattle, baklava, tea, nuts, herbs, as well as spices. As it is always full of tourists, try to visit it between 11am and 4pm

8. Dolmabahçe Palace

The luxurious and decorated Dolmabahçe Palace shows a clear impression of European ornaments and architecture in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century.

It was built by Sultan Abdulmejid I in 1854 and replaced Topkapi Palace as the sultan’s main residence.

9. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art

It is located in the palace of Ibrahim-pasha Pargalija, who was the Grand Vizier of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. This museum is an unmissable attraction for all those interested in the Ottoman Empire and Islamic art.

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10. Church of Saints Srdja and Vaha – the little Hagia Sophia

Before Emperor Justinian built Hagia Sophia, he had to test whether the building would work, so he built this miniature version of the Byzantine church. During the Ottomans, it became a mosque, which is today.

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