Places to Visit in Istanbul, Turkey (I)

Tag: Turkey

Places to Visit in Istanbul, Turkey (I)

Istanbul is unique. Situated between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, lies the only city in the world on two continents. Only the Bosporus separates the European side from the Asian side. With more than 10 million inhabitants, it ranks among the largest cities in the world, the total area of the Istanbul province being 5200 square kilometers. Keep reading to discover the most important places to visit in Istanbul, Turkey.


1. Places to Visit in Istanbul, Turkey: Hagia Sophia (Museum)

Hagia Sophia, which was built in the 6th Century, is the main landmark of the city at the Bosphorus. The church was inaugurated by Emperor Justinian in 537. For many centuries, Hagia Sophia was the epicenter of Christianity. After Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453, the church was converted into a mosque. In 1932, President Ataturk had the building turned into a museum (Ayasofya Camii Muzesi). Hagia Sophia is well worth a visit, especially because of the many mosaics in the interior and the magnificent central dome.


2. Places to Visit in Istanbul, Turkey: Sultan Ahmet Camii (Mosquee)

The mosque, which was built in 1616 and named after its erector Sultan Ahmet I, is situated in the Sultan Ahmet Meydani Park. It is probably the best known Ottoman mosque in Istanbul and has an impressive architecture: the six minarets stretching into the sky are visible from afar and make this building unique. Due to its interior ornamentation with blue-white tiles, which also adorn the main central dome of the mosque, the building is often also referred to as the “Blue Mosque”.


3. Places to Visit in Istanbul, Turkey: Topkapi Sarayi (Palace)

One of the most important places of interest in Istanbul is the Topkapi Sarayi, a huge palace complex, which formally served as the seat of government and living quarters of the Sultan. Since 1924 it has been used as a museum. Because of its size and spread of its many buildings, the palace is more like a small town. The interior zone is made up of four courtyards surrounded by extensive gardens. Most highly recommended is the Harem, where the Sultan’s wives and children lived. Still today, many myths and stories shroud the building.

Most Beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites (I)

A World Heritage Site could be a lake, a forest, an island, a monument or a city, recognized for its symbolic role in history, and which today is a famous tourist attraction.


As of 2013, UNESCO has a total of 981 sites: 759 cultural sites, 193 natural sites and 29 mixed sites, scattered across 160 countries.


The country with the most numerous and most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites is Italy, with 49 sites, followed by China with 45 sites and Spain with 44 sites.


Each site considered by UNESCO a World Heritage Site remains part of the physical territory of the state it belongs to, but it is also under the protection of the international community.


In this article we will reveal some of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites that must be seen at least once in a lifetime:


1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a Hindu temple in the Angkor region of Cambodia. It was built in the early 12th century for a local King and represents a model of Khmer Architecture of the highest level. It is the most well preserved archaeological site. Since its establishment, Angkor Wat has been the most important religious center, for both Hindu (dedicated to the God Vishnu), and Buddhists. It is the largest religious monumental complex in the world.


2. Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is an ancient village located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar). Between the 9th and the 13th centuries it was the center of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom which unified the regions that later formed the modern Burma.


3. Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevşehir Province. During the prehistoric era the first settlements have been established and the people built underground cities in the volcanic mountains to protect themselves from the wild animals. There are many underground cities in the Cappadocia area of Turkey, but Derinkuyu is the biggest one. Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites and main tourist attractions in Turkey, due to its beautiful landscapes and rich history.


4. Hampi, India

Hampi is a village in the north of Karnataka State, India. It is located near the ruins of Vijayanagara, the hearth of the former Vijayanagara Empire. Older than Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religios site, housing the Virupaksha Temple and many other monuments belonging to the old city.


5. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Pichu is one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites located on a mountain ridge at about 2,430 meters above sea level, in Peru. Many archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Often referred to as the “Lost city of the Incas”, Machu Picchu is probably the most popular representation of Inca civilization.