The Bosphorus, which
connects Marmara Sea and Black Sea, is one of the most exquisite
places in the world, with a width of maximum 3.200 m and minimum 550
m, maximum depth of 118 m and its length is 31,5 km. It was naturally
formed at the beginning of the IVth Geological Era as the sea water
occupied the deep valley. During the ages of Byzantine and Ottoman
Empire small settlements Cropped up at both shores of Bosphorus and it
was very much esteemed by the sultans and pashas where they built
their kiosks and yalis (water-side residences) as of the 18th
Wearing effect of time
caused the wooden buildings demolish and they were replaced with new
ones. In place of the wooden Besiktas Palaces there appeared the
Dolmabahçe Palace and also
was rebuilt while stone buildings like Goksu were built and gave the
Bosphorus its final outlook.
With its architecture
matching its natural delights the Bosphorus reached and
incomparable beauty. The buildings embroidering the shores of free-flowing
waters, being embraced by a green background as a whole offer a
view of unceasing delight. Such a wonderful cruise will provide
unforgettable memories. For this to attend a trip with a tourist
ferry taking off from the Eminonu Jetty will suffice.
If you have the
opportunity to take part in one of the private boat cruises or
yachts, the trip will be even more delightful. Our tourist ferry
will start leaving Topkapi
and Suleymaniye Mosque
behind. The Karakoy
Jetty will be crossed arriving in front of Tophane. Here we see
the Nusretiye Mosque, built by Sultan Mahmut II in Empiric style
in 1825. The lead-covered mosque behind this mosque is a work of
Mimar Sinan, who dedicated it to Kiliç Ali Pasha. Passing Findikli
and the very lively Kabatas Jetty, the Dolmabahçe Palace appears
with its mosque and Clock Tower. The mosque was dedicated to
Sultan Abdulmecits mother, Bezm-ialem Valide Sultan and was built
by Mimar Karabet Balyan in 1853. The Clock Tower between the
mosque and the palace is 27 m high, and was built by Mimar Serkis
Balyan in 1890 during Sultan Abdulhamit's reign. The palace built
by Karabet Balyan by the order of Sultan Abdulmecit between the
years 1843-1856 is 284 m long, and it is an ornament to the
Bosphorus. The palace has three stories consisting of the mens
part, entertainment hall and the harem.
The separate premises
next to the palace used to be the crown princes residence and
today serves as the Paintings and Statues museum. Our tourist boat
will steer to the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha Jetty named after the
famous Turkish sailor.
A bit further there
is the Naval Museum where the imperial boats of the Ottoman era
are displayed. Behind the jetty, Barbaros tomb designed by Sinan
and Sinan Pasha mosque, dating back to 1553, are visible. Past the
State Guest House, the Çiragan Palace offers a magnificent view.
Sultan Abdulaziz spent very little time in this palace which he
ordered to be built by Serkis Balyan between the years 1863-1867,
while Sultan Murad IV lived here for 28 years. After 1909 the
palace was used as Meclis-i Mebusan (Parliament) building and was
destroyed by a fire on January 20, 1919. It was restored in recent
years and is functioning today together with an adjoining hotel.
The green background to the Çiragan Palace belongs to Yildiz Park.
Here takes place the Yildiz Palace with the sale (Chalet) Kiosk
which was opened as museum and the Çadir and Malta kiosks which
were recently restored and are being used as cafés. After the
Çiragan Palace, the Ortakoy Mosque can be seen with its lean
minarets and exquisite craftsmanship. Passing this mosque which
Sultan Abdulmecit ordered to be built by Karabet Balyan in 1854 in
Baroque style, we see the wooden yalis which Sultan Abdulhamid
II gave to his daughters and they sail under the bridge, a 20th
century symbol. The bridge which connects Europe and Asia is 1074
m long and was opened to traffic in 1973. Then comes Kuruçesme.
Here, we see the Galatasaray Island, covering a 1499 sq.m. area.
The few remaining castles in the midst of green gardens offer an
unique view. Arnavutkoys architecture of adjoining buildings is
different from the rest. Then we come to the pearl of the
Bosphorus, the Bebek Bay. With its yachts, houses and green
hinterland, Bebek is the most elegant district of Istanbul. At the
seaside, adjoining the park, the building of the Egyptian
Consulate built in Art Nouveau style can be seen. This building
was dedicated to the mother of Abbas Hilmi Pasha, Governor of
Egypt. A bit further there is the Bebek Mosque built by Mimar
Kemalettin between the years 1910-1913. The Kavafyan House dating
back to 1751 and the Bosphorus University surrounded by green
scenery seem to look down at the Bebek Bay. After Bebek, our boat
steers to Rumelihisari. Here we get face to face with the
magnificent Sultan Mehmed Bridge looking like the second collier
of the Bosphorus.The view of Rumelihisari embracing the sea seems
to melt into the silhouette of the bridge. Before conquering
Istanbul, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror ordered Rumelihisari to be
built opposite to Anadoluhisari in 1452 to safeguard the Bosphorus.
The big tower next to the door was built by Sadrazam Çandarli
Halil Pasha, the towers to the north by vizier Saruca Pasha, and
the tower to the south by Zaganos Pasha.This magnificent monument
was finished in 4 months prior to the conquering of Istanbul. The
building on top of the Hisar surrounded by parks belonged to the
famous Turkish poet Tevfik Fikret and today is referred to as
Baltalimani, we see a building used as hospital today which was
built by the order of Buyuk Resit Pasha and given to Princess
Fatma as gift. After Baltalimani, we reach Emirgan. We see the
Serifler Yalisi, which was built in 1635 by serif Abdulillah Pasha.
