Sirkeci Train Station
Istanbul's Sirkeci Train Station edifice was built in 1890 as the eastern terminus of the Orient Express. It was designed in European Orientalist style by the German architect August Jachmund.
While the historic building's entrance is on the side of the tracks, the current modern looking entrance is at the end of the tracks, facing the busy street Ankara Caddesi. From here the whole beauty of the train station can easily be overlooked.
Unfortunately, like Haydarpasa Train Station, also Sirkeci Train Station is losing its importance due to the massive underground railway project Marmaray, which includes a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus.
Inside the building the old waiting rooms, the Orient Express Restaurant and an Atatürk Monument are well worth seeing. Also since a few years the small Turkish Railway Museum can be found in the train station. Unfortunately it was closed when I visited the place.
The old steam locomotive TCDD 2251, which was built by the company Krauss Munich in 1874 is displayed just outside of the station building.
Istanbul's Sirkeci Train Station is situated on the European side of the city in the Sirkeci district. It can be found near the street crossing of Ankara Caddesi and Kennedy Caddesi.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Yenikoy, Istanbul, TR
Yenikoy is a neighbourhood in Sarıyer district of Istanbul. It is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus, between the neighbourhoods of İstinye and Tarabya.
As being in the city, but also away from the city, thats one of the favorite places of mine in Istanbul, to have a walk, breath the fresh sea breeze, or enjoy a perfect fresh seafood dinner at the restaurants just at the shore meters away from the sea side ...
Yeniköy is one of the prominent quarters of Istanbul, and is home to the city's wealthy figures. U can reach Yenikoy w cab or w the local bus departing from Taksim Square, bus ticket is 1.75.- TL ( 1.- USD ) one way ... I just advice u to make a "day escape" from the routine of big city and enjoy this area ... :)Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
Delicious "Street Food" in Istanbul, TR
Turkey is surrounded by seas which contain a large variety of fish. Fish are grilled, fried or cooked slowly by the buğulama (poaching) method. Buğulama is fish with lemon and parsley, covered while cooking so that it will be cooked with steam. The term pilâki is also used for fish cooked with various vegetables, including onion in the oven. In the Black Sea region, fish are usually fried with thick corn flour. Fish are also eaten cold; as smoked (isleme) or dried (çiroz), canned, salted or pickled (lâkerda). Fish is also cooked in salt or in dough in Turkey.
Fish soup prepared with vegetables, onion and flour is common in coastal towns and cities.
"Köfte Ekmek", meatball in bread, w tomatos and onions is favorite for locals, especially a strong competitor to the fast food chains .... :)
I strongly advice u to taste those fresh and yummy "fish and / or meatball with bread" dishes ....Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
Yoros Castle, Anadolu Kavagi, Istanbul, TR ...
Yoros Castle is a ruined castle at the confluence of the Bosporus and the Black Sea, to the north of Joshua's Hill, in Istanbul, Turkey. It is also commonly referred to as the Genoese Castle, due to Genoa’s possession of it in the mid-15th century.
Yoros Castle sits on a hill surrounded by steep bluffs overlooking the Bosporus. It is just north of a small fishing village called Anadolu Kavağı, on Macar Bay, and the entire area is referred to as Anadolu Kavağı. This section is one of the narrowest stretches of the Bosporus, and on the opposite shore sits an area called Rumeli Kavağı, which formerly held a fortification similar to Yoros Castle. (Anadolu and Rumeli were Ottoman terms for the Anatolian and European parts of the empire).
The ruins of the citadel and surrounding walls still exist, though the mosque, most of the towers, and other structures are gone. Yoros Castle and the village of Anadolu Kavagi are a popular day trip from Istanbul.
Typically, the site is not supervised and visitors are free to climb all over the ancient walls. However, there are currently archaeological excavations going on and visitors are unable to enter the castle. Greek inscriptions remain etched on the walls of the castle to this day, along with the symbol of the Palealogus family, who ruled Byzantium until its fall.
Strongly suggested for a day trip, on which u can take a bus from Taksim area, or better, take a bus from Taksim to Sarıyer and then take a boat/ship to Anadolu Kavagi, which will be a ca. 20 mins ride on boat, and u will reach the area ....Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Dolmabahce Clock Tower, Istanbul, TR ...
Dolmabahçe Clock Tower (Turkish: Dolmabahçe Saat Kulesi) is a clock tower situated outside Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul ...
The tower was ordered by Ottoman sultan Abdülhamid II (1842–1918) and designed by the court architect Sarkis Balyan between 1890 and 1895.
The clock tower was added to Dolmabahce Palace and stands in front of its Treasury Gate on a square along the European waterfront of Bosphorus next to Dolmabahce Mosque. Designed in Ottoman neo-baroque style, the four-sided, four-story tower stands on a floor area of 8.5 × 8.5 m (28 × 28 ft) at a height of 27 m (89 ft).
