Some destinations evoke the imagery of magic and fairytale. Istanbul does just that! The only city in the world that straddles two continents - Europe and Asia. This is the meeting point where East meets West. Istanbul is a true melting pot with its rich history, opulent culture, and exotic customs.
Istanbul is one of the oldest cities in the world. Archeologists have determined that the area of Istanbul has been inhabited for over 8000 years, having been the home to Christians, Muslims, Jews, ancient Greeks, Romans, modern Europeans, Turks, Arabs and even Vikings.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is the biggest covered bazaar in the world, with over 3.000 shops. It has been around since 1461. According to Travel&Leisure magazine, the Grand Bazaar was No.1 most-visited tourist attraction in the world – with over 91 million visitors per year!
Istanbul, with more than 13 million people, is the largest city in Turkey. It was the capital of Turkey until the Turkish Independence War in 1920, when it was decided that Ankara should become the capital for strategic reasons.
Istanbul is home to the highest number of mosques in the world. According to the statistics of Religious Affairs Directorate in Turkey, There are 3269 mosques in Istanbul.. Some of these mosques are remainders of the Ottoman Empire; like Sultanahmet Camii a.k.a. Blue Mosque.
The incredible Blue Mosque, an absolute must-see – is the only one in Istanbul with six minarets, the maximum number allowed. It is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design. It was completed in 1617 just prior to the untimely death of the young ruler at the time, Sultan Ahmet I.
If you are ready to enjoy a little magic in Istanbul, please contact me at Lene@PerfectlyPlannedJourneys.com or 703-927-0588, and let's plan your trip to Turkey.
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Lene H. Minyard