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Istanbul - Views From the Bosphorus

River Pilgrim • 9 minutes read • August 26th, 2016
The Bosphorus is the strait between Europe and Asia Minor, connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. 


is situated on both sides of the strait. According to the legend, the strait got its name in honor of the daughter of the ancient king of the Argives - the beautiful love of Zeus named Io, who was turned into a white cow by Zeus to avoid the wrath of his wife Hera. Poor Io chose the waterway to save herself, diving into the blue depth of the Strait, which has been called the "cow passage" or the Bosphorus ever since.

We embarked on the pleasure boat which took us to the place behind the 

Galata Bridge

in the Gulf of the Golden Horn. We bought our tickets on the waterfront. Because we didn't have local Lire, we had to withdraw money from an ATM there. The tour cost us 9 Lire per person and it lasted a little more than an hour. 
The Golden Horn is the bay in the Bosphorus. It is an inlet of the Bosphorus with a curved shape, going deep in the mainland. Its length is 7 miles (12.2 km), width is 298 - 400 feet (91 - 122 m), depth - 154 feet (47 m). In the center, there is the Galata Tower - one of the symbols of the city. The tower's height is 200 feet (61 meters), 29 feet (9 meters) wide and 459 feet (140 meters) above sea level. 
The Galata Bridge spanned through the Golden Horn. It is a two-story structure with a walking area and restaurants on the first floor, and a road for cars and trams on the second floor. The central part of the bridge can be drawn. It should be noted that this is the fifth version of the bridge, from 1992.
In the meantime, garbage and other wastes were being removed from our ship.
We headed from the inlet to the Bosphorus at full speed. Strait's length is about 18 miles (30 km) with a maximum width of 12139 feet (3700 m) in the north, and a minimum width of 2296 feet (700 m). Straight ahead, we could see the 

Bosphorus Bridge

, one of two bridges across the strait.
Here's the European part of Istanbul.
Dolmabahce is the palace of the Turkish sultans on the European side of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul. Its construction lasted from 1842 to 1853. 28,000 lbs (14 tons) of gold were used for the decoration of the Crystal Staircase and other areas. Among the main attractions, there is the chandelier of Bohemian glass, donated by Queen Victoria, weighing nearly 10,000 lbs (5 tons), and the collection of paintings by Aivazovsky done by the artist by the order of Sultan. After the fall of the monarchy, Atatürk settled in the palace; he died there on November 10, 1938. Desert Palace had served as a museum until September 2007, when the Turkish parliament gave it back its political function, turning Dolmabahce into the official residence of the Prime Minister.
The Suleymaniye Mosque is the second most important mosque and the largest in Istanbul; more than 5,000 believers perform religious rites here. The mosque is located in the old part of the city, in the Vefa district. It was built by the orders of Sultan Suleyman, the Lawgiver, by architect Sinan during the years 1550-1557. The dome is 173 feet (53 meters) tall and 86 feet (26.5 meters) wide.  
In the foreground, you can see Valide Sultan Mosque, and behind it, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
This is the Bosphorus Bridge - the first suspension bridge over the Bosphorus. It connects the European and Asian parts of Istanbul.
The length of the bridge is 5118 feet (1560 meters), the length of the main span is 3523 feet (1074 meters), the width of the bridge is 108 feet (33 meters), and the bents are 541 feet (165 meters) above the water. Distance from the roadway to the water surface is 209 feet (64 meters).
The beginning of the bridge's construction that had originally been planned for 1950, actually began on February 20, 1970. The bridge was officially opened on October 29, 1973, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. This is a toll bridge, pedestrians are not allowed on the bridge (due to the fact that people regularly used the bridge to commit suicide).
Living and working on the Bosphorus.
On the European coast, near another bridge over the Bosphorus, there is the Rumelihisari fortress.
Rumelihisari was built on the banks of the Bosphorus (in its narrowest part) opposite of the Anadoluhisarı fortress in 1452. It was constructed to cut off Constantinople from the Black Sea and begin preparations for the attack. The fortress was built in record time for that period - within 4 months and 16 days. After the construction, it became impossible to sail through the Bosphorus, so the narrow space between the fortresses and the fortress itself was called the "Throat Cutter".
Here's one of the towers of the fortress - Halil Pasha.
Near the fortress, there is the second bridge of Istanbul over the Bosphorus, but our boat did not reach it, so we made a turn in front of the fortress. According to its characteristics, it is similar to the Bosphorus Bridge: the length of the bridge is 4950 feet (1510 meters), the main span's length is 3576 feet (1090 meters), the width of the bridge is 127 feet (39 meters). The bents are 541 feet (165 meters) above the water. There are 209 foot (64 meters) between the roadway and the surface of the water. Construction of the bridge began in 1985 and ended in 1988. The bridge officially opened on May 29, 1988, tied with the 535th anniversary of the conquest of the city. It was named after the conqueror of Istanbul - Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.
And this is a view of the Bosphorus Bridge and a ship moving through the strait. Ship traffic is incredibly intense here. The Bosphorus is one of the most important straits because it provides access to the Mediterranean and to the world's oceans for a large part of Russia, Ukraine, Transcaucasus, and south-eastern Europe. In addition to the agricultural and industrial products, a key player in the export through the Bosporus is oil, from Russia and the Caspian region.
Navigation depth of the strait is between 118 to 406 feet (36 to 124 meters).
You can see the Asian part of the city in the next pictures.
And here is the European part again.
Sultan's Topkapi Palace was the main palace of the Ottoman Empire until the mid 19th century. It is located on the cape of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn in Istanbul's historic center. In 1453, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror ordered to build a new Topkapi Palace on the ruins of the palace of the Byzantine emperors. In the following centuries, the building of the palace was completed and enriched. In 1854, the Sultan moved to a new residence - Dolmabahce Palace. Currently, Topkapi Palace is one of the most famous museums in the world.
Maiden's Tower is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, on a small island in the Bosporus. The tower is one of the symbols of the city. There are several versions of the story about the tower's construction. According to one version, the Maiden Tower was built by Athenian general Alcibiades, to control entrance into the Bosphorus strait by Persian ships. According to another story, the tower was built during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great, as a watchtower. During its long history, the tower operated as a lighthouse, prison, and quarantine isolation ward. Between 1943-1945, the tower was rebuilt according to the model of its appearance in the 19th century. Currently, there is a restaurant in the tower.
Here's the Asian part of Istanbul.
This is the ship "Yuzhnaya Palmyra" (Odessa), she cruises on the Black Sea with stops in Crimea, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Previously, she stopped in Sochi, I do not know if she still does, though.
And here's a small passenger and cargo vessel "Sevastopol-1" operating, as the advertising on the board claims, on the Sevastopol line - Istanbul.
This is the "Norwegian Jade" of NCL.
And this is a view of the sea passenger port.
In the next review, I'll show you our walk through the streets of Istanbul and our departure (Istanbul, the Bosphorus And the Dardanelles).
Author: River Pilgrim
Translated by: Olesya Zhukova

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