miércoles, 21 de abril de 2010


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.

Our second day in Istanbul after our trip to Cappadocia began with an exhaustive visit to Topkapi Palace and the Harem. We spent four hours in this visit, but It was really worthy. Topkapi is truly huge and was built around four gardens. After this visit we did our first incursion in the Grand Bazaar and we finished our day with a really interesting ceremony of Whirling Derviches.

Entrance to the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul through the Gate of Salutations

Visits of the day:

  • Topkapi (and the Harem) *
  • Sogukçesme Sokagi
  • Grand Bazaar *
  • Ceremony of Whirling Derviches *

* Strongly recommended


A more imposing view of the Gate of Salutations of Topkapi

The divan, where the viziers of the imperial council met, sometimes watched covertly by the sultan through the upper window


The Courtyard of the Eunuchs in the Harem of Topkapi, who were who take care of the concubines

Hall of mirrors inside the Harem of Topkapi

A Marble bath in the Harem

Imperial Hall with the throne of the sultan and served as the official reception hall of the sultan as well as for the entertainment of the Harem

The Courtyard of the Favourites forms the last section of the Harem of Topkapi

Return to Topkapi

The Audience Chamber is one of the buildings of Topkapi I like the most

Flowers are very common in Topkapi gardens and give a colourful look really nice

This is the result of the picture I was taking when the previous picture was taken

Overall view of one garden of Topkapi

Interior of the Circumcision Room

Baghdad Pavilion was built in 1639 to celebrate the capture of Baghdad

From Iftariye Pavilion, standing between the Baghdad and Circumcision pavilions, this balcony provides great views down to the Golden Horn

A fountain in front of the Circumcision Pavilion

View of Süleymaniye mosque from Topkapi Palace

The Tower of Justice in Topkapi is located between the Imperial Council and the Harem. The tower is several stories high and the tallest structure in the palace, making it clearly visible from the Bosphorus as a landmark

The labyrinth of exquisite rooms of the Harem are under this chimneys

Haghia Eirene with Hagyia Sophia in the background are two Byzantine treasures of Istanbul. The first one, inside the walls of Topkapi

Cats are very common in Istanbul, and this coutyard of Topkapi couldn't be an exception

Sogukçesme Sokagi

Traditional, charming and painted wooden houses line this narrow, sloping and cobbled street next to the rear wall of Haghia Sophia. This houses were built from the late 18th century onwards

Taksim Square

Taksim square, with a huge turkish flag in the middle, is a communications hub of Istanbul with buses to the two airports and the Tünel

Aqueduct of Valens

This byzantine double-tiered aqueduct is quite well preserved

Grand Bazaar

One of the entrances of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul

Inside the Grand Bazaar there are flags in every street

One of the typical shops of the Grand Bazaar. Sellers can speak in several languages. They learn them listen to the buyers

Ceremony of Whirling Derviches

Cliking on the next link, beautiful pictures of the Bosphorus and Ortaköy during our next day in Istanbul.

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

First day in Istanbul
- Third day in Istanbul

Finally, other great cities I have already visited are:

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