- Welcome Aboard
- Istanbul’s 1,600 Year-Old Harbor Theodosius
- Eber Lake
- Istanbul is Ready For The Onslaught
- 2010 World Basketball Championship
- Is Istanbul the world’s new fashion capital?
- Haluk Bilginer
- Games Of The Digital Age
- Underwater Hockey
- The tastes that flew away
- The Taurus Mountains
- A New Address for Art: Istanbul
- Cultures At The Cinematic Crossroad
- 1001 Documentaries
- Beautiful, but does it work?
- A Journey Through Historic Ankara
- Love By Any Other Name
- Could This Be The Last Album?
- Warm Winter Concerts
- Three Exhibitions In Berlin
- Mountain Films En Route To Paris
- A City An Author
- Russia Facing Europe
Article: Melih Uslu
Sultanahmet to Ahırkapı
Retaining many of its characteristic features, this route across the historic peninsula of Istanbul could well serve you as a time tunnel.
Museum of Islamic Arts
One of the richest collections of Turkish-Islamic art awaits you in the masonry halls of celebrated 16th century Ottoman architectural work İbrahim Pasha Palace. Especially worth seeing are the wood-carved gate of Cizre Grand Mosque dating from 1155, Seljuk tiles, and 15th century Ottoman Korans and manuscripts (+90 212 518 18 05).
Overlooking the right flank of Sultanahmet Mosque, Arasta Market teems with hand-woven carpets, rugs, textiles, traditional garments, tiles and potteries with Ottoman patterns, antiques, copperware, wood furniture with mother of pearl inlays and silver ornaments, as well as Beykoz glasses, waterpipes, paintings, miniatures and all kinds of souvenirs.
Once you make your way down to the Marmara shore, a roughly 500 meter walk along the Kennedy Avenue towards Cankurtaran will bring you to the seaside wing of the Byzantian Palace. An arched masonry wall featuring three grand windows with marble frames is all that remains today from the imperial palace built in the 5th century.
Little Hagia Sophia
The 527 built Saint Sergius Bacchus Church was converted into a mosque following the Turkish conquest of the city. The convent where dervishes did penance in the 24 cells lined along a central courtyard today serves as a bustling cultural center frequented by flutists and literati, with handcraft workshops from calligraphy and paper marbling to gravure and miniature painting.
Sokullu Mehmed Paşa Mosque
Located at the Şehit Çeşmesi Descent in Kadırga, the 1571 built mosque is famed for the ingenious solution of Sinan the Architect. Interior walls are completely covered with blue and green Iznik tiles. There is a rumor that the green stones used indoors were brought over from Kaaba in Mecca. Considered a masterpiece among 16th century Ottoman mosques, the shrine is bathed in light from over 90 windows.
Right behind the Sokullu Mehmed Paşa Mosque, you will find another fascinating example of religious architecture. Built for visitors from Ottoman-allied Uzbekistan in the 17th century, the historic place of worship was also known as the Bukhara Convent in the past. After a stint as an institute of scholarship on Ottoman, Uzbek and Jagatai cultures, the structure currently serves as the İstanbul Design Center.
The hamam featuring separate areas for men and women was built in 1734 on commission from Sultan Bayezid II. Across the street from Kadırga Park, it appears jammed between neighboring buildings.