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Toamn\/Autumn 2006


Moscheea Albastr\ / The Blue Mosque

In The Labyrinth Of

Ortakoy, una dintre cele mai importante moschee din Istanbul / Ortakoy Mosque. One of the important mosque in Istanbul

The Grand Bazar TO WALK THROUGH THE URBAN COLOSSUS THAT IS THE FASCINATING METROPOLIS OF TURKEY ONE OF THE WONDERS OF THIS WORLD, TO DARE APPROACH IT AS A MERE TRAVELER SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT TO DO THIS CAN BE AN EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE. f course, famous tourist sites are in abundance along the way. There are so many stars in all the guides that even the locals need months or even years to visit them all at least once. The Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, The Topkapi Palace to name but a few of the multitude of monuments on offer, in this lavish verse of architecture it is worth being lost for hours, if you are not put off by the interminable array of coaches which constantly “unload“ thousands of tourists. You should save a special moment for the Cistern Basilica, which used to be a vital water reserve for this great city. Here, you are surrounded by such silence, coolness and mysterious beauty, it is hard to imagine you a few meters away from the outside volcano, and you are not compelled to explore further. But be


wary of the damp steps that prove to be slippery. The streets of Istanbul themselves provide fabulous scenery, impressive places of vitality, spice and color. Any street is a vivid show where thousands of intricate dramas unfold simultaneously, all caught up in the grand spectacle, entwined in perfume and poetry. Its rhythm, its heat, can only be perceived by exploring step-bystep and, as much as possible, by taking time.

ABANDON ALL RESTRAINT, YOU WHO ENTER HERE The Grand Bazaar, the magnificent Kapalicarsi located in one of the most ancient corners of this European city, has always been a favorite of tourists’. Legend says that its origins lay in the two great halls built by the decree of Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror. The city from these “modest“ beginnings

slowly evovlved into a huge commercial center, as the merchants set up their stalls, bars and shops around these two magnificent stone buildings. Any tourist is simply overwhelmed by the sheer labyrinth of alleys, corridors and galleries, which entangle under the same roof, continuously weaving and growing, and ultimately by the immense size of the spectacular bazaar some 30 hectares in all. Incorporating over 4,300 stores and stools, 25,000 employees, more than 60 streets, and even two mosques. It is just as fascinating today as it was in the past. Enter one of the 18 gates and immerse yourself in the city’s labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys littered with alcoves. The Grand Bazaar is divided into quarters, each of them dedicated to a certain product: leather, copper, carpets, jewelry, lamps, hubble-bubbles, clothes, antiques... ®