To visit one of the most famous sights of Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, tourists come from all over the world. The temple, erected in record time (in just 5 years!) By the best Byzantine craftsmen, is still considered a real architectural miracle, and for more than 1000 years, before the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, it remained the largest Christian temple in the world. In 537, the Cathedral of St. Sophia was consecrated and amazed eyewitnesses with its size and splendor, it was compared to a ship hovering over the city, and the 31-meter dome seemed to the Byzantines "suspended from the heavens by a golden chain." For the decoration of the temple, marble, gold, ivory were delivered from all over the empire, even the patterns on the floor were laid out of precious and semiprecious stones - marble, jasper, porphyry. Hagia Sophia withstood several major earthquakes and plundering by the crusaders, during the Ottoman Empire served as a mosque, and in 1934 it became a museum, preserving an unusual combination of Christian and Muslim shrines ... This story frozen in stone will be especially close to the Russian people, because it is here According to The Tale of Bygone Years, the ambassadors of Prince Vladimir got acquainted with Orthodoxy, Princess Olga was baptized here, in 1054 a split into Catholics and Orthodox took place in this church, when the cardinal and the patriarch anathematized each other. There is even a Russian Corner with a 19th century mosaic made at the expense of Nicholas II. Together with the guide, you will be able to penetrate the secrets of the temple - make a wish at the “weeping” column, experience the inexplicable power of the “cold window”, learn the tragic story of an unusual niche in which the prayers of the priest are still heard, and look at the tomb of the Venetian doge, which played a key role in Dan Brown's novel about the deadly Inferno virus ... Our tour will continue by boat along the Bosphorus. You can visit many excursions, re-read the mountains of guidebooks, but you will never be able to get to know Istanbul without traveling along the Bosphorus. No wonder the Bosphorus in Turkish sounds like "Boaz", which means "throat". This is the very breath of Istanbul, salty, filled with the cries of seagulls, the sound of waves and calls for prayers from the minarets ... These are ancient villas, towers and fortresses crowded on both sides of the strait, Europe and Asia, connected by gigantic, striking beauty bridges, each of which is not like the other. The Maiden's Tower, which we will see from the sea, has been shrouded in legends since its inception, one more romantic than the other. Supporters of one version associate it with ancient Greek myth and call the tower of Leander; according to another legend, the main characters were a Turkish princess and an Iranian shah in love with her. Over the centuries of its existence, the tower has survived many earthquakes and fires, being at the same time a lighthouse, a prison, an isolation hospital during the time of cholera, an armory and a "republic of poetry". You will be able to understand the mysteries and the true history of the Maiden Tower together with your guide, taking photographs as a souvenir against the background of one of the most recognizable symbols of Istanbul. Rumeli's fortress Hisar was called “cutting the throat” for a reason. Built in the narrowest isthmus of the Bosphorus in just 4.5 months, the fortress played a historical role in the storming of Constantinople in 1453, cutting off the city from the Black Sea. Sailing between two fortresses (Rumeli Hisar and Anadolu Hisar) on different shores of the strait, you can still feel how the pictures of the battle of the ancient past come to life before your eyes. It is impossible to imagine a tour of the Bosphorus without the famous Bosphorus Bridge connecting two parts of the world - Europe and Asia. You will be able to appreciate the scale of this grandiose 1,560-meter structure, which at the time of its opening in 1973 was the longest suspension bridge in the world outside the United States. After several suicide attempts, the bridge was left open only for transport, however, every year, in October, it is possible for participants in a walking marathon from Asia to Europe to walk along it.