Seeing The Less Explored Sites In Istanbul
There are few places in the world that hold the attention of both the East and the West with the poise and measure that Istanbul does. Right outside some of the best hotels in Istanbul you can still see the remnants of history. The city was the centre of major empires over centuries, and it is a place filled with a depth of history that dates back to its foundation as Byzantium on the Sarayburnu promontory around 600 B.C.
Over the years it has been a stronghold of both Christianity and Islam, and everything in the city is a conglomeration of this mixed historical heritage. From the huge former churches that have been mosques for centuries, to the ornately designed and distinct Islamic architecture standing side-by-side with ancient Italian-Gothic structures, there is something to grasp everyone’s attention in this amazing city. Be sure to visit the main sights, but also take time to explore the lesser-known ones like the Military Museum, the Rumeli Hisar Fortress and the Miniatrk.
The Military Museum
This epic museum is located near many of the best hotels in Istanbul, in Cumhuriyet Caddesi, Harbiye, and is dedicated to the thousand-year history of the Turkish military. The country’s pride in its military is evident in the way the museum is presented and organised. It is a substantial space with weapons, tools and uniforms from a variety of periods. The museum was renovated and reopened in 1993 and today offers visitors a huge amount of specialised history. It covers 22 rooms with a collection of over 50,000 pieces, about 9,000 of which are exhibited, and represent the military from the Ottoman period through World War One.
Rumeli Hisar Fortress
From the Military Museum to the Rumeli Hisar Fortress is a nice progression for a day out. Located in the Saryer district on the European side of the city close to many of the best hotels in Istanbul, the Rumeli Hisar Fortress cannot be missed in every sense. Built in 1451 by Sultan Mehmed II, the fortress has three huge towers named after three of the Sultan’s viziers. Partially built to control the sea traffic, the fortress has multiple smaller towers and three main gates. In 1746 a fire destroyed the wooden elements of the fortress but in the mid-1950s restoration was begun; today it is a museum and an excellent outdoor venue for concerts and events.
Getting to see all this vast city in one holiday is a rather hard task, but if if you don’t, you can visit the Miniatrk and get a bird’s eye view of some of the city’s most famous sites. Located near the best hotels in Istanbul on the Golden Horn, this miniature park has 105 miniature replicas. Done in 1/25th scale, it is one of the world’s most expansive miniature parks; you can easily spend few hours wandering about and exploring some of the places in the city that you might not have time to visit otherwise. It’s a unique and fun place to wind down your holiday.