The History of Istanbul
Istanbul is one of the most breathtaking cities in the world and was inhabited in approximately 3000 BC. The colony of Byzantium was established by King Byzas in the 7th century. An oracle of Delphi advised the king to choose this site because it was at the mouth of the Bosporus strait in an ideal location. The city became a part of the Roman Empire in 306 AD. Emperor Constantine named Byzantium the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. This was when the city became known as Constantinople.
The population of Istanbul reached nearly half a million people by the mid 1500’s and became a major commercial, political and cultural center. The Ottoman rule was not defeated until World War II. This was when the allies were finally able to occupy Istanbul. In 1923 the Republic of Turkey was established after the War of Independence. The capital was moved by Kemal Ataturk to the city of Ankara. Istanbul has expanded beautifully and now has a population of approximately 15 million. Every year roughly 700,000 immigrants continue to swell the population. Tourism continues to grow and industry is consistently expanding. Istanbul has a fascinating history and is located where Asia and Europe meet.
The Stunning Attractions of Istanbul
Istanbul wears their history and cultures incredibly well. The way they have blended has made the city a popular destination for people from all over the world. This is especially true for the travelers who come to photograph the modern city. Photo tours are popular and they explain how Istanbul was founded during Neolithic times. Photo tours take travelers to exquisite cathedrals, amazing basilicas and stunning mosques. They make certain the photographs are captured in glorious sunlight or by the mysterious light of the moon. The city stands proudly between the West and the East and is the largest city in Turkey. Visitors are swept away by the aura of charm and intrigue.
Some visitors prefer to take photos on their own and they capture some lovely sights. A photo tour is different because it encompasses the places that are unique, enchanting and unbelievably photogenic. Photo tours in Istanbul provide travelers with invaluable advice as to where to stand, what angle is best and what time of day or night the most sensational photographs can be taken. This brings travel photography to a new level. These are the photographs people look at with awe, the photographs that are handed down from generation to generation and the photographs responsible for the most amazing stories ever told about the unique people and culture of Istanbul.
The Amazing Opportunities of Photo Tours in Istanbul
Every photographer should be well prepared when they travel to Istanbul. This begins by making certain all the necessary equipment is available. A DSLR camera will take stunning photographs and nothing captures the glory of the night sky like a long focus lens. Even a smartphone can capture vibrant and rich photographs. It is important to have a tripod because the city of Istanbul is filled with people, architecture, scenic views and glorious sights demanding to be photographed. What really makes these pictures incredibly special is a guide photographer. These individuals are professionals and know the city extremely well. They have a unique and personal understanding of the people and the places. They know at what time of night the moon reflects off the dome of the Blue Mosque at just the right angle and the exact moment the lighting in the Grand Bazaar is perfect for capturing the essence of Istanbul.
A photo tour customized for photographers ensures the traveler is in the right place at the right time. Most people have no problems finding the most popular places in the city. The secret is to have a professional who knows where the unknown and secret places are hidden. A photograph is so much more than simply a picture. It should reflect the heart and soul of the people, the history embedded in the walls and streets of the city and reveal the depth of another culture and life. These types of photographs are not accidental. They require the expertise and skill of a professional so the lighting is just perfect and reveals the blazing red as the sun sets or the twinkle in a young child’s eyes. The angle must encompass the most alluring points of the sweeping vistas and the sparkling domes of the cathedrals.
The Galata Tower
The Galata Tower is a sensational destination to photograph. The tower stands 219 feet tall and rules the skyline of Istanbul. When a photograph is taken of this magnificient tower at just the right moment, the very walls seem to come alive. The views of the old city and the surrounding areas are magnificient. This is the perfect opportunity to use a long focus lens to capture the details of the land, sky and city. The medieval stone tower is called the Tower of Christ and was built in 1348. At this time, this was Istanbul’s tallest building. This tower still watches over Istanbul and has been modified as the centuries have passed. During one period, the tower was used for observational purposes to spot fires. The upper reaches of the tower now house a spectacular nightclub, a divine restaurant and a lovely cafe. Visitors are unable to find words for the views once they have taken the elevator to the ninth story of the building. These views are beautiful by day but at night they hold both magic and fire. Any photograph taken of this vista is destined to be forever cherished.
