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Coveted by empires across the centuries, straddling both Europe and Asia, Istanbul is one of the world’s great metropolises. We will follow the traces of the Byzantine empire in Istanbul. We will visit the most popular historical sites Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar.
Hippodrome: The scene of ancient chariot races, the ancient Hippodrome, with its four monuments; the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
Hagia Sophia: This ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great, in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time.
(St. Sophia closed on Monday, replaced with Underground Cistern)
Grand Covered Bazaar: In this labyrinth of streets and passages are more than 4,000 shops with each trade having its own area; the goldsmiths’ street, the carpet sellers, Turkish arts and crafts, such as hand painted ceramic plates, hand-honed copper ware, brass ware and trays, water ewers, onyx are and meerschaum pipers.
(Grand Bazaar closed on Sunday)
Blue Mosque: Across from St. Sophia built in the 17th century by the architect Mehmet, this is known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles.
(Visit is not possible on Friday because of the Friday Prayer)