Five places where you can feel the essence of Istanbul

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This is a country full of history, colors, and scents. His exotic culture allows you to see the world from another point of view. Anyone traveling to this country is immersed in a whole new world that worth discovering every corner.

Among the most visited cities, it is Istanbul. A clear example of how modernity coexists with history, because between its streets and parks, are different castles, mosques and even underground constructions of the past times. Here, some of these places.

Blue mosque

Image courtesy of Pablo Piso at Flickr.com

Image courtesy of Pablo Piso at Flickr.com

This is one of the most representative places, not just in Istanbul but throughout Turkey. It was completed in 1616 to honor Allah and was designed by architect Mehmet. This great structure is famous not only for its size but because of the complexity of its decorations.

Only its dome has more than 23 meters in diameter and 43 meters high. In addition, it is adorned with more than 20,000 blue tiles brought from Isnik that give the name to the mosque.

Another factor that makes this place a unique space is its illumination. The mosque has more than 200 windows that provide light during the day, while for the night there are several chandeliers that stand out for their low height. This is because by the time they were installed, it was used candles and light them was easier if they were low. All this can be seen calmly from the red carpets that decorate the floor of the mosque.

Because of the religious character of this place, you must go inside without shoes, wash your feet and have knees and shoulders covered. With this, at the same time is a sign of respect for the other religion that has been part of the culture of Turkey since ancient times.

Dolmabahce palace

Even before entering the palace, from its facade of 600 meters you can see all the splendor and glamor in which the sultans lived. Its white and high walls, large and perfect arches, columns and laborious decoration shine under the sun of Istanbul.

His flamboyant style is because it was built under the influence of Baroque and Rococo art without abandoning the traditional Ottoman style. For this very reason, the interior also is full of luxuries that were brought mostly from other countries.

Among the decorations inside the place that stands out more, is a two entrances ladder with barred glass. In addition, there is a lamp of the same material. It was donated by Queen Victoria. It weighs more than four tons and holds seven hundred and fifty bulbs. All it surrounded by walls filled with oversized windows and internal columns.

In this palace lived the last six sultans Ottomans, then Mustafa Kemal Atatuk lived and died there. He was one of the characters that collapsed the sultanate. Since then, all clocks are stopped in the number nine, time of his death.

Egyptian Bazaar or Spice Market

This is the second largest place after the Grand Bazaar. Here you can find typical products of the region and different nuts, cheeses, sweets and spices. This bazaar will transport you to a place where the smell and colors create a whole new world.

Its great size makes it even more mysterious because it contains more than 80 stores with all kinds of items. The bazaar is L-shaped, the shorter side has 120 meters and the longest 150 meters. In addition, it is one of the oldest markets in Istanbul, making it a place rich in history and culture.

In the history of Istanbul the commerce has played an important role, because this city is a link between Europe and Asia. Although trade today is much easier by the Internet and the different ways of transportation, such bazaars remain as the meeting place to sell and buy for excellence.

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Topkapi Palace

Topkapi is divided into two: the public area and the private area. In the first one are the different luxuries, including The Great Diamond and the collection of Esmeraldas. However, the richness of the place is so big that only 10% of the treasure is exhibited.

Then, there is the private area, where there is the Harem. It contains more than 300 rooms, two mosques, nine bathrooms and other rooms, also with a luxury that stuns all tourists.

Basilica Cistern or the Yerebatan Cistern

Image courtesy of Andrés Suárez García at Flickr.com

Image courtesy of Andrés Suárez García at Flickr.com

Here you can discover the underground world of Istanbul accompanied with classical music that resonates between 336 columns. Previously, this place was used to supply water to the Byzantine imperial palaces. In those days this place could store up to 100,000 tons of water.

Another curiosity about this place is that it has carved stones where this horizontally and upside down the head of Medusa. They say it was made to avoid the petrification.

Además, en ciertas épocas del año, se realizan conciertos de música clásica allí adentro. Asistir a uno de estos eventos, será enamorarse por siempre de Estocolmo y sus rincones.

In addition, at certain times of the year, concerts of classical music are held in there. Attend one of these events and you will fall in love forever of Istambul and its corners.

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