Architectural Tour in Turkey
Educational Student Tours in Istanbul
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Arrive at Istanbul’s airport, from where you’ll be taken into the heart of the city to your lodgings. Your educational student tours will begin with enjoying your first taste of Turkish cuisine at tonight’s welcome dinner. You can stroll the narrow streets of Beyoglu to enjoy the local nightlife or wander the pedestrian zone of Istiklal Caddesi.
The predominant skyline feature of Istanbul is its mosques. They are the focus of your initial exploration of Ottoman Architecture. Today you will bike around the Sultanahmet and Eminonu districts of the city. Highlights will include the Blue Mosque, famous for its beautiful blue tile work, the Suleymaniye Mosque, second largest in Istanbul, built by renowned architect Mimar Sinan for Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, as well as the New Mosque and Rustem Pasha Mosque. Get a sense of mosque architecture and design with this tour.
Today you will explore two of the most iconic sights in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Hagia Sophia was built by Emperor Justinian and is the epitome of Byzantine architecture. Christian mosaics appear alongside Islamic calligraphy in a blending of artistic cultures. Join a guide for a detailed tour of the magnificent art, mosaics and architecture of this beautiful building, which was converted first to a mosque and then to a museum.
Next, descend into the cool, eerie depths to see the Basilica Cistern, built for Justinian in 532 A.D. This huge underground reservoir once supplied water to the Great Palace of Constantinople. Don’t miss the Medusa heads!
Topkapi Palace, home to Ottoman sultans from 1478 to 1856, features fabulous architecture and displays of art. Visit the intricately decorated Harem, and delve into the history of the sultans while admiring the pavilions and treasures of the museum.
Get out on the water on today’s cruise along the Bosphorus, the 20-mile long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara to the south with the Black Sea to the north of Istanbul. Your cruise will give you a different perspective on the city’s stunning skyline. Then visit the 19th-century Dolmabahce Palace, used as a residence by the last Ottoman sultans. Marvel at its over-the-top architectural grandeur.
Tonight’s dinner will be at a restaurant featuring historical recipes from the days of the Ottoman sultans. Then check out the sunset from the Galata Tower.
The Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world. Immerse yourself in this world of shopping, its staggering size covering 60 streets with over 5,000 shops. From carpets to cafes, clothes to crafts, let yourself explore and talk to (and practice your haggling skills with) the local merchants.
Then take a walking tour to learn in-depth about the works of master Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, architect to the sultans whose work includes some of the most beautiful mosques in the city.
Some of the most beautiful mosaics and frescoes are in the former Byzantine Chora church, located in the western outskirts of the city. Take a tour to understand the meaning behind these stunning artworks.
Afterward, take the local ferry to Asia, and wander the streets of the Kadıköy Market, full of shops selling fruits, vegetables, fish, honey, spices and many other delights. Here’s a chance to interact with local merchants and gain first-hand appreciation for Turkish culture, and the role food plays in it.
Have a final breakfast at your hotel, then pack up your memories of the city’s architectural marvels, delicious food and warm people and head out to Istanbul’s airport for your flight back home.
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city, beautifully situated along the Bosphorus and Golden Horn waterways, its mosques and minarets piercing the skyline of this modern Islamic republic. Its fascinating history begins with its founding as Constantinople and its Byzantine past, and after 1453 becoming part of the Ottoman Empire.
Your educational student tours will explore the city’s past through both its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, visiting the most important sights and learning about the historical figures that created Istanbul as you see it today.
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