A real fairytale in Istanbul
January 1, 1970
by Lenka Miljkovic
Magic of Istanbul will make you enchanted
Have you ever been to a place where you think you’re a part of a fairytale? Do even believe that there is that kind of place. Do you even think that is possible? I will tell you, it’s possible. Between two parts of the world, one point that connects two continents, one point that connects history, and one point that connects modern and ancient, Istanbul.
Istanbul is one old city between Europe and Asia. It has more than 15 million people at the moment, 12 million citizens, and 3 million visitors each day. This city wasn’t always known as Istanbul, a long time ago it was called Constantinople. Constantinople was a capital of Byzantine for 11 centuries. Constantinopolis was found by empire Constantine. The real truth about Constantinople hides one mystic story. Mother of Constantine, queen Jelena had a dream that her son will win a war with the sign of a Christianity. He won and he pronounces Christianity as a legal and true religion. Then he moved the capital of Rome empire from West Rome to East Rome and formed today’s well known Istanbul.
Constantinople during history
Constantinople was very powerful city, very rich city, with amazing buildings and architecture. The famous blue Byzantine color comes from Constantinople, from amazing buildings and architecture. But Byzantine Empire started to fall down, and it became a target of many many other empires. That’s how Ottomans took over a capital of Byzantine in 15 century and since then Constantinople became a part of Ottoman Empire and that’s how Constantinople was transformed in Istanbul.
As a part of the Ottoman Empire Istanbul was a home of sultans. And in Istanbul, you can find many different monasteries, churches, mosques that show us one very colorful history.
A couple of years after ottomans victory, ottomans rulers built amazing places such as Top Kapi Palace, Dolma Bahche palace, and Galata Tower. And from those places starts my story. Places where you feel every part of history on your own skin, where you live with the ghost of the past, and where you got the feeling that you’re thankful that you can see all those stuff, and where you got inspired by amazing culture.
Must see Top Kapi Palace
In 1456. Sultan Mehmed built Top Kapi Palace, which was administration and imperial center of Ottoman Empire. Ottomans chose an old Greek Byzantines acropolis as a place for Top Kapi Palace. Famous Byzantines acropolis had an amazing position, position that helps acropolis to be main building in Constantinople. In in 1456. Sultan Mehmed started to build a famous ottomans building, this building had Islamic architecture, but it had also walls that remind us of Greek culture, that wasn’t weird because they use an acropolis wall. In Top Kapi Palace you can find also a kitchen, royal bedrooms, royale bathrooms called „Hammam“. And also „Harem“, which means „in this holly please not everyone can come in“. The harem was a place with very beautiful women, but women were only for sultan as the main ruler, and some of them became women’s of the sultan, legal women such as Sultan Hurem. Hammam is a famous Turkish bathroom with steam room and a cold water room. In some hammam, you could also massage.
Top Kapi Palace also had a library, school for sultans, rooms for maids, and many more rooms. Also, we can find a gorgeous garden, from a garden we have a view on the Bosphorus. Garden is big and decorated with very nice Asia flowers, trees, and other plants. It is also has a huge kitchen, where you can find an old silver and gold fork and knives. Some of them were a present from other empires to Ottoman Empire and some of them were made in Turkey. In the kitchen, we can find rich historical materials that show how ottoman empire‘s and ottoman people ate in Ottoman empire. Also, there is a big museum with the paintings jewelry and other precious belongings that belonged to the royal family. In Museum I saw many wonderful paintings, art pieces and also the sort of king David and prophet Moses stick.
Glamour of Dolma Bahche Palace
The biggest success of Ottoman Empire was in the time of Sultan Sulejman or magnificent Sultan Sulejman. Sultan Sulejman used east and oriental architecture after Sultan Sulejman other sultans used a baroque style. Until 1853. Top Kapi palace was the administrative center of Ottoman Empire, then they moved the center to a new palace called Dolma Bahce Palace. This palace is decorated and built on Bosphorus, also Dolma Bahce Palace shows European architectural influence, so this palace reminds on palaces in Versailles, Berlin and other palaces. Next to Top Kapi palace we can find Agia Sophia which is the biggest Christian church in the world than it was transformed into one of the biggest mosques and now it’s a museum open for visitors. It’s interesting that one of the European Union requests for Turkish enter is a request that says Agia Sophia must be returned to Christianity to be a Christian church, as it always was. So we can see a big meaning of this monument for history.
See Golden Horn Junction from Galata tower
Galata tower was the biggest tower in Constantinople. It was built during a Genoa expedition, in 1383. From this tower, soldier controlled a northern part of sea chain, which was built to protect enemies to enter a Golden Horn Junction. When Ottoman Empire’s took over Constantinople they modified this tower, and this tower was used as an observation tower for spotting the fires.
Things to do in Istanbul
I can talk all eternity about this amazing place history of this place but I also need to mention amazing food prepared by Turkish people. Turkey is also famous for amazing food. You can eat a different kind of meals or fast food all so you can drink a famous and traditional drink. Turkish coffee is well known hot drink, and also you cant leave Turkey without tasting the traditional Turkish tea. In Turkey, you can use euros, but national vault is Turkish lira. One euro gives 4,5TL. For all these cool places, you can get a 5 days entry pass, it cost about 80tl, which is about 20 euros, and that’s really cheap.
Well, can’t wait to hear comments from you! PS: My favorite Turkish tea its Green tea and yours?
See you soon – yakında görüşürüz.