Istanbul Short Break 2 Nights & 3 Days - Cheap Marmaris Hotels & Apartments in Marmaris - Turkey Marmaris Online - ICR Travel

Istanbul Short Break 2 Nights & 3 Days

ISTANBUL SHORTBREAK CUSTOM TAILORED HOLIDAY

This special shortbreak can be enjoyed before or during your stay in your holiday resort. It will be a custom package holiday specially designed for you so please call us on 0151 289 3939 to discuss further into your holiday needs and requirements.

 

The break consists of 2 nights and 3 days and includes flights, return transfers to and from Dalaman airport and your resort and of course bed and breakfast accommodation in one of our hand picked friendly hotels, which have been used many times by our guests.The hotel will be located in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul where you will find many historical sights within walking distance so no need to drive so you can just relax and drink in the atmosphere Istanbul has to offer.We can arrange many excusions for you before you arrive in Istanbul so you can get the most out of your short break.Below are just a few sights local to the area you will be staying in and may be of some interest to you.

 

Hagia Sofia


One of the greatest Byzantine buildings in the world, Hagia Sophia is famous for its impressive size, remarkable architecture and beautiful mosaics and frescoes.The massive ochre-coloured domed structure is one of Istanbul’s most popular attractions. It was commissioned as a Christian cathedral in the 6th century and remained the most important church in Christianity for over 900 years. In the 15th century Mehmet II conquered the city and converted it into a mosque, adding the minarets and fountains. It functioned as such for the next 481 years until the founding of the secular Turkish Republic in 1934 when it was declared a museum. The interior has elements from its time as a cathedral and then as a mosque, including incredible Byzantine mosaics, icons and marble columns, a mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca), and Islamic calligraphy inscriptions on the dome from the Ottoman period.

Sultanahmet (The Blue Mosque)

The Blue Mosque, with its six graceful minarets and tiers of magnificent domes, is one of the most striking and immediately distinguishable buildings on the Istanbul skyline.Constructed as an Islamic rival to the Hagia Sophia in 1609, it is one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture and is still used by hundreds of worshippers. The interior is splendidly decorated with thousands of blue and white Iznik tiles embellished with traditional Ottoman flower patterns, and it is this special feature that gives the mosque its name. Its design of successively descending smaller domes, soaring columns and 260 stained glass windows leaves a lasting impression of graceful accord and open space. At the back of the mosque is a Carpet and Kilim Museum exhibiting antiques from all over Turkey.

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is the city’s largest covered reservoir below Istanbuls famous streets. Built in 532 AD on the site of a great basilica, the Basilica Cistern once supplied water to nearby palaces such as the Great Palace of Constantinople and Topkapi Palace.Also known as the Sunken Palace, the underground site takes up 9,800m2 and has the capacity to store up to 100, 000 tons of water. The water which fed the Cistern came through a viaduct, which connected the source of supply at the Belgrade forest to the Basilica Cistern, a distance of about 19km. Five metre thick walls surround the Cistern and are specially coated to ensure waterproofing.Its domed ceilings are held up by intricately designed marble and granite columns which vary in style between Corinthian, Doric and Ionic. There are 336 columns in all, arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns.

There are two columns of particular interest at the Basilica Cistern; those bearing the head of Medusa. Medusa was a female monster from Greek mythology with hair made of snakes, which is said to have turned those who looked at her into stone. She was beheaded by the hero Perseus who then gave her head to Athena to use as a weapon on the top of her shield as a way of averting evil.Medusa's upside down head is found on the base of one column. There are various theories surrounding why her head was placed upside down, but many believe that it was done to ward off evil spirits.

Next to the upside down head is another head depicting Medusa which has been placed sideways. Why the two heads were placed in different directions has only served to deepen the mystery, but some think that placing the heads in the same direction would give rise to evil forces.Massive restoration was required to make the Basilica Cistern as visitor-friendly as it is today. In 1985, 50,000 tons of mud was removed from the site and walking platforms were constructed; in 1994, another revamp was carried out. Now, visitors can stroll along the platforms and watch resident carp goldfish swim in the Cistern’s cool waters. The Basilica Cistern also houses its own candlelit café, where soft lighting and classical music contributes to the overall atmosphere of the place.

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops, and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewellery and the like. The bazaar has been an important trad ing centre since 1461 and its labyrinthine vaults feature two bedestens (domed buildings), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake. The complex houses two mosques, four fountains, two hamams, and several cafés and restaurants. In the centre is the high domed hall of the Cevahir Bedesten, where the most valuable items and antiques were to be found in the past, and still are today, including furniture, copperware, amber prayer beads, inlaid weapons, icons, moth er-of-pearl mirrors, water pipes, watches and clocks, candlesticks, old coins, and silver and gold jewellery set with coral and turquoise. A leisurely afternoon spent exploring the bazaar, sitting in one of the cafés and watching the crowds pass by, and bargaining for purchases is one of the best ways to recapture the romantic atmosphere of old Istanbul.

 


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