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Turkey

Cultural sightseeing in Turkey. What to visit - museums, temples, castles and palaces

For the majority of people, Turkey is a synonym of endless beaches and quite inexpensive but quality vacations. This is true, but this is also a country with a rich history of thousands of years and magnificent architectural landmarks.
For fans of history, Bodrum is an ideal place to enjoy a rich Turkish culture. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which is one of the seven wonders of …
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Sultanahmet Mosque, the famous Blue Mosque that has enough space for up to 10 thousand visitors, is one of the major landmarks of the city. Six elegant minarets of the building rise proudly above the city, drawing the attention of curious tourists. The mosque is located opposite to Hagia Sophia, a fabulous cathedral and one more marvelous and ancient landmark of Istanbul. The Blue Mosque was built by the order of Sultan Ahmed I in 1616. The landmark is tiled with marble and ceramics in white and blue colors. This peculiarity gave the landmark its second name. Outside, visitors can see magnificent and diverse floral ornaments. Inside, the building is incredibly large and has a strict design. The inner yard attracts visitors with a lively murmur of a fountain. Water from this fountain is used for ablution purposes. There is a museum dedicated to carpets not far from the entrance. This venue is worth visiting because it exhibits a range of carpets, from the earliest to the most original ones. These carpets were brought from all parts of the world. The landmark is always very popular with tourists, but evening is considered the best time to visit the museum.
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian cathedral that was built yet in 537. For centuries, it was a symbol of power and fame of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453, Turks, who were astonished by the beauty of the building, decided not to destroy the church but to add minarets and turn it into a mosque. Nowadays, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Turkey regularly hosts many music and cultural festivals, sports competitions, and exciting entertainments for the whole family. Turkey is a large …
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The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, which is located in Istanbul, is another landmark with a challenging history. The building was finished at the end of the 11th century. Until the fall of the Byzantine Empire, it was a Greek Orthodox Christian church. In the 15th century, all ancient frescos were coated with plaster, and the building was turned into a mosque for centuries. Only at the end of the 20th century, restorers carefully unleashed the tender beauty of ancient drawings and mosaics.
The Archaeological Museum of Istanbul was founded in 1891 thanks to efforts of Osman Hamdi Bey, outstanding Ottoman diplomat and intellectual. Currently, the museum has roughly 1 million items that belong to different epochs. Almost all of the exhibits were found in Turkey.
Geographically, the Republic of Turkey is like an ancient bridge between old continents. The Anatolian peninsula is the westernmost protrusion of Asia …
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The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul has long become a calling card of Turkey. This is a giant area that is located in the historic part of the city. It is believed that the roofed bazaar was founded by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1461. Since that time, it was growing steadily, turning into a true labyrinth of countless shops and stalls with all kinds of goods. The central part of the bazaar consists of two buildings – Covered or Old Bedesten and Sandal Bedesten. The latter is a part of the bazaar with 20 cupolas that was named after a type of expensive textile. The Grand Bazaar has many entrances and exits, with the Nuruosmaniye Gate being the most famous of them all. This gate, which is an excellent example of Moresque style, is located right opposite to the same named mosque. The bazaar has an incredibly large territory and features not only shops but also wells, cafes and restaurants, hotels and fountains. In order to make it easier to navigate in the bazaar, similar items are sold close to each other. Every day, up to 500,000 people visit the Grand Bazaar. Tourists may want to buy the bazaar’s map and find what they want faster. When visiting the bazaar, it is important to be attentive and keep an eye on belongings. When buying something, don’t forget to bargain. This ritual will make sellers pleased.
