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Istanbul City Museum

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Istanbul City Museum: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul Half-Day Historic Tour of Byzantium

1. Istanbul Half-Day Historic Tour of Byzantium

This 4-hour tour takes you back to the days when Istanbul was capital of the Byzantine Empire, a period of more than 1,000 years, from the 4th to the 15th-Century AD. You will start at the natural naval harbor of the Byzantines, named the Golden Horn due to its hornlike shape and golden reflection under sunshine when viewed from the hill tops. Visit the Patriarchate at Fener, the seat of Orthodox Christianity after Constantine The Great declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Continue to the Church of Panagia of Blachernae, the best known and most celebrated shrine of the Holy Virgin, famed for its “Hagiasma” (holy water) and the “Hagion Lousma” (sacred bath). You will stop at St. Savior in Chora, now the Kariye Museum, but originally a Byzantine monastery with fantastic mosaics and frescoes that portray scenes from the bible. Next you will go to Anemas Dungeons, part of the Blachernae Palace and unique in the world for its architectural structure. Used as a prison for high ranking statesmen, it consisted of 14 separate dungeons, each with 2 basements below sea-level. Tour Tekfur Palace, built in the 12th-Century, adjacent to the city walls, and the only surviving pavilion of the Blachernae Palace. Finally you will see the remains of the 5th-Century Byzantine city walls, which surrounded the acropolis of Byzantium and were 13 miles (22 kilometers) long, with 96 towers and 9 main gates.

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What people are saying about Istanbul City Museum

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 7 reviews

An excellent tour of the Orthodox history of Istanbul.

An excellent tour guide who was very polite and patient. A comprehensive history was given. We visited three Orthodox Christian churches. The history of the buildings is equal to the relics and mosaics within the churches. This is a tour that must be completed as it compliments the Hagia Sofia. Of course the Church of Chora is the jewel in the crown. Be truly amazed at the biblical mosaics. A pilgrimage. Overall, excellent.

I liked very much the Konstantinopol city walls and all the churches Specifically Chora is definitelly worth seeing. The mozaiks are amazing. Also the greek Red school is impressive, would be great if one Day they allowed people in to See it inside. Definity beautiful Tour, worth to take

Great guide - very clear, informative, eager to answer questions. The itinerary was very good, only sorry that the Chora church was closed.