A real MUST in Istambul. Closed on mondays. Opens 9.30-16.30.
Amazing in the outside, is even more amazing inside. Its huge cupola is almost 'floating', only sustained by a few columns. Built with materials from Ephesus and Athens, the bricks are made with material from Rodhes and are 12 times lighter than normal ones!! Built as an orthodox church, Mehmet I turned it into a mosque after conquering the city (1459). Ataturk made a museum of it.
Admire the beautiful carpets,...
Admire the beautiful carpets, or better yet, Buy one! You can get great bargains on them from local merchants. Here's a little info I learned while there: Natural dyes are obtained for the carpets from leaves, blossoms, roots, certain insects and marine animals. Traditional colors are red, blue and purple. A high quality hand made carpet increases in value as it is used, for its knots tighten when walked on making the colors more brillant.
Shoes in a mosque
When you want to enter a mosque you must take off your shoes.
There are places to put your shoes and you have to respect the place.
In most of the mosques there are signs to remind you and also people that will prevent the entrance with shoes.
the history of Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi) dates back to 341 BC. At this date, after being a mausoleum built on marble columns for the wife of Commander Chares .There are many legends about this tower which is also the symbol of istanbul.
The first story about the Maiden's Tower was a love story told by Ovidius. This story, relating to the sad love of Hero and Leandros.
She leaves the tower years later to attend a ceremony to be held at the Aphrodite temple, and there she meets Leandros. These two youngsters in love with each other, bless their love with Leandros visiting the tower at nights. On a stormy night when Leandros was swimming to the tower, the love light that Hero burnt was put out. Leandros losing his way in the darkens is buried in the waters of the Bosphorous. Hero, seeing that her lover dies, lets herself in the arms of the waters as well.
the second and most famous legend Other than this story on lovers that cannot meet, there is a snake story, similar to the Cleopatra's end. According to a prophecy, a king is to lose her beloved daughter at the age of eighteen, with a snakebite. Therefore, the king has this tower in the middle of the sea repaired, and places his daughter here. Proving that the fate cannot be escaped, a snake emerging from a grape basket sent to the tower, empties its poison to the princess. The king has an iron vault prepared for his daughter and places it above the gate of Hagia Sophia.
The last story is from the Ottoman times. In reference also to the princesses in other legends, Turks named this tower Kýz-Kulesi (the maiden's tower). The tower, which was called as Arkla (small castle) in the Antiquity was also famous with the name Tour Leandros. Currently it is "Kizkulesi" (the Maiden's Tower), and known with this name.
Now its a restaurant and cafe bar .You can enjoy tour sunset with a drink or you can eat in this restaurant.Boats from Uskudar make the transportation to the island
You can watch my 2 min 32 sec HQ Video Istanbul Daytime walk part I Istanbul not Constantinople out of my Youtube channel with Istanbul, Not Constantinople (Jazz Orchestra version).
You may watch my high resolution photo of Istanbul on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 41° 0' 35.26" N 28° 57' 23.04" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Ordu Kadesi .