Istanbul, the beautiful capital of the Ottoman Empire

Istanbul, the current capital of Turkey, is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in the world.. It is the only large city on the planet that straddles two continents, Europe and Asia, and it is the only one whose ancient names are familiar to all of us and evoke history and legends.

The Ottoman past of istanbul

Istanbul, in the past was called Byzantium and was the heir to Imperial Rome. and later it would become known as Constantinople, the center of the Ottoman Empire. At that time we are going to focus on presenting you the main Ottoman monuments of present-day Istanbul.

1. Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace by Ivo Vitanov Velinov

Of all the Ottoman heritage in Istanbul, surely what best reflects the essence of that empire is the Topkapi Palace. It was the residence of the sultans from the fifteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. A long period in which the palace grew with new rooms, many of which can be visited today.

It has a total of about 700,000 mtwo where It is essential to visit the Treasury, with some of the most valuable objects on the planet. Also spectacular is the mythical Harem, which was the exclusive residence of the sultan, his family and his most personal entourage.

2. The Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque – Krissanapong Wongsawarng

The set of monumental mosques in Istanbul is unique in the world. Some are worth a visit to the Turkish capital by themselves. And one of them is the Blue or Sultan Ahmed Mosque.

This temple was built between 1609 and 1616. Its main feature is the 20,000 tiles that give it its name. and that adorn its entire upper part. Some tiles that reach all their splendor with the natural light that enters through the 200 stained glass windows of the temple and that are complemented by impressive chandeliers hanging from the very high ceiling.

3. The Suleimaniye


Another of the most impressive mosques in Istanbul is the Suleimaniye or Suleiman the Magnificent Mosque. This is the largest of all the mosques. It is also the work of the most important architect who worked in Istanbul during the 16th century, the great Sinan, who started the temple in 1550 and finished it in 1557.

To build this grandiose temple, he was inspired by the Byzantine basilica of Santa Sofía from the city. It also had as a reference the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. One of the most beautiful mosques in the world.

4. The Grand Bazaar

Istanbul Grand Bazaar – Iker Merodio /

Another unique work in Istanbul is its Grand Bazaar, the largest historical and covered market in the world.. Here some facts about him: 45,000 mtwo of surface and almost 4,000 stores in its interior spread over 64 streets, which can be accessed from 22 different doors. Impressive, right?

Well, it’s just the data, the most impressive thing is its interior, the jewelry and handicraft products that are sold, and above all the vitality of its vendors. Entering here it is unlikely not to end up buying a souvenir and even a beautiful rug.

5. Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace-Gelia

When the Ottoman Empire began to modernize, in the mid-19th century, the ruling sultan decided to move his residence to this new palacein which Turkish architectural traditions are fused with the influence of Europe.

Here the sultans would reside between 1856 and 1924, the date of disappearance of the Empire. And surely this is the last great work of that period of splendor. A building that can be visited and has been transformed into a museum.


“If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte-

6. The Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace -nexus 7

And we end this tour of the greatest works that the Ottoman Empire bequeathed to the city of Istanbul in the Beylerbeyi Palace. This is the only work on this list that is located on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus Strait, that divides the Turkish capital.

And it is that Beylerbeyi was conceived as a refreshing summer residence for the sultan. It has been like this since its origins, when it was built in the 16th century in wood, and in the definitive work that we see today, built in the 19th century and whose comfort made it ideal to accommodate the great foreign leaders who visited the city.

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