03 nights / 04 days
Empire was one of the largest and longest lasting empires in history;
such that the Ottoman State, its politics, conflicts, and cultural
heritage in a vast geography provide one of the longest continuous
narratives. With Constantinople as its capital city, and vast control
of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the empire was at the center
of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for over six
Day 1: Sultanic Complexes
The sultanic mosques
are important expressions of the articulaton of political power and
religion in the Ottoman Empire. This tour is intended to discover
several aspects of Ottoman political system through a visit to foremost
Sultanic complexes of Istanbul. The enthronement ceremonies of the
Eyüp Sultan Mosque, the classical sultanic complexes of Istanbul and the
development of Sinan’s architectural style are among the themes that
will be tackled durng this tour.
After breakfast, we will drive to the northern shore of the Golden Horn, and visit the Eyüp
Sultan Mosque. The Fatih Complex, the Mosque of Bayezid II, the Yavuz
Sultan Selim Mosque, the Süleymaniye Complex, the Şehzade Complex, the
Blue Mosque and the Nuruosmaniye Mosque are the next steps of this wonderful tour.
Day 2: Palaces of the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman palaces were the focal points of
political power in the Ottoman Empire. The palaces were the main spaces
of public affairs and private life of the sultans. Imperial gardens,
legendary harem courts, sultanic pavillions, imperial schools,
libraries and treasury halls were the main features of Ottoman palace
complexes. We invite you to discover the sites of main palace complexes
of Ottoman Istanbul.
In the morning, we will discover the site of the Old Palace, and drive to the Topkapı Palace. After a half-day tour, visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, reflecting the 19th-century decadence of the Empire.
Day 3: The Pious Foundations of the “Hanım Sultans”
Mother sultans and
daughters of sultans are important historical actors of Ottoman
political and social life. The complexes that were commissioned by the
female members of the Ottoman dynasty (hanım sultans), along with the
sultanic complexes, are the most important monumental examples of
Ottoman architecture. We invite you to discover the pious foundations of
“hanım sultans”, and to listen to the adventurous anecdotes of the
members of the Ottoman Dynasty.
Drive to the Quarter of Üsküdar, on the Asian part of the city. Visit the Atik Valide Complex, the Çinili Complex, Üsküdar Yeni Valide Mosque, and Üsküdar Mihrimah Sultan Mosque. After lunch, drive back to the Old City. Visit the Eminönü New Mosque, The Complex of Haseki Hürrem Sultan, the Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque, and the Edirnekapı Mihrimah Sultan Mosque.
Day 4: Everyday Life in the Ottoman Empire
The social history of
the Ottoman empire is based on a complex system of economic relations
and educational structures. We invite you to discover the everyday life
and the social history of the Ottoman Empire, through a visit to the
main commercial arteries, to the hamams and caravanserais of the old
breakfast, walking tour in the old quarters, discovery of the Ottoman
civilian architecture and of the concept of “quarter” in the Ottoman
Empire. In the morning, discover some pecularities of the Ottoman culinary culture (boza, coffee, muhallebi). Visit the main arteries of trade and crafts (Covered Bazaar and caravanserais). After lunch, visit the Ottoman harbors (Eminönü and Galata), and discover some representative sites related to the education, army and modernization in the Ottoman Empire.