Friday, August 26, 2016

Istanbul: Gulhane Park & Archaelogical Museum in Turkey


As we walked out from the exit of Basilica Cistern and followed the tram railway to the cafe wall nearby the park, we were amazed by the beautiful and well-maintained public park which is known as Gulhane Park. Gulhane Park is the oldest historical park and one of the most expensive public parks in Istanbul, Turkey. Gulhane Park (House of Flowers) in Turkish is a historical urban park in Eminonu district of Istanbul. It is located at the back of Topkapi Palace  and near to Archaeological Museum. Gulhane Park is well-kept with numerous varieties of flowers and well-maintained walkway for joggers, bikers and prams. We really enjoyed sitting on the bench and admiring the landscape of flowers and trees besides enjoying the fresh air.

We also visited Istanbul of Archaelogical Museum. The museum is located on top of the slope and behind Gulhane Park. We were lucky to spot a free tram service which was available near the entrance of the cafe wall of Gulhane Park. We took the tram ride which led us to the entrance of Archaelogical Museum. 

Istanbul of Archaelogical Museum is one of 10 most important world-class museums which houses various artifacts from different civilization of different period of time. The most popular visited artifacts are during Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilization.

Archaelogical Museum opens every day from 9am to 6pm. The entrance ticket is 20TL per person. For more information, please visit Istanbul Archaelogical Museum webpage.

The historical wall surrounded within the entrance of Gulhane Park in Istanbul, Turkey
The historical wall surrounded within the entrance of Gulhane Park in Istanbul, Turkey

Pet friendly park at Gulhane Park which is located behind Topkapi Palace and near to Archeological Museum in Istanbul, Turkey
Pet friendly park at Gulhane Park which is located behind Topkapi Palace and near to Archeological Museum in Istanbul, Turkey


A beautiful Gulhane Park (House of Flowers) in Turkish is well-maintained with various flowers, trees and wider paved walkway for public, joggers, prams and bikes in Istanbul, Turkey
A beautiful Gulhane Park (House of Flowers) in Turkish is well-maintained with various flowers, trees and wider paved walkway for public, joggers, prams and bikes in Istanbul, Turkey

Tulips season at Gulhane Park which is the oldest and one of the most expensive public parks in Istanbul, Turkey
Tulips season at Gulhane Park which is the oldest and one of the most expensive public parks in Istanbul, Turkey

The guards with their horses at Gulhane Park in Istanbul, Turkey
The guards with their horses at Gulhane Park in Istanbul, Turkey       
Free shuttle ride is available to Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, at the entrance of Gulhane Park
Free shuttle ride is available to Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, at the entrance of Gulhane Park

More Islamic Mosaic patterns arrangement can be seen at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey
More Islamic Mosaic patterns arrangement can be seen at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey

Unique architecture at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey
Unique architecture at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey

This is one of the unique Islamic Mosaic patterns at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul but you will be able to see many different kinds of Islamic Mosaic patterns arrangement in Istanbul, Turkey
This is one of the unique Islamic Mosaic patterns at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul but you will be able to see many different kinds of Islamic Mosaic patterns arrangement in Istanbul, Turkey

Various popular artifacts from different civilization of different period of time especially during Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilization can be seen at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey
Various popular artifacts from different civilization of different period of time especially during Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilization can be seen at Archaelogical Museum in Istanbul, Turkey

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Istanbul: Basilica Cistern Sultanahmet in Turkey


After visiting Hippodrome (from my previous post), we head to the main attraction areas of Sultanahmet square and come across the signboard of Basilica Cistern. Basilica Cistern is situated across the street of Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul. 

Basilica Cistern is the largest ancient cistern which provides water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill and Topkapi Palace. Basilica Cistern lies under the city of Istanbul in Turkey. It was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian.

We require to walk 52-steps staircase to the basement from the ticket entrance since Basilica Cistern is situated underground. Once we get to the underground of the Basilica Cistern, we notice the ground is wet due to water splashing from the top. On top of that, it is very dark thus, it's not recommended for seniors who have problems with walking to Basilica Cistern. 

Visitors are strongly advised to put on a pair of shoes with good grips to prevent slippery. Running and jumping around are strictly prohibited in Basilica Cistern. Basilica Cistern is dark with limited lighting thus, you need to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of the others in your surrounding to prevent accidents.   

Basilica Cistern opens every day from 9am to 5:30pm. You require to use between an hour to two hours visiting Basilica Cistern. There is an entrance fee of 20TL (Turkish Lira) per person. You can visit Basilica Cistern Website  for more details.

