Awesome Turkey … the land at the intersection between East and West influences. With its stunning, lonely setting, built into a cliff face, Sumela Monastery (Monastery of the Virgin Mary) is the star attraction for visitors along the Black Sea Coast. Wandering around this abandoned religious complex, with its church interiors crammed with dazzling and vibrant frescoes, is a must for anyone who makes the long journey to Turkey’s northeast region. The monastery first opened during the Byzantine era and was only closed in 1923. Today, wandering its empty cells, it’s easy to imagine the isolated lives of the monks who once lived here.
With its six minarets and sweeping architecture the Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque in Istanbul impresses from the outside. While still used as a mosque, the Blue Mosque has also become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. It was built between 1609 and 1616 and like many other mosques contains the tomb of the founder. Inside the mosque, the high ceiling is lined with the 20,000 blue tiles with different patterns that give the mosque its popular name. More details on custom Turkey tours
The Gallipoli Campaign in World War One saw months of bitter fighting between Allied troops – particularly those of Australia and New Zealand – and the forces of the Ottoman Empire. It was an attempt by the Allies to knock the Ottomans out of the war and its failure marked a high-point for Ottoman forces during the conflict. In modern times, the battlefields of this campaign are marked with a series of memorials, museums and cemeteries where visitors can pay their respects and learn about the sombre history of these costly events. Today, it is at Anzac Cove where the annual commemorative Anzac Day ceremonies are held.
The Blue Mosque, built in the early 17th century, remains an active house of worship today. This means visitors need to time their visits carefully, as the mosque is closed to sightseers during the five daily prayer times for Muslims. All visitors must remove their shoes and women must cover their hair. This is a small price to pay for seeing its priceless treasures that include 20,000 ceramic tiles in various tulip designs and 200 stained glass windows, all with intricate designs. The mosque, built by Sultan Ahmet, takes its name from the blue tiles on the dome and the upper levels of the interior.
Tourist Attraction of the day in Cappadocia : Incredibly cute and perfectly photogenic, G?reme has been voted one of the most beautiful villages in the world by several travel magazines for good reason. The village is half buried into the hill, its stone house facades hiding a maze of cave rooms below. The fresco-adorned El Nazar Kilise (Evil Eye Church) and Sakli Kilise (Hidden Church) are both on M?ze Caddesi, a short walk from the center on the way to G?reme Open-Air Museum.
The village is the main base for walkers itching to head out on a hike, with all the main valleys branching out from here offering a plethora of trails that lead past kooky rock formations, known locally as fairy chimneys, and hidden cave churches up to panoramic viewpoints.
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