Architects League: Architectural Tour of Turkey

AIA-NJ Ar

AIA NJ members just returned from a tour of Turkey 9/10 thru 9/19/2015!

This an Architectural Tour of Turkey arranged by the Architects League of Northern NJ for AIA NJ members. The tour was pre-approved Continuing Education program for 27 LUs. The following is a highlight of the trip.

Day 1 – Istanbul, meet with architectural tour director on the Pierre Loti Hill view of the Golden Horn and embark on Bosphorus Cruise From the Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, new luxury villas In contrast with old Ottoman Houses and the Rumeli Fortress. Visit Egyptian Spice Market, that was built in the 17th century A.D. and also the Rustempasa Mosque with its beautiful Iznik tiles. The mosque was built in 1560 by the imperial architect Sinan for the son in law of the grand vizier of Suleyman the Magnificent.

Day 2 – Istanbul Architectural tour of “Sultan Ahmet Square”, the heart of the “Old City” from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled. Hagia Sophia, the Church of the Divine Wisdom, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating the Hippodrome.  Topkapı Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans exhibiting imperial treasury, sacred Islamic relics of Prophet Mohammed, kitchen, Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy section etc. Visit the Underground Cistern. 6 hours

Day 3 – Istanbul, architectural tour of the Kariye Museum (Chora Church) with its 14th century mosaics and frescoes with scenes from the Bible. The Istanbul’s Byzantine City Walls that were for the most part built during the 5th century by Emperor Theodosius and are 8 km long. Topkapi Gate takes its name from the time of Fatih (Mehmet). At the end of the walls on the Marmara Sea side of the city walls view the Castle of the Seven Towers. It was used as a prison during Byzantine and Ottoman times. Explore the “Selamlik” chambers of the 19th c. Dolmabahce Palace.

Day 4 – Visit of the historic Archaeological museum and Architectural walking tour in Istiklal Streetd for over 150 years has been the center of the nightlife of the city. During daylight, visit Armenian and Romaic churches, ancient districts, In the Byzantine period. It was in the Byzantine period that the area began to be called Galata and a fortress was built by Emperor Theodosius II. Galata was a Genoese colony from the 6th to 15th centuries.

Day 5 – Cappadocia, visit to Devrent Valley where various types of fairy chimneys are abundant. Visit Pasabagi (Monk’s Valley) with multiple stems and caps, peculiar to this area. To Avanos which is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. The red clay which is worked by local craftsmen comes from the residue in the Kizilirmak River, the longest river of Turkey. Then to Goreme Open Air Museum chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescos painted on the walls. Visit Uchisar Castle.

Day 6 – Cappadocia, start with a hot air balloon ride over the Cappadocia Valley, visit to Rose Valley, one of the most beautiful trekking valleys in Cappadocia, and explore the famous rock- cut churches by hiking through the valley. Rest in Cavusin, an old Greek village, known for its Christian houses and churches. Visit Ortahisar Castle, and visit Kaymakli Underground City where early Christians lived in fear and faith.

Day 7 – Cappadocia, to Ihlara Valley, created from the ashes of the volcanic Mt. Hasan. which is watered with Melendiz River by Belisirma, proceed to Selime with hollowed out citadel and churches where fairy chimneys rest on the steep hillside. Stop at Yaprakhisar village, visit to Derinkuyu Underground Village where dwellings with stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches and wineries were used as refuges for the Christian communities.

Day 8 – Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary Tour: A tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world, and explore 2,000 year-old Marble streets, a theater, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Also a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John.

Day 9 Izmir – Discover Izmir with a visit of the Archaeological Museum, Walking tour through the ancient Agora, and the iconic clock tower at the Konack Square.

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