Its clock was manufactured by the renowned French clockmaker house of Jean-Paul Garnier, and installed by the court clock master Johann Mayer. In 1979, the original mechanical clock was converted partly to an electrical one. On two opposite sides of the tower, the tughra of Sultan Abdul Hamid II is put on.
The Dolmabahce Clock Tower is just at the sea, Bosphorus, where u can seat in open air at the cafes and enjoy ur tea or coffee w a wonderful view of Bosphorus Bridge, strongly recommended ... :)Related to:
- Historical Travel
Ayia Triada Orthodox Church, Istanbul, TR ...
Minorities in Turkey form a substantial part of the country's population. 25-30% of the populace belong to an ethnic minority.
While the Republic of Turkey, following the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, recognizes Armenians, Greeks and Jews as ethnic minorities.
Situated right at the centre of all the action near Taksim Square, this impressively domed Greek Orthodox church is the largest Eastern Orthodox church in the city. The Church was constructed in 1800 and is still used today.
The interior walls are adorned with icons and the ceiling bears beautifully coloured frescoes. The Church has two clock towers with a vaulted roof joining them. Outside, there is a large leafy courtyard with a scattering of grand trees and shrubbery.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Arboretum, Istanbul, TR
"Arboretum in Istanbul" is a huge area of "Botanical Garden", actually build up for scientific study, but also available for the visit of the citizens. There are hundreds of kinds plants, trees, flowers, birds etc and is full of peace for long walks and be in true nature ....
All kinds of food and drinks are forbidden inside, sothat the fauna is protected from being damaged ...
Here on my "Travelogue" you can see more photos of this great Park ... :
Its about 45 mins by ride from the city center and u can use the public IETT bus as "Taksim - Bahcekoy" Nr. 151 and / or Nr. 153 to reach the area in which the bus ticket is one way about 1.- USD.
Very recommendable to be away from the big city hassle for a day ... :)Related to:
- National/State Park
Kiz Kulesi (Leander's Tower - Maiden Tower)
When you go by a ferry from the Asiian to the European side or vice versa you will most probably go near to this tower. The so called Maiden's Tower. All I knew about it that there was a legend about a sultan who was trying to protect his loving daughter from a spell. So, now I am back I decided to look up for some more info and put it here for you.
So, here is the result:
The Byzantine emperor Manuel Comnene (1143-1180) had two towers built, one on the shore where Topkapi Palace was later constructed, and the other where the Maiden's Tower stands today. Chains were drawn across the mouth of the strait between these two towers when Istanbul was attacked by enemy fleets. Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul in 1453 and used these chains to enforce tax collection of ships passing from the Black Sea to Europe. There have been various changes over the centuries as a result of repairs and fires, and Kiz Kulsei was extensively renovated during the reign of Mahmud II when it took the form we see today.
1 Option :)
The oldest story surrounds a young man named Leander who was drowned while swimming to reach to his lover Hera, a priestess who lived in the tower. Upon learning the fate of Leander, Hera threw herself into the water and so the two lovers were united at last in death.
2 Option :)
An emperor was told by a fortune teller that his daughter would perish by a snake bite. So, he put his beautiful daughter in the tower for security, but as fate would have it, a snake arrived in a basket of fruit and caused her tragic end.Related to:
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 Kiz-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
Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir Carisisi)
Much smaller than the Grand Bazaar, and I guess less touristic too.
People say that the Grand Bazaar is known for its colors and noises,while one things about the Spice Bazaar the first acociation are the smells and tastes.
Here is where you can find all manner of Turkish Delight (lokum), baklava, local delicacies – including the dubious sounding “Turkish Viagra”, teas and Turkish coffee, and dried fruits. Here you can also find olive oil soap. Here and there you can find jewelry and some other goods.
But what the market is really famous for is that you can find all kinds of spices there. On the picture you can see the containers overflowing with colorful spices.
It was built in 1660 by the architect Kasim Aga for the mother of Sultan Murat IV, Hatice Turhan Sultan. The Egyptian Bazaar is Istanbul's second covered bazaar. It is L shaped in plan, a building that borders two sides of the park beside Yeni Cami. The structure was restored in 1943.
There are six gates and 88 shops.
Monday to Saturday, from 8:30am to 6:30 pm.
Near the Galata Bridge right next to New Mosque (Yeni Camii)
Old Book Market (Sahaflar Carsisi)
I was wondering where to put this tip but finally decided to put it here because I think it is not as famliar to the tourists as the Grand Bazaar and some othar bazaars.
Where is it:
Old Book Market, Sahaflar Carsisi, is right next to the Grand Bazaar.
What you will see there:
You will se a number of small shops, like Orient Shop, and you will have the possibilty to browsed on new and used books in all languages.
