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Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old City

475 bytes added, 21 May
Around Sultanahmet Square
* '''Sultanahmet Mosque''' (''Sultanahmet Camii'', aka '''Blue Mosque''') [], At Meydan Sokak 17, Sultanahmet (by tram: Sultanahmet), +90 212 518-13-19. May-Oct 09:00-21:00, Nov-Apr: 09:00-21:00. With its six minarets and sweeping architecture the Sultanahmet or 'Blue' Mosque impresses from the outside. Unlike Haghia Sophia, this is still a working mosque, entry is through the courtyard on the SW side which is back side of mosque. No shorts or bare shoulders (shawls are provided) and you will need to remove your footwear (bags are provided that you can place your shoes in). Entrance is free, but donations are welcome upon exit. The mosque is closed during ritual prayer but mosque volunteers provide you with a free presentation about the Mosque and also about Islam during that period. The venue for this event is the Mosque's conference hall. It is the building with "Free Event" sign that will be on your left while you are approaching the Mosque from Hagia Sophia. There is no entrance fee, and there is even free refreshments. Women need to wear head scarves, which can be bought in nearby shops for 5-15TL or borrowed at the mosque for free. Everyone needs to cover their legs (no shorts or short skirts).
* '''Basilica Cistern''' (''Yerebatan Sarnici''). Yerebatan Cad., Sultanahmet [], 09:00-18:30. A giant underground cistern built by Justinian in 532 to provide water to the city in cases of siege. A wooden walkway winds between the pillars, and lights and piped music add to the eerie atmosphere. Bring some type of fish food as you'll see enormous fish swimming below your feet, and throw a coin into the pool to make a wish. The statues of Medussa are impressive. 3 5 TL for Turkish citizens, 20 TL ( October 2016 May 2019 -''no concessions. Turkish currency, NO credit cards accepted, NO Museum Pass accepted.''). As of May 2019 there´s renovations going on, that leave some parts inaccessible. * '''Theodosius Cistern''' (''YŞerefiye Sarnici''). BPiyer Loti Cd., Sultanahmet [], 09:00-18:00. Though smaller than Basilica cistern, Theodosius Cistern is your option of choice if you want to avoid the crowds, but still soak in the atmosphere of an underground cistern. The lighting of the columns is much better than in Basilica Cistern. Free entrance (May 2019) 
* '''Hippodrome''', adjacent to the Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. This was the centre of Roman and Byzantine Constantinople, and is a great place to begin one's tour and to watch people. The building no longer stands, but the obelisks and sculptures that have been collected here since Theodosius' time in the fourth century remain. The four bronze horses in the facade of St. Marco in Venice used to be on top of the Emperor's box in the Hippodrome and they were looted by the crusaders in 1204. While you are on your way to the hippodrome, don’t forget the '''German Fountain''' (''Alman Çeşmesi''), a neo-Byzantine style fountain building at the square leading to Hippodrome. It was a gift sent by German Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Ottoman Sultan.

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