Oct 152016
 

October 14, 2016

There are so many places to explore in a city that covers almost 600 square miles with a population of over 14 million people.

sabanci museum Istanbul One that is worth venturing out for is the Sakip Sabanci Museum. The museum’s permanent collection of the Arts of Calligraphy is comprehensive and stunning. It is comparable, and in my opinion slightly superior, to the Calligraphy Museum in Sultanhamet.  Located about 30 minutes by public transportation from the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, it can be a trek, but is worth every moment.

horseIn 1925, Prince Mehmed Ali Hasan of the Hidiv family of Egypt commissioned the Italian architect Edouard De Nari to build the villa, now the museum’s main building, as a family summer house.

The mansion was purchased in 1951 by industrialist Hacı Ömer Sabancı from the Hidiv family to also be used as a summer residence, at that time it came to be known as Atlı Köşk, “The Mansion with the Horse”, because of the statue of a horse that was installed in the garden; the statue is the 1864 work of the French sculptor Louis Doumas.

The gardens of the museum are scattered with old ruins.

The gardens of the museum are scattered with old ruins.

sabaci museum istanbul

Do not go to the museum without planning on dining. In the museum is Changa, an award-winning restaurant that is worth seeking out for the food, and then it is accompanied by a view of the Bosphorus to make your day perfect.

Squash flowers stuffed with a piquant Lado cheese

Squash flowers stuffed with a piquant Lor cheese pine nuts and basil, sitting on a spoonful of Hoisin Sauce

Lamb braised to perfection with home made noodles

Lamb braised to perfection with home made noodles

Chili infused poach pears with mastic ice cream and Pişmaniye

Chili infused poach pears with mastic ice cream and Pişmaniye

The view from our table at Changa

The view from our table at Changa

A stroll along the water is a must after such a meal.

Walking the Bosphorus *Walking the BosphorusYou can view the yali that line both sides of the Bosphorus. Yali literally means “seashore, beach” and is a house or mansion constructed at the immediate waterside, almost exclusively on the Bosphorus. These were usually built as second homes.

Most date from the 19th century and are finely worked wood construction. The Yali of today are some of the most expensive homes in Istanbul, and a few are listed as the most expensive homes in the world.

An unrestored Yali on the Asian side

An unrestored Yali on the Asian side

Yali

Looking across the Bosphorus to the Yali on the Asian side

Looking across the Bosphorus to the Yali on the Asian side

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Stop in at one of the four most famous hotels along the Bosphorus for a waterfront cocktail. This fun cart is at the Four Seasons

Stop in at one of the four most famous hotels along the Bosphorus for a waterfront cocktail. This fun cart is at the Four Seasons

Now an underpass at one time this was part of Çırağan, once an Imperial Ottoman Palace, now the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel

Now an underpass at one time this was part of an Imperial Ottoman Palace, The Çırağan, now the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel.

Peek through the gates at the Dolmabahçe Palace, or better yet, go visit.

Peek through the gates at the Dolmabahçe Palace, or better yet, go visit.

People Watch

People Watch

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Enjoy the sunset over the Bosphorus

Enjoy the sunset over the Bosphorus