Fabulous Turkey … the destination at the intersection between East and West cultures. Basilica of St. John, This citadel-like basilica once occupied the whole breadth of the hill it sits on and was ranked with the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (now the Aya Sofya) as one of the Byzantine Empire’s largest churches. According to tradition, the grave of St. John is under the church. Originally, a mausoleum with a domed roof borne on four columns was built over the grave, but the Emperor Justinian replaced this simple monument with a three-aisled basilica on a Latin-cross plan boasting six domed roofs. Including the narthex at the western end and the arcaded courtyard, the basilica was 130 meters long and 40 meters wide. After the Seljuks captured Ephesus in 1130, the church was converted into a mosque and later served as a bazaar until it was finally destroyed by an earthquake. Although only partially-restored, the basilica ruins that remain give a good idea of the awesome size of the original building.
Located in Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia was originally a basilica constructed for the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I in the sixth century. A masterwork of Roman engineering, the massive dome (31 meters or 102 feet in diameter) covers what was for over 1000 years the largest enclosed space in the world. The church was looted by the fourth Crusaders in 1204, and became a mosque in the 15th century when The Ottomans conquered the city. The Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935 and is now one of the top attractions in Turkey.
Impossibly turquoise-blue water. Check. Lush green forest tumbling down a cliff to a white sand beach. Check. The sheltered inlet of Olu Deniz, just a short journey from Fethiye, is Turkey’s most famous beach, and with scenery that might as well have fallen off a perfect postcard, it’s easy to see why its popularity hasn’t waned. If the beach gets too crowded, it’s time to take to the skies and experience the stunning aerial views on a tandem paragliding dive off the summit of mighty Babadag Mountain, which rises up behind the shore. Oh, did we mention that Olu Deniz is one of the world’s top paragliding destinations? Check.
The fifteenth century former residence of the Ottoman Sultans, the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul is a huge, ornate palatial compound which was a focal point of Istanbul’s social and political life for hundreds of years. A UNESCO World Heritage site, visitors flock through its gates to see its Ottoman architecture, courtyards and famous Muslim and Christian relics. A must see sight, it consistently ranks among the top attractions in Turkey. The Harem is also quite popular, but costs extra. Audio tours are available.
When you visit the entrancing ancient city of Ephesus take your time to explore everything and use your time to see the best of Ephesus Tours, so you can completely understand why it is the most famous archaeological attractions in Turkey. The culture and history that you will learn when you are on any Ephesus day tour with a guide will be fascinating, and you will not regret it. You do not necessarily have to be an expert historian or amateur archaeologist to understand the ancient city and the knowledge it has given the world your private Ephesus tour will do that for you. Extra details on https://www.goodmantours.com/ephesus.
The Hagia Sophia was once a house of worship that served several religions well over the centuries. It started out as a Greek Eastern Orthodox basilica that was home to the Patriarch of Constantinople when it was built in 537. For almost six decades in the 12th century it was a Roman Catholic church. It became a mosque in 1453, remaining that way until 1931, when it was closed. It reopened as a museum in 1935. At one time, it was the largest cathedral in the world at one time, and served as the inspiration for other mosques, including the Blue Mosque, as it was such a great example of Byzantine architecture. It is most famous for its mosaics depicting various religious scenes.