Istanbul has a long and distinguished history and benefits from a rich diversity in the make-up of its citizens. Given that the city sits on the crossing point between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is the place where the cultures of east and west meet.
Would you like to experience local customs and absorb the cultural atmosphere? As 'local experts' we have all the information at our fingertips to advise you on the things that interest you. Below you will find some highlights from our cultural programme.
· Hagia Sophia: For centuries, the Hagia Sophia was by far the world's largest church. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, the Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque. UNESCO declared the world famous building a world heritage site in 1985.
· The Blue Mosque: The Blue Mosque, also called the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a faultless composition of harmony, proportion and elegance. The inner courtyard is the largest of all Ottoman mosques. The interior is just as grand: the number of blue tiles runs into the tens of thousands.
· Topkapi Palace: The Topkapi Palace, also known as the ‘Cannon Gate palace’, was the residence of the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II for many years. It is the best known example of an eastern palace. It is now open to the public as a museum and should not be missed.
· Museum of Modern Art: The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (in Turkish: İstanbul Modern Sanat Müzesi) opened its doors in 2004. This museum displays contemporary art by Turkish artists. Housed in an old restored warehouse, the collection is spread out over two levels. As well as a permanent collection, the museum features temporary exhibitions, a museum shop, a library and a theatre space for performances and art-house films.
· The History of Science and Technology Museum: The 'Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam'opened in 2008 and is located in the Gülhane Park close to the Topkapi Palace. It houses the work of a number of important historic Islamic scientists. The museum’s educational collection displays Islamic achievements which have exerted a profound influence on science and technology throughout Europe.