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İstanbul Resimleri View on Eminönü İskele

The Bosphorus separates the European and the Asian parts of Istanbul. In its most narrow part the Bosphorus or Boğaz in Turkish, is only 650 meters wide and its maximum separation is 4.5 km. The Bosphorus strait is 35 km long and connects the Marmara Sea in the south to the Black Sea in the north. It is spanned by two large bridges: the Bosphorus Bridge or Boğaziçi Köprüsü, which was opened in 1973 at the 50th anniversary of the Turkish Republic; and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprü (bridge of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror), which became in use in 1988 and has a ten meter larger span.

Leaving Istanbul's urban congestion, an all day boat trip along the Bosporus, passing small towns and summer mansions, is always appreciated. This mini-cruise is cheaply organized by public ferry (about 5 €) leaving from the Eminönü-Kavaklar Boğaziçi Özel Gezi Seferleri (Eminonu-Kavaklar Bosphorus Special Touristic Excursions) at 10.35 (be sure to be on board at least half an hour before departure). An alternative is provided by Dentur Avrasya Bosphorus Tour that leaves at Kabataş Iskele. The boat stops at Beşiktaş (Europe), Kanlıca (Asia), Yeniköy (Europe), Sarıyer (Europe), Rumeli Kavağı (Europe), and finally after 1.5 hour arrives at Anadolu Kavağı (Asia) at the mouth of the Black Sea.

The journey passes first Karaköy, the district just across the Galata Bridge, then passes the Dolmabahçe Mosque and Palace, which were built between 1843 and 1856 on the order of Sultan Abdül-Mecid by the Armenian architect Garabet Balian and his son Nikoğos. The Dolmabahçe mosque was finished in 1853 and is built in Ottoman baroque-rococo style. The mosque is known for having the finest minarets of Istanbul. Next, the boat passes the Çırağan Palace with its 300 m marble facade facing the shore. The Çiragan palace was built in 1874 under the directive of Sultan Abdülaziz, destroyed by fire on January 19, 1910 and has been restored as a grand hotel (Çırağan-Kempinsky Hotel). At Ortaköy, the next stop, artists gather every Sunday to exhibit their works in a street side gallery. In Ortaköy, a church, a mosque, and a synagogue have existed side by side for centuries, a tribute to Turkish tolerance. The Ortaköy Mosque is superbly situated on a point extending into the Bosphorus. The mosque was built under the directive of Sultan Abdülmecid in 1854-55 by the Armenian architect Nikoğos Balyan, who designed it in Ottoman baroque-rococo style. The wide, high windows let the ever-changing light reflections of the Bosphorus shine in the mosque. The mosque is now overshadowed by one of the world’s largest suspension bridges, the Bosphorus Bridge, linking Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus bridge or Boğaziçi Köprüsü is a suspension bridge of about 1560 metres long, going between Ortaköy in Europe and Beylerbeyi in Asia. It was the first bridge built over the Bosphorus and the construction was finished in 1973.

Here are the photos of the Bosphorus tour, click on the thumbnails to see greater pictures

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