Islam And The 3 Capitals Of The Ottoman Empire
- DAY 1: HOME - ISTANBUL
- Flight to Istanbul. Arrive at the airport of Istanbul. Welcome and assist by our English speaking tour guide. All of the ladies will have fresh flowers and the gentlemen will have souvenir as a present by Lilium Tours & Incentives. Transfer to the hotel and check-in. During the key distribution “a welcome cocktail” will be served. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner will be served at hotel. Overnight.
- DAY 2: ISTANBUL
- Breakfast at hotel and tour visits to Hippodrome the former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople, Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), which is famous with its blue Iznik tiles and unique six minarets, St. Sophia Museum the magnificent Byzantine Church between 532-1453, main mosque of the Ottoman Sultans between 1453-1934 and since 1934 one of the most important highlights of the city. Then it goes to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, where we can see tiles, calligraphy, wood, metal and textile works from the Islamic World. After lunch, visit to Topkapi Palace the former imperial residence from where the Ottoman Empire was ruled. The Holy Mantle and Sacred Relics Section is housing one of the most important relics of the Religion Islam. We can see : The Sword, The Letter, The Seal, The Beard, The Footprint of the Muhammad and many other belongings from the Caliphs and other prophets. Then visit to the Mosque of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent built between 1550-1557 and second biggest mosque of the city after the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Sinan called this mosque as his “journeyman work”. Dinner will be served at hotel. Overnight.
- DAY 3: ISTANBUL
- After breakfast at hotel visit to the Rustem Pasha Mosque. The important feature of the little interior with two galleries is its magnificent and very colorful tiles, starting in the porch. They are from Iznik Pottery, then at the peak of its fame. After the Rustem Pasha Mosque embark on a Private Cruise along the Bosphorus. Disembark at Sariyer and have lunch. Then drive to the Asian Part of Istanbul. Visit to Yeditepe Hill for a panoramic view of the city. Then drive to the city part Eyup and visit to the Eyyub-ul Ensari Mosque. This was the first mosque built after the Turks took Istanbul. One of the first Muslims, Ebu Eyyub-ul Ensari was killed in the Arab Army’s 668-669 Siege of Istanbul. Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s religious teacher, Aksemseddin found what he said to be Eyub’s Tomb and Fatih build a large tomb, a mosque and a soup kitchen here. Later, in the around of these places many charities, monumental tombs and cemeteries were built. Late afternoon drive to the Sehzadebasi Mosque and visit it. Sultan Suleyman’s beloved son Prince Mehmet died in 1543. The tomb and large complex surrounding were built on the exact centre of Istanbul, Sehzadebasi, which Sinan geometrically computed as Sultan Suleyman requested. Wits its elegant calligraphy, minarets, mosque, the smaller buildings and the trees, it is among the most balanced group of buildings in Istanbul. This mosque is after the Sultan Suleyman Mosque, the second important work of Sinan. He called this mosque his "apprentice work". Dinner will be served at hotel. Overnight.
- DAY 4: ISTANBUL - EDIRNE - ISTANBUL
- Early breakfast at hotel and drive approximately 2,5 hours via highway to Edirne (The Bulgarian Border is just 20 km away from Edirne!). It was the second capital city of the Ottoman Empire after Bursa and before Istanbul. After lunch visit to the Selimiye Mosque (1569-1575) the "Masterpiece of Sinan". He completed this mosque when he was at the age of 85. It is set on a hill above the town and dominating it from afar, was the peak of the Sinan’s life’s work, and stands as the pinnacle and point of perfection of Ottoman Architecture. Then visit to the Old Mosque (Eski Cami). The oldest mosque in Edirne, built 1043-1414 as the first Ottoman building in the town, early Ottoman in style, with piered hall with 9 domes in three rows on 4 piers. The building follows the design of the Ulu Mosque in Bursa and shows both the consistency of early mosque design and the architectural continuity maintained when transferring a residence. Thereafter visit to the Ucserefeli Mosque (Mosque with three galleries). It was built between 1437-1447 under Murat II, with central dome and rectangular ground plan with inset hexagon as basic support for the dome. The awkward area at which the central and side rooms meet show the difficulties found at the high point of the early Ottoman Mosque, of which this is one, of creating a totally coherent space. This was not achieved until the mosques of Istanbul were built, after coming to terms with St. Sophia. Before departure to Istanbul, shopping will be done in city center of Edirne. Drive back to Istanbul. Dinner will be served at hotel. Overnight.
- DAY 5: ISTANBUL - BURSA - ISTANBUL
- Drive approximately 3 hours via Yalova to Bursa. Arrive and visit to the Green Mosque (1415-1419). This mosque was completed by Sultan Celebi Mehmet I. And is the finest example of the so-called Bursa or double-domed mosque: 2 linked domed spaces on either side. Another typical feature is the domed spaces in front of the mosque, with entrance hall and school rooms at the side, and here in the Green Mosque there is also access to the upper galleries for the sultan and his wife. The transition from the square walls to the circular dome is achieved with a "Turkish Triangle". As well as in the dome, stalactites are also used for decoration and as a part of the arch in the magnificent entrance portal. Then continue to the Green Mausoleum, located just opposite of the mosque. It is built by Sultan Celebi Mehmet I. And it is an octagonal building. In the interior the sultan’s sarcophagus and the mihrab are both magnificently decorated with enamel faience. After lunch visit to the Great Mosque 1396-144 (Ulu Cami). The large rectangular building, the largest of the Ottoman pried mosques has 20 domes set over 5 x 4 bays on twelve piers, hence the term multi-domed mosque, which was followed by the open Arab courtyard mosque. Because of the harsher climate of Anatolia the originally open courtyard was covered with a flat roof, and then vaulted in the subsequent building period, with its tendency to large domes. Then time for shopping at the next located Silk Bazaar of Bursa. Late afternoon, drive back to Istanbul. Dinner and overnight will be at hotel.
- DAY 6: ISTANBUL - HOME
- Drive to Istanbul and transfer to Istanbul Atatürk Airport and flight back home.
END OF TOUR WITH THE SWEET MEMORIES OF TURKEY!!!