The Istanbul Archaeological Museum
No visitor to Turkey should miss this museum as it is one of the most important in the area. The Istanbul Archaeological Museum encompasses three separate museums. These are the Tiled Kiosk Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum and the Archaeological Museum. There are over one million items from civilizations across the globe on display in these museums. This was the first Turkish museum, founded in 1891 and located on the grounds of the Topkapi Palace. The Tiled Kiosk goes all the way back to 1472. Photographs taken in this place tell the story of the history of Istanbul. They draw the eye and spark the spirit with breathtaking images. The artifacts contained here are precious and include Alexander the Great’s sarcophagus. These museums reflect the history and grace of this extraordinary city.
The Chora Church
The Chora Church is a bit off the beaten path for tourists, but the photo tours are aware of the sensational opportunities located here. The Byzantine Art is beyond beautiful and makes the effort of coming here worthwhile all by itself. The frescoes and mosaics are gorgeous and depict the life of Mary and Jesus is their true glory. Chora refers to this church as the Holy Savior. This building is often described as one of the most extraordinary surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. This is a building that must be photographed. The opportunities to capture the detailing of the architecture and the beauty of the craftsmanship will call to everyone with a camera in their hands. This breathtaking place goes back to the days of the Constantine. During the early years, the Chora served as a monastery. It did not become a mosque until several centuries later. It was eventually converted into a museum in 1948.
The Basilica Cistern
The residents of Istanbul have been receiving water from the Basilica Cistern since the sixth century. The Roman Emperor Justinian I ordered the cistern to be built. Once a traveler sees this incredible place they will spend years talking about the technology used by the ancient Romans.This is a wonder of archeology that must be captured on film. There are some sights so extraordinary they cannot be described. The old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words speaks loudly in the Basilica Cistern. This is especially true considering when it was built. The Blue Mosque is only a few steps away from the Basilica Cistern and provides yet another amazing opportunity for photographers. The site chosen for the construction was a basilica built during the third century. The cistern is referred to as the Sunken Palace and is capable of holding 2.8 million cubic feet of water. Many people have seen the incredible views in a James Bond movie filmed in 1963 called From Russia with Love. So this place is must see in your photo tour.
The Dolmabahce Palace
Travelers wanting to photograph something beautiful, plush and luxurious need look no further than the Dolmabahce Palace. Many people have compared this glorious destination to the Palace of Versailles. The Dolmabahce Palace was constructed during the 19th century using gold leaf weighing an astonishing fourteen tons. This is the most glamorous palace in Turkey and blends the European styles of Rococo, Baroque and Neoclassical with the beauty of traditional Ottoman architecture. From 1856 until 1924, this palace was the home of six different sultans. The largest Bohemian crystal chandelier in the world is housed here and it is spectacular. The chandelier was a gift from Queen Victoria herself. The setting for the Dolmabahce Palace is stunning both day and night because it was built alongside the Bosphorus coastline. Photographing this coastline is a must for every visitor.
The Suleymaniye Mosque
Those who have visited the Suleymaniye Mosque experience an inspiring feeling of spirituality due to the peacefulness, serenity and beauty. The Third Hill of Istanbul is the home of this incredible mosque. Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent ordered the mosque to be built in 1550. The word magnificent does not even come close when describing the blending of Byzantine and Islamic architecture. Unfortunately, there has been substantial damage to the mosque as time has passed. During World War I there was a weapons depot located in the gardens and a fire broke out. The restoration took place during the middle of the 20th century. There are four minarets marking the mosque. This indicates it was constructed by a sultan. The dome was the tallest in the Ottoman Empire when it was originally built. In your photo tour you will find that it is a perfect location to take photographs both fascinating and exquisite.
