Best Western Empire Palace Hotel Sultanahmet Istanbul
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    BW Empire Palace Hotel
    This is the true spirit of Istanbul- welcoming and pleasing! No matter if for a business trip or a family holiday, the loveliest and most convenient place to stay is this S-Class Hotel. Built in the 17th century, Best Western Empire Palace is an old Ottoman house set 400 meters away from the domes and minarets of the Blue Mosque. The Boutique hotel offers comfort and pleasure for all kinds of travelers.
    The great fortress of Rumeli Hisar, built by Sultan Mehmet II in the year 1452, is located immediately opposite Anadolu Hirasi, which was built by Yildirim Beyazit I sixty years earlier. With a fortress on either side of the Bosphorus, it was the first step in Mehmets plan to capture the Byzantine capital.

    Mehmet had sent out orders throughout his Empire for 1000 skilled masons and 2000 workmen to collect wood and building stone and to assemble here in the spring, Stone was brought from Anatolia. Mehmet himself laid out the design, dictated by the lie of the land, and each of his three Vezirs, the Grand Vezir, Candarli Halil Pasa, Zaganos Pasa, and Saruca Pasa were made responsible for building a tower, while the Sultan himself undertook the walls and bastions, introducing a healthy sprit of competition.

    When it was completed a garrison of 400 Janissaries was stationed in it and here they tried out the range of their new cannons by training them on any ships rash enough to try to pass.
    After the Conquest, the fortress found a new role as a prison before gradually falling into disrepair.

    In 1953, 500 years after the Conquest, Rumeli Hisar Fortress was well restored, and the space inside laid out with lawns and paths. The cistern on which the mosque once stood still marked by the stump of its minaret was opened up and converted into an open air theatre where plays and folk dancing are performed during the summer, especially at the time of the Istanbul Festival.

    The great Camlica Hill stands about four kilometers east of Uskudar and can be reached by car. It is the taller of the twin peaks of Mount Bulgurlu, the highest point in the vicinity of Istanbul, 267 meters above sea level. It has a small teahouse in the midst of the pine grove which gives the peak its name.

    From here, there is an absolutely magnificent view, which makes it well worth the climb. In the morning when the sun is still easterly one has a panoramic sight of the whole city, the Bosphorus almost as far as the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea with the Princes Islands, and behind that, the great snow covered ridge of Uludag, the Bithynian Olympus. Toward evening the sun sets almost directly behind Istanbul and its domes and minarets are silhouetted against the flaming western sky like a splendid stage drop.

    Especially in the spring are these hills and valleys most beautiful, for everywhere is a profusion of the most varied wildflowers and many unusual birds.

    The most famous of all the beauty spots in the suburbs of Istanbul are the Princes Islands, the little suburban archipelago just off the Asia coast of the Marmara. The isles are about an hour's sail by ferry from Sirkeci.

    It is only in the last hundred years or so that the Princes Islands have become fashionable as resorts and places to bathe and picnic. Before that they were sparsely inhabited and rarely visited. But their picturesque and historical associations appealed to the romantic imagination of the nineteenth century.

    The nine isles are situated between 20 and 30 kilometers south of Istanbul in the Marmara Sea. It is a rather surprising fact that there are no cars on the islands, people have to use horse drawn carriages as a means of transport. Walking through well kept gardens and parks, the visitor will be fascinated by the charm of the southern flora and will keep this excursion forever in his mind. A Latin inscription on a tomb stone on the island of Burgaz proves that already before Constantin a great number of Roman pagan temples could be found here.

    The first of the islands is called Kinaliada (henna coloured ýsland ) where sunbathers can find lovely pebble beaches which are suitable for swimming. Of the former two Byzantine monasteries only some remnants of brickwork are still visible.

    The second of the islands is Burgazada. Its highest elevation rises 165 meters above sea level. There are excellent possibilities for watersports activities on this island and for people who enjoy walking there are endless beautiful footpaths.

    The third island is Heybeliada ( saddle bag ýsland ) on which the Turkish naval academy is situated . Until 1970 this island was also the residence of the theological seminary of the Orthodox Church.

    The fourth island and the largest of the Princes Islands is Buyukada
    A visit to Buyukada is particularly recommended because the island is a paradise of pleasure. Splendid villas, in well-kept gardens, restaurants, hotels, clubs and recreation facilities attract more and more visitors every year. You can explore the island on foot, by horse and carriage, or for those more energetic and adventurous, you can ride a donkey or rent a bicycle.

    Phone : 0090 212 514 54 00
    Fax : 0090 212 514 54 10
    E-Mail :

    Adress : Hocapasa Mah. Hudavendigar Cad. No:19 / Sirkeci - Sultanahmet / Istanbul, TURKEY
    Best Western hotels are independently owned and operated. © 2002-2009 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Each Best Western® hotel is independently owned and operated. © 2002-2009 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved.
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