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Constantinople, New or Second Rome, Constantinople, Byzantium - this is not an exhaustive list of the names of one of the oldest and most interesting cities in the world - Istanbul. We can rightly say that this city must visit.

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Istanbul - the only city located on two continents simultaneously and connect the bridges over the Bosphorus. The former capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman cultural capital of Turkey. As one Turkish poet said: "The best there is in Ankara - a return journey to Istanbul." City attracts, entices and enchants. A strange mixture of East and West, Christianity and Islam ... all this is just here.

In the continuation you can see pictures from the Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern look in and see the main cathedral of Christianity, now an invalid mosque of Hagia Sophia.

Topkapi Palace - the main palace of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to mid-19th century. The palace is located on the cape of the arrow of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn in the historic center of Istanbul - Sultanahmet. Evlia Celebi, Ottoman historian, called Topkapi "the most beautiful Sultan's palace, created by human hands."

Gates greeting or Middle Gate at the palace:

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In spite of the fact that we were there in the very season, tourists in the palace very much. In all the rooms queue. The Palace is open every day except Tuesday, entrance fee, around $ 10.

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The palace had a 4 yard. The first was for the protection of the palace, in the second courtyard no one was allowed to enter the gate on horseback. Here we met foreign ambassadors and escorted them to the Sultan for the third gate in the Throne Room. Only the most close to the Sultan of people allowed in the rooms, close to the building. Then there were the sultan's apartments and rooms for its harem.

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The inner garden of the second court

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In the palace of a very interesting oriental architecture

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A place where to insert the pole with the arms before the army will go to the campaign.

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where the Sultan received the ambassadors

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Garden in the third courtyard. It is very quiet and cozy, despite the crowds of tourists. They go around the building where the sultans treasures stored

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On skorovischa worth seeing. Among them are not only a lot of gold items and decorated with precious stones, but also very historical thing: a collection of sacred objects from Mecca, the relics of John the Baptist, Abraham roaster, a sword belonging to King David, Moses' staff. The latter guides say it is the same staff with which Moses crossed the Red Sea, the waters were divided.

The special atmosphere is maintained in reliquaries successive specially trained readers, which read drawlingly Koran.

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The interior of the halls of the palace.

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After passing through the palace, a beautiful panorama of the Asian part of the city

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View of the bridge over the Bosphorus

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The ancient graffiti on the walls of the fortress.

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Fountain in the realm of the Sultan

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of the Blue Mosque View

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Galata Tower, which offers excellent views of the Topkapi Palace, but we had never had

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Rooms and fountains for the harem of the Sultan

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In Istanbul as a strong mix of styles that skyscraper - it's like something relying on inheritance this city. However, the high-rise buildings are far from the historic center

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The inner garden of the Sultan.

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Church of St. Irene. How interesting, after the capture of Constantinople, the Muslims did not tear down the churches and temples. They only changed the symbolism. Nowadays, given the confrontation between two worlds: the Muslim and Christian, such a mixture of makes you wonder about the senselessness of disputes.

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In the palace of a lot with schoolchildren excursions

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After leaving the Topkapi Palace, we headed to the main Christian churches for centuries, the Hagia Sophia.

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Hagia Sophia, built on a hill in the center of old Byzantium mesmerizing. Hard to believe, but this temple was built just 6 years old in the year 537 after the old church on the site was destroyed. Hagia Sophia was the most important Christian shrine over 1000 years. Legend has it that the Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, who conquered Constantinople, rising to the dome exclaimed: "Nothing in this world lasts forever!". It can be understood, because the city could not take a few centuries.

After the capture of the temple were predelany 4 minarets, and it became a mosque. 5 Sultans survived mosque and was declared a national museum in 1934.

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Hagia Sophia haunted sultans and they have always wanted to build something greater than the temple. The Blue Mosque is standing right in front of Hagia Sophia. Built in the mid-16th century.

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It is a European view of the city, if not the minarets on the horizon

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Before you enter the Hagia Sophia, we descended into the underground reservoir - Basilica Cistern. These tanks - edintvennye of 70 reservoirs, where tourists can get. They were built in the 6th century.

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In water, swimming fish

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In this room 336 columns, it looks like in the movie "Lord of the Rings"

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Between the columns, you can walk on wooden bridges, and in one corner there is a cafe. On a hot day, of which there is a lot in the summer, very nice to come here and relax, as the temperature in the tanks in the cellar.

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And on the street, at the top, full of life. Merchant chestnuts :)

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Turkish men resting in the shade

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And we're going to Hagia Sophia

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The restaurant serves traditional food

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Hagia Sophia did not photogenic, if you shoot it from below

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The Blue Mosque

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Street carpets trader does not stop for a minute

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Street with restaurants

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Cat as a symbol of the city of Istanbul. They are absolutely everywhere.

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This uncle is willing to clean your shoes

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View from the top of the Blue Mosque

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And a view of the Hagia Sophia. They are almost equally, at first glance,

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Scavenger

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And the seller mops at the bus stop for tourist buses

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It was time to go inside the Hagia Sophia. I'll tell you, it's amazing. I mean not only the architecture, size and appearance. No, I'm talking about energy space. It is very much felt. Polutoratysyachny temple with history, the main shrine of Christianity, after - a mosque and now a museum, where the remnants of murals appear under the paint, which they painted over Muslims

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windows 40 placed on a 30-meter radius of the center dome light was allowed to fall into the cathedral. The height from the floor to the dome - 51 meters!

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Now there is a huge chandelier hanging

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It is possible to climb to the second floor and stand on the balcony, which began the baptism of Rus. It was here was Princess Olga, the first to adopt Christianity among the Russian rulers.

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The remains of the old decoration of the cathedral

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Inside the cathedral - an exhibition of photos of mosaics

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