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Exploring the architecture of the Ottoman Empire's three capital cities

At its height, the Ottoman empire was one of the largest to have existed and during its pinnacle, it bestowed on the world a wealth of architectural gems, particularly in the time of the Sultan Süleyman and his chief architect Mimar Sinan. Without question the Ottoman Empire’s leading architect, Mimar Sinan was responsible for the construction of some four hundred mosques, bridges, madrassas, hospitals and other buildings across an empire stretching from the Balkans to Arabia and North Africa to the Crimea. Over the course of this fascinating tour of the Ottoman heartlands, we’ll examine some of his very best works with a critical eye. Genius though he undoubtedly was, Sinan’s architecture was built on the works of his predecessors, and our tour of the three capital cities of the empire, first Bursa, then Edirne and finally Istanbul, will give us the opportunity to see how Ottoman architecture developed from its early period to its apogee under Süleyman the Magnificent.

Tour highlights:

  • Explore the luxurious Topkapı Palace complex, superbly situated on a hilltop at the tip of Istanbul’s historic peninsula
  • Take in the majestic Süleymaniye Mosque complex atop Istanbul’s third hill, marvelling at the genius of Sinan and the canny philanthropy of sultan Süleyman the Magnificent
  • Wander cobbled streets lined by beautifully-restored Ottoman houses in quaint Cumalıkızık near Bursa
  • Admire the innovative design of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne; in surpassing the size of the dome of the Haghia Sophia Sinan’s, renowned modesty was no doubt given its biggest test
Tour dates & prices

Included in your cost:

  • Expert Guide Lecturer
  • Professional Tour Manager
  • Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
  • Meals as per the itinerary, tea or coffee with dinner
  • Accommodation
  • Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
  • All taxes & gratuities
  • Field notes
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