Istanbul in person must know
Zhekovsky lecture in the “Diamond Hand” was called “Istanbul – a city of contrasts.” The largest city of Turkey, Istanbul, can indeed fit this definition – only, of course, not in an outdated ideological sense.
Uniquely located in two parts of the world and on the shores of two seas, serving as the capital of the three empires, replacing four names – Istanbul combines different cultures and eras, so you should drop by at least one day here, even if you are more attracted to “the sun” in Turkey , air and water “, and not its grandiose story. Isn’t it great to cross the Bosphorus – and from one continent to another?
The Bosphorus Bridge, one of the world’s largest suspension bridges, connects Europe and Asia in the Ortakoy quarter. This quarter – like our Arbat or Montmartre in Paris – artists gather here for the resurrection to exhibit their works. The artistic spirit of freedom is inseparable from the universal — the church, the mosque and the synagogue have been standing together for a hundred years. Another bridge from Europe to Asia bears the name of Sultan Fatih Mehmet, the Ottoman conqueror of the city.
In principle, half of the historical wonders of Istanbul are connected with the acts of a sultan, but about monarchs a bit later. For now we shall stand on the hill Duatene – this is the European side – from where a magnificent view of the strait and other surroundings opens up. The tulips of Emirgan Park are blooming at the bottom of the hill. On the contrary, on the Asian coast, is the fishing village of Kanlydzha, a favorite vacation spot for Istanbul people, where they are very actively inviting their guests. In countless taverns and fish restaurants – not only freshly caught seafood, but also freshly made “land” delicacies from yogurt to baking.
Ride along the Bosphorus from the Black Sea to the Marble Sea is an indispensable part of the Istanbul tourist program. From the board of the passenger ship you can see marble palaces and wooden villas, columned fortresses and green groves, luxurious hotels and unpretentious houses of fishermen. Istanbul people like watering and when asked whether it is more prestigious to live in a European or Asian part of the city, they answer, it is more prestigious to live on the shore.
And here is another great place in Istanbul. In the European part of the city the turquoise waters of a wonderful bay sparkle – it is the Golden Horn. Turks are sure that they possess one of the best natural harbors in the world, and they possess it for a long time and skillfully. Previously, military and merchant ships of Byzantines and Ottomans were stationed here, and now shady parks and pedestrian sidewalks stretch along the coast. Hasty promenade well complete on a hilltop in a cozy cafe “Pierra Loti.” And, if we are talking about the hills, it is impossible to ignore the Camydzha Hill, which is located on the Asian side, because this is the highest point of Istanbul with a unique panorama from above. Byzantium, Constantinople, Constantinople – each of the former names of Istanbul is associated with a huge historical epoch. And from each era – the wonders of architecture, palaces, museums, towers, fortresses and mosques. Here is a new wonder of the world – Hagia Sophia. New, because on the eve of the new millennium, UNESCO conducted a worldwide survey and added several more to the already well-known seven wonders. There is a list of our Red Square, and the Eiffel Tower, but Hagia Sophia comes first. The temple was built under Constantine the Great, from whom one of the names of the city was derived, and rebuilt under Emperor Justinian. Now it is a grand museum that amazes visitors with a magnificent Byzantine mosaic. Another symbol of the city is the Sultanahmesh mosque with six minarets, better known as the Blue Mosque, since its interior walls are lined with blue and white magnificent tiles.
Another gem of architecture is located where the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara meet – Topkapi Palace, the center of power of the Ottoman Empire from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. Both the sultans, his wives, his concubines, his children, and his courtiers lived here, so this is not just a palace, but a whole complex of doors and buildings and cypress-plane trees.
Dolmabahche Palace, built by the Sultan Abdulmedzhit I, is no less impressive – its facade stretches for six hundred meters along the European coast of the Bosphorus, a four and a half crystal chandelier hangs in the reception hall, and for the Bird’s Pavilion birds were brought from around the world. We note that today all the palaces of Istanbul are open for those who want to numb from the eastern luxury of tourists, and the Ciragan Palace is altered as Grandhotel. The previous reconstruction took place in the nineteenth century under Abdulaziz II. Sultan, by the way, was also engaged in tourism – it was his efforts that brought Belek near Antalya, who also became a famous recreation center.
From the entertainment in Istanbul, cockroach races come to mind, in which the last emigrants from the works of Alexei Tolstoy and Mikhail Bulgakov lost the game. In both classics, the Galata tower is mentioned – just not as an example of Genoese architecture.