Hagia (St.) Sophia
Hagia Sophia is an architectural monument of great in both Byzantine and Ottoman terms. Built as a church, then transformed into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. The first Haghia Sophia was partially burnt during an uprising. It was restored by Theodosius II and opened for worship in 415, but it was burned down during a public uprising in 532.
This imperial mosque is an unparalleled example of classical Ottoman architecture, and it is the only mosque built with six minarets. Although it is popularly known as the Blue Mosque, its real name is Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Befitting his original profession, the architect Mehmet Aga decorated the interior fastidiously like a jeweller.
The Hippodrome of Constantinople (Turkish: SultanahmetMeydani, At Meydani) was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named SultanahmetMeydani (Sultan Ahmet Square) in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with only a few fragments of the original structure surviving.
The Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi) in Istanbul is one of the largest indoor markets in the world with its 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.
Topkapı Palace is the largest and oldest palace in the world to survive to our day. In 1924 it was turned into a museum at Ataturk’s request. Situated on the acropolis, the site of the first settlement in Istanbul, it commands an impressive view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara.