THE EMPEROR & SULTAN TOUR – HALF DAY AFTERNOON TOUR
On this tour you will visit:
The City walls and the Golden Horn. Saint Saviour in Chora Church Museum and Suleymaniye Mosque.
What Is Included In The Tour Rate:
Entrance fees to the museums and sights
Professional and Licensed Tour Guide
What Is Excluded In The Tour Rate:
Gratuities to guide and driver
Lunch in a local restaurant
City Walls and Golden Horn by vehicle: As you will ride along the shores of the Marmara Sea with your driver and guide, you will follow a major portion of the city's Byzantine walls and will continue to follow them when we turn inland from the sea. Your guide will discuss the remains of Constantinople's old city walls and you will hear the history of their construction and about the battles during which the walls either saved the city or were breached by its attackers.
Saint Savior in Chora Church Museum: This delightful church was built in the 11th century just within the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople, as the city was known throughout the Byzantine era. The Theodosian Walls were built roughly 1500 meters beyond the original Constantinian Wall at the behest of Emperor Theodosius II during the early 5th century. The significance of the church's name (Chora means countryside in Greek) lies in the fact that it was constructed upon the site of a much older church that had been built outside of the Constantinian Wall prior to the construction of the Theodosian Walls. The Chora's dozens of exquisite mosaic depictions, dating from the early 14th century and visible throughout the interior, are what have made it a must see destination when in Istanbul. These are some of the highest quality Byzantine mosaics anywhere that have survived until the present. Ironically, it is because the mosaics were covered with plaster when the church was used for centuries as a mosque that the mosaics have been so well preserved.
Suleymaniye Mosque: This elegant mosque with its distinguishing four slender minarets was built on the order of Sultan Suleyman by the most famous of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, between 1550 and 1558. It is the second largest mosque in the city and sits prominently upon the third of old Istanbul's seven hills. In addition to the mosque, the original complex consisted of a hospital and medical college, four madrasahs as well as a special school for study of the hadith, a hamam, a Caravansarai and a public kitchen. The tomb of Mimar Sinan is located adjacent to the mosque.
After the tour, you will be returned to Sultanahmet Square.
*The Saint Savior in Chora Church is closed on Wednesdays and is replaced in our program with the Grand Bazaar. The Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, only the half day afternoon portion of this tour is available. The morning half can be filled with our Bosphorus Plus half day morning program.