PRIVATE NON-TOURIST EXCURSIONS IN ISTANBUL with expert guides Departure to visit the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art. The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art is an attractive, well-designed museum containing one of the world's best collections of Islamic objects. The Ibrahim Paþa Palace is one of the few surviving private Ottoman residences. The main concentration of pieces exhibited in the museum deal with Seljuk, Mamluk and Ottoman Turkish art. We continue with the visit of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. The Istanbul Archaeological Museum houses a beautiful collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, including pieces from Ephesus and Troy, as well as a magnificent tomb believed to have belonged to Alexander the Great. Outside the museum there is a small garden strewn with pieces of statues and tombstones. Lunch in the Pera neighborhood, in the Pasaje del Arte. We continue with the visit of the Istanbul Modern Museum, the first private museum dedicated to modern art in Turkey. The Istanbul Modern holds regular and permanent art exhibitions on modern and contemporary art, photography galleries, educational and social programs, and offers a wide range of services, such as its library, cinema, cafe and gift shop. In addition, it contributes to the presentation of Turkey and the enrichment of cultural tourism with its exhibitions held in important museums around the world. At the end of the visits we will have tea in the magnificent Belle Epoque room of the emblematic Orient Express Hotel: Pera Palace. We will begin our visit with the so-called Zero Point, which is supposed to have been the center of the ancient world in Roman times. We will visit the recently restored Byzantine Cistern of Theodosius (Serefiye) where water for the Imperial Palace was stored between its columns. We will meet the Column of Constantine. This 35 meter high Column was built in the year 330 as part of the celebrations for the consecration of the new Capital of Byzantium. Made of porphyry brought from Egypt. Initially it was crowned by a Corinthian capital on which stood a statue of the Emperor Constantine dressed as Apollo, a storm toppled it in 1106. Next we will visit the old church of Christ Pantocrator from the 12th century and which later became a mosque. Originally this building was made up of 2 churches and a chapel built as mausoleums by the Komnenos dynasty (year 1118) which continued to be used as such by the Palaiologos dynasty. Lunch. In the afternoon we will take a panoramic tour of the Walls of ancient Constantinople. The Walls of Constantinople were built by Emperor Theodosius II in the year 413. These solid walls, several stories high and between three and six meters thick, protected Constantinople from the constant attacks of the Huns, Bulgarians, Russians, Arabs, Goths and Turks. The walls were only crossed twice, by the Crusaders in 1204 and by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. Next we will visit the museum of the old Byzantine palace of Tekfur. The Palace of the Porphyrogenetas was a Byzantine imperial palace built by Constantine Porphyrogénitus between 1261 and 1291 on the basis of structures from the 10th and 11th centuries. It is the last of the buildings erected in the grounds of the Blanquernae Palace, the residence of the Byzantine emperors since its march of the Grand Palace. In Ottoman times it was used as a stable and later as a ceramics factory. Recently restored by the city council of Istanbul. At the end of the day, we will visit the Santa Maria de los Mongols church. Known for its pink exterior, the Church of St. Mary of the Mongols was established in 1282 by Princess Maria Palaiologina, the illegitimate daughter of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. After having lost her husband Hulagu Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson, Mary returned to Constantinople and became a nun in her eponymous church. One of the only Byzantine churches not to have been converted into a mosque, the Ottoman royal decree that granted the structure to the Orthodox Church can still be found framed and hanging inside. We will also make a panoramic visit to the ancient Greek Orthodox school of Fener. SINAN ARCHITECT Day We leave by private car to the Suleymaniye area where we have the Soliman the Magnificent mosque. Visit to the Soliman Mosque was built between 1550 - 1557 by order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled between 1520 - 1566. The project was carried out by Sinan, the most famous Ottoman architect. In the period of the Sultanate of Suleiman the Magnificent, the empire expanded to its maximum and approached the extent of the Byzantine Empire in the brilliant era of Emperor Justinian. We will know the tomb of

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