Istanbul Tours #5
Duration: 5 Hours , EveryDay
Meet at Istanbul Port .Our guide will hold up a sign with your name on it. In the morning, we begin the tour from Hagia Sofia Church,after short bus driving around of Sirkeci station to Edirne Gate, it is possible to have a look on the ancient defense walls of Constantinople. These walls that were built in the 5th century AD were breached only twice by hostile forces. The first time during the 4th Crusade, the second time by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. The famed Orban cannon of Mehmet the Conqueror was trained on this part of the walls, hence their ruinous state. At this moment the gates and walls are under restoration.
Nearby, there is Tekfur Sarayı, the remains of the palace of Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenetus, that dates from the 14th Century AD. This is the only remaining of the many Byzantine palaces that made up the complex of Blachernae and for which Constantinople was once envied so much,after that small streets leading to the Kariye Müzesi or Chora Church. This church was just outside the walls built Constantine the Great. Hence, its original name Church of the Holy Saviour Outside the Walls. The church was converted by Sultan Bayezid II (1481-1512),. After World War II, the building was repaired and restored and opened as a museum. The mosaics and frescoes of the Chora Church date from the beginning of the 14th century and are among the best and beautiful Byzantine paintings in the world.
After some refreshments, the tour continued through the districts of Fatih and Fener. The walk was easy as we descended from the 6th hill of Istanbul to the Golden Horn, The population of these districts has always been a mix of muslims, Greek orthodox, jews, and even latins. The
most prominent building in Fener, the old Greek quarter, is definitely the Greek School , commonly known as Kırmızı Mektep (Red School). The building dates from 1881.
Having arrived down at the Golden Horn, we visited the church of St. Stephen of the Bulgars, which is a rare example of neo-Gothic building in Turkey. The church is still in use today by Macedonian Christians. A couple of hundred meters back from St. Stephen, there is the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, a remnant of the glory, civilization and culture of Byzantium. Since 1601 this is the seat of the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch. Inside the compound is the Church of St. George which dates from 1720. After the late lunch tour ending,drop you your hotel.