Extraordinary Turkey … the destination at the intersection between East and West cultures. It’s said that when the Byzantine Emperor Justinian entered his finished church for the first time in AD 536, he cried out “Glory to God that I have been judged worthy of such a work. Oh Solomon, I have outdone you!” The Aya Sofya (formerly the Hagia Sophia) was the emperor’s swaggering statement to the world of the wealth and technical ability of his empire. Tradition maintained that the area surrounding the emperor’s throne within the church was the official center of the world. Through its conversion to a mosque, after the Ottoman armies conquered Constantinople, to its further conversion into a museum in the 20th century, the Aya Sofya has remained one of Istanbul’s most cherished landmarks.
The ruins of Ephesus are a popular tourist attraction on the west coast. The city of Ephesus was once famed for the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was destroyed by a mob led by the archbishop of Constantinople in 401 AD. Some of the structures can still be seen however including the Great Theater and the Library of Celsus. The library was built around 125 AD to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus, the governor of Asia. The facade was carefully reconstructed in the 1970s to its present splendid state from the original pieces.
Renowned as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the spellbinding Byzantine glory of the Aya Sofya Museum (Hagia Sophia) is not only one of the top things to do in Istanbul, but also in Turkey. The staggering bulk of its exterior is rimmed by the delicate minarets added after the Ottoman conquest, while the sumptuous and cavernous frescoed interior is a grand reminder of old Constantinople’s might and power. This famed monument is a must-do for every tourist visiting the country.
One of Turkey’s most famous tourist attractions, the story of Troy has had everything from Homer’s ancient yarns to the full Hollywood stylings. Yet to truly get a feel for this legendary city you need to explore its walls and take a stroll around its streets, homes and theatres. Did the famed events described by Homer take place here? There’s simply no definitive answer, but as your mind wanders while you stroll through this timeless place you might just find yourself happily believing the legends…
Istanbul’s location has attracted many armies over the centuries including the Greeks, Romans, and the Venetians before Ottomans time. Turkey’s past is incredible, the world’s oldest city was discovered here, at Çatalhöyük ageing it at (7500 BC). Turkey is a modern secular and Western-oriented country with a dynamic economy. The heart of ancient Greek culture is in Turkey, including cities such as Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus, Miletus, and Halicarnassus. Read more on https://www.goodmantours.com/istanbul.
Visitors to the Suleymaniye Mosque say its beauty and peacefulness gives them an inspiring sense of spirituality. Located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, the mosque was ordered built in 1550 by the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. The mosque, indeed, is magnificent, blending the best of Islamic and Byzantine architecture. The mosque was extensively damaged over the years, including during World War I when a fire broke out while the gardens were used as a weapons depot. It was restored in the mid-20th century. The mosque is marked by four minarets, indicating it was built by a sultan. When it was built, the dome was the highest in the Ottoman Empire.