Personaly I liked the Old Book Market much more than the Grand bazaar. The reason for is that I adore books and that this market doesnt look that hectic. It is quiter and somehow more spiritual :) You could feel that this place had a long history.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Scenic Ortakoy, Arnavutkoy and Bebek
Upon the advice of Bey Mehmet, I took a looooong walk from Dolmabahce to Bebek, which was is one of the best ways to enjoy the Bosphorus on the European side of the city. So what is there to see and experience along this rather looooong route, which took half a day (I have to admit to cheating my way to Bebek when I took a cab ride halfway after Ortakoy to Rumeli Hisari)?
Ortakoy - the famous and still functioning Ortakoy Camii, of course, which is one of the most photographed buildings in Istanbul against the massive Bosphorus Bridge (seen here with the rather obnoxious ferry spoiling the scene). This pretty mosque designed with a mix of baroque and neoclassical influences was completed in 1855. Further up past the suburb of Cengelkoy is the Kuleli Military School, an imposing structure on the Bosphorus.
Arnavutkoy - this is a pretty neighborhood with some well-preserved Ottoman houses. The waterfront is equally scenic with yachts and boats moored along the shoreline, and anglers eager for some fresh catch. I had a wonderful time chatting with the locals here and watching families enjoying the pleasant early summer weather.
Bebek - is an affluent neighborhood with beautiful homes lining the shoreline. There are also a number of good restaurants such as Donjon, where where you could enjoy a good meal after the loooong walk. I also had a wonderful time with Bey Mehmet and his lovely lady Rana at what is arguably the most scenic Starbucks in the world.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Beyazit tower (Beyazit Kulesi)
You will find the Beyazit Tower close to Suleymaniye Mosque. It is actually withing the walls of the Istanbul University - in the courtyard.
I am still not sure if it is alowed to go trough the gates of the university if you are a tourist. There is a soldier sitting there and stopping the tourists from getting into the courtyard of the university. But when I explained that I just want to take a picture of the tower he let me in. Then a group of Americans asked him to do the same as me and he refused. So, the bottom line is that if you want to have a closer look at the tower and get a picture you should try your luck and see what happens :)
Some history and facts:
Two earlier timber fire towers were swallowed up by flames, but the present Beyazit Tower made of stone bas survived since 1828.
Standing in the midst of the old quarter of Istanbul, it is still used as a fire tower today as in the past. The tower is 85 meters high and bas a total of 256 wooden steps.
The architect was Senekerim Balyan, one of the renowned architectural dynasty, and he replaced an earlier wooden tower built by his brother Kirkor Balyan.
In 1909 the tower was struck by lightning during a storm, but suffered no serious damage.
Until 1972, the tower was open to the public, but had to be closed to all except fire brigade personnel when the staircase proved unsafe.
Today, the tower is also used to give a weather forecast for the following day. A green light means rain, a red light snow, a yellow light fog, and a blue light sunshine, At night, between 04.45 and 06.00 when the Ataturk and Galata bridges are closed to road traffic to let ships in and out of the Golden Horn, the ships are guided by lights on Beyazit Tower. A green light means that ships in the Golden Horn can sail into the Marmara Sea, and a red light that ships in the Marmara Sea can sail into the Golden Horn. Two red lights mean that the bridges are closed to shipping.Related to:
The Kadikoy Baloon
The picture is a bit blured because it was a bit dark and I could not use the flash. I guess the fact that I was on a boat when I took it did not help much for the focus.
When I first saw it I was not sure what it was. So, I asked a friend of mine and he told me that it is a hot air baloon that goes up when the weaher is nice and you can see Istanbul from above.
From what I saw the tourists do not go that often to the Asian side, so I was a bit surprised to find such a typical touristy spot in Kadikoy.
Anyway, I got curious and I checked up on the net for the baloon and I found some info on the page quoted below. The essence is that the baloon goes up to 200 meters and provides a good panoramic view.
Price, duration and working hours:
The capacity is about 30 people and it will cost you around YTL 15 to get on it. I could not find how long you are supposed to stay up there for the price you are paying.The working hours listed on the page are from 09.00 to 18.00 h if the weather is good.
The baloon is situated on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Kadikoy near the sea bus port. If the picture was not so blurred you would have been able to see that the other lights are the lights of the port :)))
The view from Pierre Loti Cafe
The view from Pierre Loti Cafe might be must see activity as well but I think it is not usually included in the standard Istanbul tours. This was the reason why I put it here. The reason for my hesitation was that the view was fantastic even though it was gloomy that day.
I tried to imagine what I would actually see if there was no rain, no for and the water was not that muddy and brownish because of the rains falling the previous days.
What I saw in my mind was an amazingly beautiful view which makes me think that I would love to go back there some day and enjoy a cup of tea sitting on the terrace of Pierre Loti Cafe and looking to the blue waters of the Golden Horn.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
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