Istanbul

Istanbul historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country’s economic, cultural, and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosphorus strait (which separates  Europe  and Asia) between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives on the Asian side.

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The pinnacle of Byzantine architecture, and one of Istanbul’s most iconic structures, is the Hagia Sophia. Topped by a dome 31 meters (102 ft) in diameter, the Hagia Sophia stood as the world’s largest cathedral for centuries, and was later converted into a mosque and, as it stands now, a museum.

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The imperial mosques include  Fatih Mosque, Bayezid Mosque, Yavuz Selim Mosque,  Süleymaniye Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque), and Yeni Mosque, all of which were built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultan Ahmet  mosque a historic mosque located in  Istanbul,  Turkey.  A popular tourist site, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque continues to function as a mosque today; men still kneel in prayer on the mosque’s lush red carpet after the call to prayer. The Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its “Külliye” contains Ahmed’s tomb, a madrasah and a hospice.

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The Maiden’s Tower, also known as Leander’s Tower (Tower of Leandros) since the medieval Byzantine period, is a tower lying on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m (220 yd) from the coast of  Üsküdar in  Istanbul, Turkey.

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The beaches are nice.

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And the food is different but great 🙂

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Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey or sugar.

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Tea is an important part of Turkish culture, and is the most commonly consumed hot drink, despite the country’s long history of coffee consumption. Offering tea to guests is part of Turkish hospitality.

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