Your guide will meet you at the cruise terminal. Set out on an overview walking city tour that covers the highlights, including Sultanahmet, the historic district.
Visit the Hippodrome, once the central focus of Constantinople (the Byzantine name of the city). Built by the Romans in the 3rd century AD, only fragments are left of what was once a grand stadium. Don’t miss the magnificent Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
Continue to the Blue Mosque, named for the blue Iznik tile work that decorates its interior. Its dome can be seen from all over the Sultanahmet district.
Pay a visit to the famous Hagia Sophia Church. Built in the 6th century, its original design was created as a mirror of the heavens. Take your time exploring the vast galleries and beautiful mosaics.
While in Sultanahmet, your guide will first take you into the extraordinary Imperial residence of twenty-five Ottoman Sultans, Topkapi Palace. You will see the Harem, the library, the treasure, with its royal jewelry and gem collection, and the imperial living quarters, surrounded by serene gardens and fountains. Don’t miss seeing the 86-carat Spoonmaker’s diamond and a case containing the bones of John the Baptist.
Step back into time as you explore 500 years of Ottoman history at Topkapi. The complex is regarded as a multi- ethnic construction with influences from Central Asia, Asia Minor, Persia and Mesopotamia. While there is undoubtedly a strong Byzantine influence, Topkapi’s roots are firmly defined by its Ottoman history.
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