Istanbul is Europe's most populous city and Turkey's cultural and financial center.
It is located on the Bosphorus Strait, and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of Turkey.
If Beijing is one of the most historical cities in Eastern countries, Istanbul would be one of the most historical and famous cities in Western countries.Kyoto
It encloses the southern Bosphorus which places the city on two continents – the western portion of Istanbul is in Europe, while the eastern portion is in Asia.
Istanbul travel, Turkey Tourist Attractions
1. Maiden's Tower, Istanbul
Maiden's Tower, also known in the ancient Greek and medieval Byzantine periods as Leander's Tower, sits on a small islet located in the Bosphorus strait off the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul. It's first built by the ancient Athenian general Alcibiades in 408 BC. The pic above was just taken on the top of Maiden's Tower.
There are many legends about the construction of the tower and its location. According to the most popular Turkish legend, a sultan had a much beloved daughter. One day, an oracle prophetised that she would be stung to death by a venomous snake bite on her 18th birthday. The sultan, in an effort to thwart his daughter's early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus to protect his daughter until after her 18th birthday.
The daughter was placed in the tower, where she was frequently visited only by her father. On the daughter's 18th birthday, the sultan had her brought a basket of exotic sumptuous fruit as a birthday gift, delighted that he was able to prevent the prophecy. Upon reaching into the basket, however, an asp that had been hiding amongst the fruit bites the young woman and she dies in her father's arms, just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the name Maiden's Tower.
Maiden's Tower by night
2. Dolmabahçe Palace
The Dolmabahçe Palace is located at the European side of the Bosphorus, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1853 to 1922, apart from a twenty-year interval (1889-1909) in which the Yıldız Palace was used.
Dolmabahçe Palace was the first European-style palace in Istanbul and was built by Sultan Abdülmecid between 1842 and 1853, at a cost of five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tons of gold. Fourteen tons of gold in the form of gold leaf were used to gild the ceilings of the palace. The world's largest Bohemian crystal chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria, is at the center hall. The chandelier has 750 lamps and weighs 4.5 tons. Dolmabahçe has the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world, and one of the great staircases has bannisters of Baccarat crystal.
Dolmabahçe Palace seen from the Bosphorus
The Gate of the Sultan
The Ceremonial Hall
3. Mosques and Churches in Istanbul
Zeyrek Mosque, formerly the Church of Christ Pantokrator, is the second largest surviving Byzantine religious structure in the city
Chora Church, now a museum, is famous for its well-preserved Byzantine mosaics and frescoes from the Palaiologan period
Pammakaristos Church has the largest amount of Byzantine mosaics in Istanbul after the Hagia Sophia and Chora Church
4. Night Views of a morden historical city, Istanbul
Levent financial district
Streets of Nişantaşı, the fashion district of Istanbul and seat of the Turkish textiles industry