This yali was originally intended as summerhouse and the part
remaining to be seen today is the mens castle.The green hills
belonging to Emirgan Park, some historical castles in this park
have been restored and are now being used for touristic purposes.
After Emirgan with lots of green parks our ferry passes a bay in
Istinye and reaches Yenikoy where shores are adorned by yalis.
The Afif Pasha Yalisi is striking with its exquisite craftsmanship.One
yali built in Yenikoy by Abbas Halim Pasha, Governor of Egypt in
the 19th century is known by the name of his brother Sadrazam Sait
Halim Pasha. On the other side of the jetty we can see the Faik
and Bekir Beyler yalis, the Kalkavanlar Yalisi and many others.
The Italian Consulate is also an interesting architectural building.
Past Yenikoy and
sailing towards Tarabya, the view is enhanced by the Kalender
Orduevi (army-house), Huber Pasha Yalisi and Tarabya Grand Hotel.
In Buyukdere, one of the yalis was bought by the Koç family and
converted into the Sadberk Hanim Museum. Today the archaeology and
ethnography sections of this museum are noteworthy. Sariyer and
Rumelikavagi are known for their cheap and fresh fish restaurants.Opposite
Rumelikavagi takes place Anadolukavagi. The boat stays here for
two hours.After eating fish at Rumelikavagi, the sightseeing
continues at the other side of the Bosphorus. First we view the
Beykoz Pavilion. This pavilion amidst a green park was built by
Mehmet Ali Kavalali, Governor of Egypt and given as a gift to
Sultan Abdulmecit in 1854. Then we steer to Pasabahçe where the
Bottle, Glass and Raki factories are situated and pass Çubuklu
where on top of a hill we see the Kuleli building and the Hidiv
Pavilion.Being built by Abbas Hilmi Pasha, Khedive of Egypt this
castle has been restored in recent years and now is used for
touristic purposes. After Çubuklu we pass the poetic Kanlica bay
and arrive in Anadoluhisari. This Hisar (castle) was built in 1395
by Yildirim Beyazit. The oldest yali between Kanlica-Anadoluhisari
is the Amcazade Huseyin Pasha Yalisi. From this red vaccine
painted yali dating back to 1699, there remains only the Divan
house today. The ceiling plated with gold and flower panel-covered
walls are very interesting.They were restored recently. Another
Yali in Kanlica is the Etem Pertev Yalisi, a wooden embroidery
which stood up to the year by preserving its original outlook.
Still another striking yali is the red painted Hekimbasi Salih
Efendi Yalisi between Kanlica and Anadolu Hisari. This Yali
consists of one-floor, two-floor and three-floor premises and was
built by Sultan Abdulmecits Chief Physician Salih Efendi in 1848.
Sailing past Hisar, the Kuçuksu Pavilion near the Kuçuksu Stream
displays an exquisite stone craftsmanship. It was ordered to be
built as a three-story building by Sultan Abdulmecit in 1856.
The interior part is
decorated with elegant pencil drawings. The graceful fountain in
front of the pavilion, built in Empiric style, was dedicated to
Sultan Selim IIIs mother Princess Mihrisah in 1806. When our boat
reaches Kandilli, we see the Count Ostrorog Yalisi with a
background of green forest. This red-painted yali with plenty of
windows was built by a Polish count.The count arrived in Istanbul
in 1900 and became a legal adviser to the Ottoman Empire. Next to
this yali is the Mehmet Emin Pasha Yalisi, which has a long
frontage towards the sea and was built by Mehmet Emin Pasha who
became Governor of Aleppo in 1850 and later a Grand-Vizier.Between
Kandilli and Çengelkoy, we see the Kuleli Askeri Lisesi (Military
School) a stone building with long frontage, dating back to 1863.
A bit further to the jetty in Çengelkoy we can see the red vaccine
painted Sadullah Pasha Yalisi.Built in the 18th century, this
building passed from hand to hand until it was acquired by
Sadullah Pasha in 19th century and became known under his name.
The original drawings in the oval room of this two story building
are striking. When our boat comes to the vicinity of Beylerbeyi
Jetty, we can see next to the jetty the mosque built by Sultan
Abdulhamid I for his mother Princess Rabia in 1778. Then we are
face to face with the magnificence of
which contrasts with the Bosphorus bridge.It was built as a summer
palace by architect Serkis Balyan upon the order of Sultan
Abdulaziz between the years 1861-1865. It has three floors
consisting of mens (selamlik) and womens (harem) divisions. The
furniture is an example of that time. In the upper part of the
wide garden are three kiosks known as Yellow, Marble and Stable
kiosks. Past Beylerbeyi the Fethi Ahmet Pasha Yalisi in Kuzguncuk
known as Pink Yali was built in the 18th century. In Uskudar we
see a mosque built by Architect Sinan for Kanuni Sultan Suleymans
daughter Princess Mihrimah at the jetty place that dates back to
1548 and at the shore there is the Semsi Pasha Mosque built by the
same architect in 1580. Not far from here is the Kiz Kulesi (Maidens
Tower), one of
the symbols of Istanbul.
The tower was erected
on rocks at 180 m. distance to the shore in 1718 after the
Byzantine original collapsed. We now finish our trip between the
historical monuments of the most beautiful passage in the world.
This tour amongst nature and history will provide you
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