Divan Suites Istanbul G-Plus Address
Gunesli is one of Istanbul’s most important new business districts, and it is an exemplar of the rapid economic growth and progress that have transformed this city. Today, Istanbul is one of the world’s most exciting metropolises, a hub of contemporary design and fashion, as well as a treasure-house of splendours from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras. It beckons visitors with historic sites and natural beauty alike, and few things can compare with cruising the Bosphorus Strait, taking in its unique combination of aquatic and architectural elegance.
Istanbul Forum Shopping Mall
One of Istanbul’s largest shopping malls, this retail paradise features 265 brands in a 495,000 square metre (5.3 million sq.ft.) shopping emporium that offers an outstanding mix of Turkish and international brands, as well as the Turkauzoo aquarium and the Jurassic Land edutainment facility. For an enjoyable afternoon or evening out, Istanbul Forum also has a 10-screen cinema, bowling and a fun club.
The Great Palaca / Mosaic Museum
The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors was one of the wonders of the medieval world. It covered a vast area, stretching all the way from the Hippodrome to the Sea of Marmara, but by the time of the Turkish conquest it already lay in ruins. The ruins gradually disappeared under later construction until, in the 20th century, a series of superb floor mosaics were found beneath what is now the Arasta Bazaar. These include graphic depictions of violent animal combat, but also more gentle, pastoral scenes. We may soon have a much clearer idea of how the Great Palace would have looked during its heyday, since a very extensive area of it is now being excavated, and some exciting discoveries have been made, including entire vaulted halls painted with frescoes. At the time of writing these are not yet open to the public, since work is on-going.
Sokullu Mehmet Pasha & Rüstem Pasha Mosques
Both designed by Sinan, the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire, these mosques were commissioned by the grand viziers of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Both also have exquisite and very extensive Iznik tile decoration, but their internal arrangements are quite distinctive: the former is a hexagon within a square, the latter an octagon within a square, both, of course, capped with impressive domes. It is in these smaller, vizierial mosques, rather than the great imperial mosques such as the Suleymaniye that Sinan’s ingenuity and originality are best displayed.