DAILY TOURS: Ottoman Grandeur

Tour Code :PER008IST
City :ISTANBUL
Tour Name :Ottoman Grandeur
Tour Dates :WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY
Duration :FULL DAY | 08:30 - 17:30
Available Languages :EN

DOLMABAHCE PALACE MUSEUM, YILDIZ ROYAL GARDENS, TOPKAPI PALACE MUSEUM, LITTLE HAGIA SOPHIA MOSQUE

The tour starts by picking-up from the hotel and the guests are transported to the tour meeting point.

The grandeur and power of Ottoman Empire was reflected in the architecture; palaces, mosques, yalis (mansions), gardens, all give us an idea about the glorious heritage of Ottoman era.

DOLMABAHCE PALACE MUSEUM

We will start our introduction to the palaces of Ottomans visiting Dolmabahçe Palace, the architecture of which is a blend of various European styles. The palace built built in 1843 - 1856 was a creation of Karabet Balyan, the court architect of Sultan Abdulmecid. The three-storied palace built on a symmetrical plan has 285 rooms, 43 halls, and six hamams. The palace has survived intact with its original decorations, furniture, silk carpets and curtains. It’s surpassed many other palaces in the world in wealth and magnificence. The pride of the palace is 4000 kg chandelier if Bohemian glass in the Ceremonial Hall. 

YILDIZ ROYAL GARDENS

Then, continue to the island of tranquillity and peace in the middle of this bustling cosmopolitan giant, the Yildiz Royal Gardens located just few minute of drive from Dolmabahce Palace. 
This paradise of beauty and elegance once a forest during Byzantine era was converted to the hunting grounds during the rule of the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, but in the 19th century, in the wake of the construction of the palace was transformed into the magnificent landscape garden. 

Have lunch at one of the local Turkish restaurants. 

TOPKAPI PALACE MUSEUM

After the lunch, contunue acquaintance with Ottoman architectural heritage and visit the Topkapi Palace, the most extensive and fascinating monument of Ottoman civil architecture in existence. In addition to its architectural and historical value, it contains superb and unrivalled collections of porcelains, armour, fabrics, jewels, illuminated manuscripts, calligraphy and many objects of art formerly belonging to the Sultans. Topkapi was built between 1459 and 1465 as the seat of government of the newly installed Ottoman regime.
Visit the beautifully tiled Pavilion of the Sacred Relics, home to some of Christian Islam's holiest relics. These include (Christian) the Moses’ rod, a piece of St. John the Baptist's skull and a section of his forearm, enclosed within a solid gold model, the King David’s sword, Joseph’s turban, the grain gage of Abraham; (Muslim) one of the Prophet's teeth, fragments of his beard and, most precious of all, his Holy Mantle.
Other highlights of the museum are the Imperial Treasury home for the famous Topkapi Dagger as well as for the 86-carat Spoon Maker's (or Pigot) Diamond; the Royal Kitchens with incomparable collection of porcelain from all over the world; the Armory and unique Fabrics chambers.

LITTLE HAGIA SOPHIA MOSQUE

Later, visit Little Hagia Sophia Mosque, formerly the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus, is a former Eastern Orthodox Church dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire by Hüseyin Ağa, the Chief Black Eunuch. At that time the portico and madrasah were added to the church. In 740 the Grand Vizier Hacı Ahmet Paşa restored the mosque and built the Şadırvan (fountain). Damage caused by the earthquakes of 1648 and 1763 was repaired in 1831 under the reign of Sultan Mahmud II. In 1762 the minaret was first built. It was demolished in 1940 and built again in 1956.

INCLUDES

- Fully air-conditioned, non-smoking vehicle
- Pick-up/Drop-off from the city center hotels
- Professional licensed guide
- Entrance fees to the museums featured on the itinerary
- Lunch at the local Turkish restaurant

EXCLUDES

- Any personal expenses
- Any kind of drinks unless specified
- Tips & gratuities
- Optional activities cost
- Turkey visa fee
- Travel and Health insurance

NOTES

- Children of age 2,99 and below are free of charge 

Please note: 
1. On Mondays, when Hagia Sophia is closed, we visit the Yerebatan Museum (the Underground Roman Cisterns), built by Emperor Justinian in 532, possibly as an enlargement of an earlier cistern of Constantine. The vast awesome columned cavern was the water source for both the Grand Palace of the Byzantine and for the Ottoman’s Topkapi Palace. It is 140 meters long by 70 meters wide with 336 columns. 
2. In winter the Dolmabahçe (Bezm-i Alem Valide) Mosque is visited instead of the Yildiz Royal Gardens 
3. Harem Section of the Topkapi Palace is not included into the program. Should you wish to visit it, you may do so during the free time your guide will give you 
4. While visiting mosques, please cover your shoulders, knees & women, additionally, heads 
5. Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, during Ramadan Festivities (5-6-7 July 2016), Kurban Festivities (12-13-14-15 September 2016), National Republic Day (29 October 2016), and will be replaced by other authentic shops. 
6. Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar) is open on Sundays but closed on the above mentioned holidays 
7. This tour is available in English only.

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