Turkey – Topkapı Palace, Blue Mosque, Hamam, Eminonu, Galata Bridge, Bosphorus, Galata Tower, Grand Bazaar, Haghia Sophia, Maiden’s Tower Photography & Film Production Locations in Istanbul.
By In News On May 25, 2012
The horse-drawn tram service that rumbled along İstiklal Caddesi in the 19th century was electrified in 1914 (when the horses were taken off to war). The service was closed down in 1961, but revived in 1990. Its cheery red carriages have become an icon of Beyoğlu. Tickets can be purchased at either end of the line.
Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)
Begun in 1609, Sultan Ahmet I’s mosque was built opposite Haghia Sophia and directly on top of Constantine’s Great Palace to stress the supremacy of Islam and the Ottoman Empire over Christian Byzantium.
Çemberlitaş Baths (Çemberlitaş Hamamı)
Nur Banu, wife of the drunken Selim the Sot (son of Süleyman and Roxelana), commissioned these baths from Sinan in 1584. In those days they were run as a charitable foundation; today they are distinctly more upmarket. Their gracious domed halls make them a popular tourist attraction and an authentic location for productions in Istanbul who have an Ottoman feel and concept.
Dolmabahçe Palace (Dolmabahçe Sarayı)
In 1853, Sultan Abdül Mecit removed his entire family and government from the Topkapı to this European-style palace at Beşiktaş on the Bosphorus shore making it an ideal spot for photo and video / film productions in Istanbul.
From the Grand Bazaar, steep alleys crowded with market stalls lead down through Tahtakale to the Eminönü waterfront. It’s a great place to roam, with mosques and markets, Byzantine warehouses, street sellers offering everything from pretzels to fake watches, and a bank of piers with ferries to every part of the city, all split by the swirl of traffic along the dual carriage-way that leads around the coast.
The latest Bond movie “Skyfall” was filmed at this historic location in Istanbul.
Galata Bridge (Galata Köprüsü)
The predecessor of this modern bridge across the Golden Horn was an iron pontoon structure of 1909–12. It was underequipped for modern traffic, and its pontoons, by blocking water flow, trapped pollution in the Golden Horn. It was replaced in 1992 by the current two-level concrete bridge. The city views from the upper level, especially at sunset, are breathtaking; the old bridge has been moved, and is back in use near Hasköy as a footbridge. This is also a spot commonly used by producers for film and photo shoots in Istanbul.
Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)
One of the city’s most distinctive sights, the 62-m (205-ft) high tower was built in 1348 by the Genoese, the Byzantine Empire’s greatest trading partners, as part of their fortification of Galata. Since then, the tower has survived several earthquakes, and been restored many times. There are 11 floors. A lift climbs to a viewing balcony, nightclub and restaurant on the top floor – the views of the Golden Horn and the city are fabulous. Again a perfect spot with fantastic city views ideal for photo and film productions in Istanbul.
Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı)
The bazaar was one of the first institutions established by Mehmet the Conqueror after 1453. Its oldest part is the domed İç Bedesten, a lockable warehouse used for trading and storing the most valuable wares. Today, as well as covered streets containing thousands of shops and stalls, there are cafés, restaurants, tea houses, water fountains and even ATM machines – all designed to keep you browsing and buying for as long as possible. There are also several hans – originally travellers’ inns, now mostly workshops and small factories.
The Bazaar was also a shooting location for the latest Bond movie “Skyfall” in Istanbul.
Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya)
Consecrated by Justinian in 537, the “Church of Holy Wisdom” is an enduring tribute to the skill of its architects, Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus, who created a monument that has with-stood wars and earthquakes. The scale of its vast central dome was not surpassed until the construction of St Peter’s in Rome, 1,000 years later.
Haydarpaşa Station is the largest station in Turkey and the most westerly train stop in Asia. It was completed in 1908 by German architects Otto Ritter and Helmuth Cuno, a gift from the German government of Kaiser Wilhelm II. These days, the station is the departure point for travellers heading further into Anatolia or across to Syria; trains to Europe depart from Sirkeci Station . However, a tunnel beneath the Bosphorus is under construction that will link the two continents and two stations.
Maiden’s Tower (Kız Kulesi)
According to Greek myth, Leander drowned while trying to swim the Dardanelles from his home town of Abydos on the Asian side to meet his lover Hero, a priestess in Sestos on the other shore. He is commemorated in the English name for this 18th-century tower on an islet offshore from Üsküdar. Its Turkish name means “Maiden’s Tower”, in reference to a legendary Byzantine princess who was told that she would die of snakebite and was locked up on the island for her own protection, only for a snake to arrive in a basket of figs. In its time, the tower has served as a quarantine centre and a customs office; nowadays it houses a restaurant. It had a cameo role in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.
Topkapi Palace (Topkapı Sarayı)
The great palace of the Ottoman Empire was both the sultan’s residence and the centre of government from 1459 to 1853. The whole complex can take a full day to explore; the high-lights are undoubtedly the Harem and the Treasury.
Please contact us for shooting permits for photo and videp productions at this location in Istanbul.