Heading to The Basilica Cistern which is located opposite the street of Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Heading to The Basilica Cistern which is located opposite the street of Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

Basilica Cistern was built to provide water for the city of Istanbul during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Basilica Cistern was built to provide water for the city of Istanbul during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia is an important monment during Byzantine (as a church) and for Ottoman Empires (later a mosque) and now is a museum at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia is an important monment during Byzantine (as a church) and for Ottoman Empires (later a mosque) and now is a museum at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Beautiful Tulips at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey during Spring
Beautiful Tulips at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey during Spring

The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet Camii has become a popular tourist attraction because of blue wall tiles surrounding in the building at Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet Camii has become a popular tourist attraction because of blue wall tiles surrounding in the building at Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Healthy street dog (who is well-taken care by the government and local NGO) enjoys the nap in front of Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Healthy street dog (who is well-taken care by the government and local NGO) enjoys the nap in front of Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

Typical homes and hotels in Sultanahmet area as they are small within the narrow streets in Istanbul, Turkey
Typical homes and hotels in Sultanahmet area as they are small on the narrow and hilly streets in Istanbul, Turkey

Imagine how cramped the spaces between the houses in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Imagine how cramped the spaces between the houses in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
One of the most popular local food called Kebab in Turkey which is wrapped with lettuce and meat with the bread
One of the most popular local food called Kebab in Turkey which is wrapped with lettuce and meat with the bread

The local Turkish prefer to drink Turkish Tea as Turkish Coffee is too pricey served in a tiny cup in Turkey
The local Turkish prefer to drink Turkish Tea as Turkish Coffee is too pricey served in a tiny cup in Turkey
 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Istanbul: Hippodrome Sultanahmet nearby to Blue Mosque and St. Sophia in Turkey


Hippodrome of Constantinople was built as a horse racing track (Chariot race) during Byzantine Empire. The word hippdrome comes from Greek. Hippos means horse and drome means (path or way). However, Hippodrome was ruined down when the Ottoman Turks took over the city in 1453 and turned it into the Capital of Ottoman Empire. 

Hippodrome has transformed into a beautiful park in Sultanahmet at Istanbul, Turkey. You are able to see some fragments of the original structure which are  surviving at Hippodrome until today. There are Walled Obelisk, Serpent Column, Obelisk of Thutmose III and German Fountain. Hippodrome is a short walking distance from Blue Mosque and St Sophia which are located in Sultanahmet area. It is highly recommended to stay at a hotel in Sultanahmet area since all the historical sites are situated there such as Blue Mosque, St Sophia, Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace too. 

All you need to do is to enjoy strolling at the Hippodrome park in Sultanahmet at Istanbul, Turkey. Vehicles aren't allowed in Sultanahmet area. Thus, you need to walk a lot to visit all the historical sites there. 

Do NOT get frightened when seeing street dogs at Sultanahmet. The locals told me that these street dogs are well fed and have been vaccinated, which are funded by the government and the local NGO there. The street dogs are normally fed in the evenings so, they normally sleep in the daytime. Although Turkey is a Muslim country, the locals prove they are animal lovers including dogs too.

Colouful Tulips can be seen all over Hippodrome and Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Colouful Tulips can be seen all over Hippodrome and Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey

Colourful Tulips are planted in Hippodrome and Sultanahmet at Istanbul, Turkey
Colourful Tulips are planted in Hippodrome and Sultanahmet at Istanbul, Turkey

Healthy street dogs are well-fed and vaccinated by government and NGOs at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey
Healthy street dogs are well-fed and vaccinated by government and NGOs at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey

Walled Obelisk at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey
Walled Obelisk at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey

Obelisk of Thutmose III was brought over by Theodosius, the Great from Egypt in 390 and placed it on a marble pedestal until today at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey
Obelisk of Thutmose III was brought over by Theodosius, the Great from Egypt in 390 and placed it on a marble pedestal until today at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey

Obelisk of Thutmose III (front) and Walled Obelisk (back) at Hippodrome of Constantinople in Istanbul, Turkey
Obelisk of Thutmose III (front) and Walled Obelisk (back) at Hippodrome of Constantinople in Istanbul, Turkey

Serpent Column was to celebrate the victory of the Greeks over the Persians which was located in the middle of the Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey
Serpent Column was to celebrate the victory of the Greeks over the Persians which was located in the middle of the Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey

German Fountain was built originated from Germany to commemorate the second anniversary of German Emperor WilhelmII's visit to Istanbul in 1898 at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey
German Fountain was built originated from Germany to commemorate the second anniversary of German Emperor WilhelmII's visit to Istanbul in 1898 at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey

German Fountain's octagonal dome has eight marble columns and dome's interior is covered with golden mosaics at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey
German Fountain's octagonal dome has eight marble columns and dome's interior is covered with golden mosaics at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey

Fontaine Guillaume (William Wilhelm German Fountain) at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey
Fontaine Guillaume (William Wilhelm German Fountain) at Hippodrome in Istanbul, Turkey