City lights of Side, Turkey The Galata Tower has always been very popular with tourists. Built in 1349, it was a part of the coastal protective buildings. The tower was also an important orientation cue for sailors and merchants. The Galata Tower was rebuilt a number of times, so it was an observatory and a watchtower that protected peace in the city. During the previous century, the 45-meter tall building was rebuilt once again, and the tower got a cupola. Nowadays, it hosts a restaurant and a nightclub.
These spots really worth the attention of a real traveler-researcher. …
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The Topkapi Palace was the sultan’s residence up to the mid-19th century. The palace is a combination of numerous buildings separated from the rest of the city by the wall. Tourists can step inside only together with an organized excursion group. Visitors walk through the Sultan’s Gate to get to the first courtyard. There is a beautiful church, Hagia Irene, nearby. It was built by the order of Byzantine Emperor Constantine in 330. After that, tourists head to the second courtyard. This is the place where cooks were making food and servants lived. Nowadays, visitors can see an exhibition of various silver wares in this part of the palace. To the left of the gates, there is the harem building with more than 400 rooms. The next courtyard has meeting rooms, a library, and various halls. All halls are decorated with gorgeous mosaic, the result of numerous skilled masters’ work. Divan or The Imperial Council building is located nearby. In the past, ministers gathered there to participate in weekly meetings. Don’t forget to visit one of the best weaponry museums in Istanbul – the building is located in the same area.
Marmaris Cappadocia is a truly incredible place with alien-like landscapes that never stop attracting numerous tourists to the central part of the country. To get acquainted with these marvelous places, tourists can hire a hot-air balloon – unforgettable and exciting memories guaranteed. It would also be a mistake not to visit Goreme open-air museum. In Goreme, visitors can see 30 churches located in the caves, unique Ihlara Valley and its temples made in vertical canyons, and, of course, underground towns connected by a 9-kilometer long tunnel.
Monuments and architectural objects, notable for the history and culture of the country. …
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Roman Amphitheater of Aspendos is the main landmark of Aspendos, a city founded by Greeks in 5th century BC that survived until the start of the Byzantine period in the history of Turkey. Even nowadays, tourists are amazed when they see this giant construction that can accommodate up to 17 thousand viewers who comfortably watched performances while being protected from the burning sun by an elegant gallery or arcs. As the amphitheater is still in good condition, it regularly hosts concerts and plays. Because of the excellent acoustic properties, performers do not even need a microphone.
Side Museum is located on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This is the location of the largest archaeological excavations area in Turkey and the largest open-air museum. The majority of exhibited artifacts were found in this region in the middle of the previous century. Fabulous statues and bas-reliefs of the Roman Empire period, a bronze statue of Artemis in nearly pristine condition, and a marble head of Apollo neighbor with artifacts of the Hellenistic Period. Every hall hides many miracles that visitors will be happy to explore. A big amphitheater, an aqueduct, necropolis, fountain, baths, and the main square – all these landmarks deserve the attention of tourists.
Resorts of Turkey manage to maintain their popularity no matter what. Antalya, Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Izmir and Edirne - for millions of travelers …
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The ancient city of Myra is one more place worth exploring. The modern city in this area, Demre, is notable, perhaps, only because of a big number of greenhouses – local farmers specialize in growing tomatoes. For tourists, it is more interesting to visit the ancient city of Myra, the ruins of which still look incredible. This was the religious center of Lycia because the Saint Nicolas Church was located here. In accordance with a legend, the saint was born and lived here. Nowadays, tourists are allowed to see the acropolis, sarcophagi, and tombs. Marvelous tombs made right in the rocks look very unusual – they are shaped like houses. Numerous tombs at a different height create a truly mesmerizing view. The landmarks mentioned are just a small share of the rich heritage of this country.
Turkey guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Turkey

Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Turkey
♥   Art museum 'Anadolu University Contemporary Art Museum' Eskişehir. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Baksı Museum' Bayburt. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Bursa Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art' Bursa. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Dogancay Museum' Istanbul. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Edirne Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art' Edirne. On the map   Photos
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas in Turkey
♥   Ayatriada Rum Katoliki Kilise, Istanbul. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Saint-Esprit, Istanbul. On the map   Photos
Map of all palaces
Palaces in Turkey
♥   Palace 'Adile Sultan Palace' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Aynalıkavak Palace' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Beylerbeyi Palace' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Dolmabahçe Palace' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'Feriye Palace' . On the map   Photos

Extreme Guinness-type places in Turkey

Sabanci Congress and Fair Centre

From the series “Glass Architecture - Impressive Villas and Buildings from Glass”
In Antalya, you can find an unusual pyramid where has placed Sabanci Congress and Exhibition Center. This building looks extraordinary in the traditional urban area. The pyramid was built with the use of metal and glass materials. It is located on the territory of a wonderful landscape garden. There you see artificial ponds and pools with nice fountains. Today the centre is commonly used for various education and official activities. Often there are held exhibitions, presentations and other cultural events.

Sabanci Congress and Exhibition Center is 23 meters high. The most unusual thing of this pyramid is a light-blue skylight roof. The two-floor building consists of five halls, the largest “Toros Hall” having a 2 400-seat capacity. Meltem Hall and Düden Hall have 440 and 340-seat … Read all

Derinkuyu

From the series “Unbelievable Underground Mini-Cities”
Turkey is a country that full of various archaeological items and places. Cappadocia is a city that has several unusual places. There were found several underground cities, one of them is Derinkuyu. This city adores with its area and construction. It is a seven-layer city. In the underground rooms can live several thousand people at once. The researchers have found houses, churches, schools and even several areas which were used for wines concoction.

Derinkuyu building is connected with a great number of insoluble enigmas. On the main version, this city was built by Christians that were looking for a housing, escaping from persecution of Roman Empire. For provisional assessments the city was built in 2-1 century BC, for instance, it was found only in 1963. One of the main peculiarities … Read all
All unique sightseeing Turkey
Country maps Maps of Turkey
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in Turkey
Map of cities Cities map of Turkey
Map of sights Map of sights in Turkey

Travel Industry is Expected to Grow in China in 2021

Not only hotels in Beijing or Shanghai will benefit from this but also many destinations around the world as the Chinese like to travel. In 2021, there has been a spike in international departures of more than 200% in China. The total number of departures reached 30 million. Of course, this is far away from the pre-covid levels – the country is expected to reach them by 2023. The forecast looks very promising: 88 million international departures (+108%) in 2022 and another +44% in 2023. The forecast is positive despite the restrictions during the Chinese New Year period caused by the outbreak of the disease in the Hebei and Heilongjiang provinces. Read this

21.04.2021

Top cultural sites of Turkey: monuments, theaters and churches

Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Beylerbeyi Palace was built in 1861 as a summer residence and a place to entertain heads of state. Translated from the Turkish, its name means ‘Lord of lords’.
» Beylerbeyi Palace was visited by famous rulers as Nasreddin Shah of Persia, the Russian Prince Nicholay, the Duke of Windsor. French Empress Eugenie was so delighted with the splendor of the palace, that she ordered an exact copy of windows for her bedroom in the Tuileries in Paris.
» There are 26 rooms and three floors in Beylerbeyi Palace. It’s divided into separate sections for men and women, including the harem.
» The wooden base of Beylerbeyi palace was partially destroyed by fire. After a while, the new sultan ordered to destroy the old structure completely and build a new palace.
» Floor of Beylerbeyi is covered with reeds specially brought from Egypt. In winter it has to protect from moisture and humidity, and from heat in summer.

Church of St Sergius and Bacchus, Istanbul

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Church of St Sergius and Bacchus is one of the oldest surviving churches in Istanbul built in 527-529 years.
» The Church of St Sergius and Bacchus served as the prototype for the Basilica of San Vitale and the Cathedral of St. Sophia (hence the second name of the church, the small Hagia Sofia).
» The church is dedicated to St. Sergius and Bacchus, who were soldiers of the Roman Empire and occupied important positions, until it became clear that they were secret Christians. The soldiers were severely tortured. Then Bacchus was killed, and Sergius was beheaded.
» During the Balkan Wars, thousands of refugees have found shelter here at the church.
» Serious damage to the construction was caused by the immediate vicinity of the railway. For this reason, UNESCO has included the church of St Sergius and Bacchus in the World Heritage List, where endangered objects are mentioned.

Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Ceilings and walls of Dolmabahce are decorated with hundreds of kilograms of gold. Interior chambers are decorated with antique French furniture. The palace has the room completely made of crystal. The bath here is of marble and carpets of silk.
» All clocks in Dolmabahce Palace show 9.05 am. This time is a time of death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Ottoman and Turkish reformer). He died there November 10, 1938.
» The name of the palace translates as ‘filled garden’.
»  The ceiling of the main hall of Dolmabahce is decorated with the chandelier weighting four and a half tons. It was a gift of Queen Victoria.
» Dolmabahce Palace is adorned with paintings of the Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky. Sultan Abdul Hamid II ordered about 40 works depicting the Bosphorus, the sea, and views of the city. The artist received the highest Turkish award, Osmani order, decorated with diamonds.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Topkapi Palace can be considered the whole city located on the territory of Istanbul, because the total area of the palace is more than 700 thousand square meters, and the length is about 5 kilometers.
» Topkapi Palace houses a vast collection of treasures including jewelry, costumes, weapons and sacred artifacts. Major exhibits include cape and sword of the Prophet Mohammed and his collection of porcelain, which is the third most important in the world.
» The fifth largest diamond in the world, which is set in silver and surrounded by 49 smaller diamonds, is kept in the Treasury of the Palace.
» One of the main attractions of the Palace, Harem, is a protected and prohibited place. Only people, which were very close to the Sultan, including his family, wives, concubines, eunuchs and servants had access there. Entrance to the Harem was strictly forbidden to outsiders; all inside was run by the mother of the Sultan.
» The Palace has being the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years.

Culture and monuments in popular cities of Turkey

Istanbul
The mosque of Sultanahmet is a more recent religious monument. The building of the masque was completed in 1616. This is one of the most beautiful mosques of the city, which is famous not only by its elegant architecture, but also by carefully selected interior decoration. Travelers should also not forget to visit Sultanahmet Meydanı – the most famous square of the city and an ancient hippodrome. During the reign of emperors the square was the venue for gladiator fights. Thousands of … Read more
Antalya
Previously the majority of the exhibits found here were kept in Yivli Minare, which is also an important object of excursions. The height of the beautiful tower estimates 38 meters. It was built in the 13th century and has perfectly preserved till our days. The beautiful minaret consists of eight half-columns, each of which makes the building look even more spectacular. The building is surrounded by a rich park, which serves as a magnificent background to this ancient monument. Guests of the … Read more
Ankara
There is one more important historical site not far away from the ruins of the temple - Column of Julian. Visitors of the city should definitely visit the citadel of Hisar that has witnessed many important historical events. The beautiful Atakule Castle is surrounded by two circles of powerful fortification walls. It is believed that the inner circular wall was erected in the 6th century, and the external one - three centuries later. According to an ancient legend, all the powers of the city … Read more
Alanya
The medieval fortress of Alanya Kalesi is an important architectural landmark built in the 13th century. During the Middle Ages the castle was used as a powerful defensive fortification. Nowadays most of the ancillary buildings have been destroyed, but the main building has remained in quite a good state. There is a museum under the open sky in the territory of the castle. Next to the museum you will find one more important destination for excursions - an ancient Byzantine church. Kızıl … Read more
Kusadasi
The castle on Guvercin Island is a striking monument of the Byzantine era, sometimes it is referred to as ‘pirates’ fortress.’ It owes its name to the legend telling that the fortress served as a refuge for Khair ad-Din pirate, who is better known as Barbarossa. Recently, a powerful fortification was completely renovated; some of its rooms host a historic museum. Kale is considered the most interesting area for excursions. A walk there would become a real journey into the past. You … Read more
Fethiye
A historical monument of the later period is the beautiful mosque Cezayirli Hassan Pasha. Its construction was completed in 1791. Despite the impressive age and impact of time, the mosque still looks very impressive. The Fethiye Museum (Muzesi) invites travelers to learn a lot of interesting things about the history of the city and admire its priceless artifacts. Within walls of the museum there are hundreds of exhibits relating to different eras. It is noteworthy that all of them were found in … Read more
Bodrum
The castle is also called the Castle of St. Peter. Nowadays this is the most famous medieval building of the city. The castle is also home to two museums. Museum of Underwater Archaeology will tell its visitors about the most interesting discoveries of recent decades. Among the items exhibited here you will find many interesting items that belong yet to the Bronze Age. The territory of the castle is also the location of famous Turkish baths. The local amphitheater is a no less attractive … Read more
Izmir
Museum of Ataturk also features an interesting collection of historical artifacts. The thematic of the museum’s exhibits is very diverse, but they all are somehow related to the presence of Ataturk in the city. One of the main streets of Izmir - Ataturk Caddesi – is also named in honor of Ataturk. A beautiful pathway stretches along the coast. Here tourists will find numerous attractive shops and restaurants, as well as some beautiful architectural buildings. Bazaar is located to the east … Read more

Turkey map of cultural and historical sites

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