Saturday, April 24, 2010

TURKEY - ISTANBUL: CHORA AND EYÜP



After nine days in Turkey, six of them in Istanbul, I must admit that Istanbul has surprised me. Istanbul is a really lively and warm city with an special charm. There are always a lot of people walking along its streets, which made me feel quite comfortable.

And the other 3 days we visited Cappadocia, a region of central Anatolia, where nature has created really amazing shapes. It's really worth walking between this strange shapes and enjoying the other secrets this region hides.

In our last day in Istanbul we came back to the Grand Bazaar, where we saw the lamps of the following picture. Before going to the Grand Bazaar, we began the day visiting the impressive mosaics of St Saviour in Chora. Afterwards, we went to Eyüp and came back to Eminönü, where we ate a fish sandwich.


Warm light of Lamps in a shop of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Visits of the day:


*Strongly Recommended


Backstreets near Taksim


In Istanbul, especially out of tourist areas, many streets have a look like the one of the picture

Taksim in Police's Day


Taksim is a large square, a main transportation hub and a popular destination for both tourists and the native population of Istanbul. It serves as the main transfer point for the municipal bus system and It's the starting point for buses to the two Airports. İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue), a long pedestrian shopping street, starts in this square. 

Going through Sultanahmet

I took this photograph inside the tram when we were passing near Haghia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern in Sultanahmet. Steep streets are very common in Istanbul

Theodosian Walls


Extending for a distance of 6,5 km from the sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn, Theodosian walls protected Constantinople against invasions for more than a thousand years, until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453

Church of Saint Saviour in Chora

Like in other byzantine churches of Istanbul, it was added a minaret to this church. There is no good public transport to reach St Saviour in Chora, but It was worth visiting it to admire its mosaics

Domes of Chora, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church in Istanbul

Imposing rear view of Chora church

We took this picture while we were going to the main entrance of the church

Mosaic showing Christ and his ancestors, in the southern dome of the inner narthex

Figure of Christ from the Anastasis fresco in the parecclesion. Some of the very finest Byzantine mosaics and frescoes can be found in Chora

This mosaic of St. Paul, one of the two “Princes of the Apostles”, is extremely well-preserved

When I looked at this mosaic carefully I became astonished because I realized how difficult is to create this wonderful and fine mosaics

This mosaic is in the lunette over the doorway to the esonarthex and portrays Christ as “The Land of the Living”

Outer narthex in Chora

In the nave of Chora, the main body of the church, walls are covered with marble


Walking through Fener

From Chora we walked along some streets of the Fener district of Istanbul, which was home to most of the Greeks who remained in the city after the fall of Constantinople in 1453

Some children playing in the streets of Fener

One really cobbled and sloping street of Fener

One building of Fener with the Golden Horn in the background, on the right

Eyüp

Eyüp mosque in Istanbul is always really crowded because here is buried Eyüp Ensari, Mohammed's standard bearer

This child wanted to be photographed, so I was really pleased of making real his wish

In the courtyard of Eyüp Sultan Mosque, just after visiting the tomb of Eyüp Ensari

A child dress as a prince to celebrate a circumcision ceremony

Boats in the Golden Horn and in the background, the Eyüp Cemetery, where the Pierre Loti Café is

Golden Horn waters while we waited for the ferry which took us to Eminönu


From Eyüp to Eminönü in ferry

I really enjoy the views of Istanbul from the ferry while it sailed from Eyüp to Eminönü like, for example, this one of Sülemaniye Mosque under this such lovely day

Eminönü

Boats in Eminönu under the look of the New Mosque

Eminönu is a really lively area of Istanbul, especially in this point, where one of the entrance of the Spice Bazaar is

We couldn't leave Istanbul without tasting one fish sandwich. It was tasty but I didn't like that the fish had bones

Eminönu is also crowded because it's the port from which ferries depart to many destinations and also for trips along the Bosphorus

The narrow streets around the Spice Bazaar shows the authentic spirit of old Istanbul. It's the quarter's shops and markets

Grand Bazaar

Zincirli Han is one of the prettiest hans in the bazaar. Here a piece of jewellery can be made to your own choice of design

Carpets and kilims from all over Turkey and Central Asia are on sale in the bazaar

Warm light of Lamps in a shop of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

One of the many streets of the Grand Bazaar, where it's really easy to get lost

Sultanahmet in the evening

Spectacular view of the Blue Mosque in the evening, with its six minarets looking at the sky of Istanbul

Haghia Sophia is even more beautiful at night. The best image to end our trip in Istanbul

Finally, clicking on the next link, you will find links to the posts of the other days we spent in Istanbul and Cappadocia and a summary of what we visited.

You can see more pictures of these days I spent in Istanbul and Cappadocia clicking on the links below:

- Last day in Istanbul



Finally, other great cities and countries I have already visited are:

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