The Grand Bazaar
Travelers who visit the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul photo tour have a sensational experience and inevitably fall in love with the culture. This is one of the biggest indoor markets anywhere in the world and boasts sixty streets and 5,000 shops. This is one of the grandest treasure of Istanbul. In excess of a quarter million visitors come to this bazaar every single days. The offerings include sparkling jewelry, silken fabrics, delectable spices, hand pained ceramics and sensational antiques.This is an amazing place for street photography. Sensational pictures can be captured of the locals, shoppers and visitors as they browse the many items on display. The bazaar originated in 1461 and is an exceptional example of authentic Turkish culture. The bazaar encompasses four fountains, two mosques, two steam baths or hammams and the Cevahir Bedesten. This is where the most valuable and rarest items can usually be found. Shoppers come for precious gems, jewelry, old coins, antique furniture and inlaid weapons. Many travelers visit this place several times because it is simply not possible to see everything is just one day.
The Topkapi Palace
One of the most commonly seen attractions in Istanbul is the Topkapi Palace. This experience should be savored slowly because the combination of stunning scenery and history brings intense enjoyment. The Topkapi Palace is incredibly rich in the history of the Ottoman Empire. There are 3.1 miles of stone walls surrounding the palace. The walls are offset with 27 towers. Topkapi dates all the way back to the 15th century and is located on a hill looking directly over the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the sparkling Sea of Marmara. This view was made to be remembered with at least a few photographs. This was once the seat of the Turkish government and the home of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. The Topkapi Palace is now a museum and believed to be the oldest and largest palace in the world. During photo tour visitors can see some of the harem’s quarters, the area the government once worked in, the palace kitchens, the amazing collection of weapons the sultans once used, an enormous collection of porcelain and the treasury filled with a collection of clocks and jewels.
The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque was constructed during the beginning of the 17th century. The mosque has remained an active house of worship. Despite the fact this means visits must be carefully timed, this mosque is well worth seeing. The Muslims use the mosque for prayer five times each day and the mosque is closed to visitors during these times. The hair of the women must be completely covered and all shoes must be removed prior to entering. Once this has been done, the visitors can view the priceless treasures within. There are 200 gorgeous stained glass windows and various tulip designs are displayed on 20,000 ceramic tiles. Each design is intricately detailed and incredibly elegant. The reason this building was named the Blue Mosque is because the higher levels of the exterior and the tiles on the dome are blue. Sultan Ahmet was responsible for building this sensational mosque.
The Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia was a house of worship in the past. Several different religions were well served here for centuries. The building was a Greek Eastern Orthodox basilica when it first originated. It was built in 537 and served the Patriarch of Constantinople as a home. It was a Roman Catholic church for nearly six decades during the 12th century.In 1453, the building became a mosque. This did not change until it was closed in 1931. When the building reopened it was 1935 and it was a museum. During one period this was the biggest cathedral anywhere on the globe. The Hagia Sophia inspired many other mosques including the Blue Mosque. This was because it was a stunning example of classic Byzantine architecture. The mosque drew fame due to the exceptional mosaics with detailed religious scenes. The Hagia Sophia is also referred to as Ayasofya and has one of the most colorful histories in Istanbul. The mixture of Christian and Islamic décor is astounding. This includes calligraphic mosaics and roundels. The impressive interior of gold, porphyry and marble are a fantastic place to take pictures that will become part of the memory of a lifetime.
Istanbul is the perfect place for anyone interested in a holiday as well as keen photographers. Photo tour is an amazing adventure into the cultures and history of an incredible city. This is about exploring and having a wonderful adventure. Istanbul is the biggest city in Turkey and offers something special for every person and every taste. There are endless places for fantastic photography not only in Istanbul but in the surrounding areas. Photo tour in Istanbul that will never be forgotten and will forever live on in the heart. Travelers come with hopes and dreams and leave with world class photographs and the desire to return.