The 220-foot-tall medieval Galata Tower, one of Istanbul’s most iconic buildings, offers stunning panoramic views of the Old City. There are other, taller towers and buildings with sweeping vistas, but Galata Towers’s unique position in the heart of the Galata district gives it a privileged vantage point over the Golden Horn estuary and some of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.
Tag Archives: Istanbul history
March 18, 2013
Istanbul might have a reputation for its cosmopolitan population and increasingly modern attitude, but the heart of the city still beats in the historic old town of Sultanahmet, located on the European peninsula bounded by the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. First founded by Greek colonists in 667BC, the area of Sultanahmet was once the walled city of Istanbul known as ‘Constantinople’ and today the peninsula is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and teeming with examples of Byzantine and Ottoman era architecture.
February 18, 2013
Istanbul’s Çiçek Pasajı, or Flower Passage, is the most renowned example of the city’s ornate late 19th and early 20th century arcades, beautifully restored to its Ottoman-era glory. Running between Istikal Caddesi and Sahne Sok in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, the L-shaped passageway was once the courtyard of the historic Cité de Péra building, built in 1876. The building was later purchased by the Ottoman Grand Vizier Sait Paşa, who renamed it the Sait Paşa Passage, but the modern name of Çiçek Pasajı was adopted in the 1920s in ode to the Russian flower sellers that lined the passageway throughout the war years.
May 29, 2012
Going to Istanbul? Prepare to be astounded, for Istanbul is one of the most intriguing metropolises in the world.
For more than 1600 years the city served as capital for two major world empires, first of the Byzantines and then of the Ottoman Turks, and has remained the cultural capital of Turkey since the country’s founding in 1923. The brilliance and beauty of this long legacy can be found throughout the city, in its monuments and in the spirit of its people.
Throughout its extensive history Istanbul has also been attracting a certain type of traveler. As a “bridge” between Europe and Asia, the city has lured in foreigners from the West to see at first hand the mysteries of the East, and from the East to see at first hand the mysteries of the West.
April 16, 2012
By the late 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was in terminal decline, beset by violence, infighting and constant shrinkage of its domains. And every time a chunk of the empire disappeared it seems the sultans cheered themselves up by building a new palace in Istanbul (then Constantinople).
March 12, 2012
History is a big deal in the town of Bodrum in the Anatolian southwest of Turkey. It was the birthplace of Herodotus, “father of history”, as well as the site of an enormous tomb built for King Mausolus which gave us the term “mausoleum”.
February 8, 2012
Turkey has many officially-recognized culture routes that are ideal for anyone wishing to delve deeper into the country’s history, natural wonders and way of life. Signposted, GPS-friendly and usually accompanied by booklets, they cover everything from mountain hikes to walking in the steps of the apostle Paul.