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Princes' Islands: The resorts of Constantinople
Marmara Sea after the Bosporus, are these four historic islands. First, Antigone, copper and Prince has always been favorite of Constantinople and now attract visitors either for day trips from the city either for short stay. A visit that moves every Rums ...
The movement of the Golden Horn is great. The boats come and go endlessly moving people and goods. Our destination, the Princes' Islands. We board at 10am from the dock area Isklelesi Sirkesi in Town. The bitter cold of the Bosporus passes our skin and fumes of Coke diffuse into the atmosphere - familiar and distinctive smell of this city. Totally up to the last island trip lasts 2 hours and 30: First (Kinalianta), Antigone (Bourgkazanta), copper (Cheimpelianta) Prince (Bougioukanta). Idyllic islets that hosted throughout the period of Ottoman domination purely Greek population are now nostalgic place for those Greeks who once lived in these territories and never forgotten.
First of all, the Byzantines venerated and enjoying the lush islands paratherizontas them often. The prince Justin kouropalates hold the largest island, Buyukada, recent name that prevailed until today. The Greek population has managed to remain there after the conquest. For centuries the islanders had privileges under a government with their own local rulers.
Today, the Princes' Islands are an attraction for many tourists all year. In winter attract those who want to photograph and romantzaroun under the poetic light and color. In summer choose many Turks from Constantinople as nearest destination for a day trip, combining picnics and swimming at beaches.
In the First
After a brief stop at the dock of Chalcedon (Kantiköy) on the Asian side of Istanbul, quickly slip the antiquated boat of forty years, heading for the First. Three quarters of an hour total journey from the City and the island that once housed the exiled kings raises no major signs of charm. The giant antennas of mobile dominate the hill with the one that looks the island. Along the harbor, old wooden houses with big windows looking out to 'conquer' seem to be the only tasteful reference. Today, in an area of 1,400 m², the residents do not exceed 3,318, while the summer months reach 25,000.
Roamed the cold winter, the forehead tightens from the bitter cold, we explore wandering the rocky and clayey landscape. Most of the island is bare and barren. Only last decade the council of Constantinople proceeded pefkofytefsi the hill that dominates the residential area of the island. The mountain, the "huge hole" missing a part: here were quarries supply the first stone breakwater Haidar Pasha. The Ottomans named the islands Papaz Antalar (Papadonisia) because of monasteries which dominate the highest points in the.
Fifteen minutes separate us to the quay of Antigone and itinerant pedlars of steamship picked up by the First, almost rushing to the merchandise in the ship and turn it into a floating shopping mall! From lighters, cutlery and klostovelones up pants, jackets and everything else craves it. Arazontas the dock of Antigone, a name which comes from Antigonus, father of Demetrius Demetrius, pour several carts with trailers carrying refrigerators, furniture, construction etc. One sees that the mobility in this place is intense. The Turks call Burgas, which means tower. And it appears from the ruins of the monastery Theokoryfotou - once upon a time the Greek community has been populated. In 1848 the Patriarch Constantius had founded Allilodidaktirio and in 1872 for the first time girls worked.
Fruits and vegetables adorn the sidewalks outside the dozens of grocery stores. The grocery Bemba of Greeks, by the sea, and the last authentic tavern Barba Yianni not fail to remind us of the Greek element that went through there. Besides, even some Greeks still living on the island. However, the beautiful wooden villas which once inhabited Greeks have gone into the hands of the Turks.
To note here that after the devastating earthquake of 1999 Prigiponisia experienced irreversible damage and, according to scientists, the future is expected to sink because stronger seismic event, the Sea of Marmara. This is the reason that the bourgeois villas are sold at rock bottom prices.
Going up one of the mountains of Antigone muse over the panorama of the Princes. It's noon and the purity of the atmosphere reveals the enchanting landscape of the Asian coast, and on the European side of the Bosporus. One thousand five hundred seventy-eight people live during the winter months on the island adimonontas for the coming of summer, when the world reaches 15,000. In 1947 a great fire completely destroyed the Antigone, but the Greeks fought hard to rebuild until the September of 1955, so the fate of the Greek City changed forever.
In ten minutes from Antigone distinguished, perched in the pine forest of the hill of Hope, the Theological School of Halki. Founded in 1844 by the Ecumenical Patriarch German in D and since 1971, by decision of the Turkish Ministry of Education, closed the education department faculty. On another hill, just beyond, houses the School of Commerce and the port the building of the Naval School gives an aura aristokratikotitas. Along the harbor cafes are closed for the season. Only a couple work. The islanders, Armenians and Jews, is about 5,500. During the summer months reach 45,000. Its name derives from copper, because once the veins of ore arriving to the seabed.
In the cold, only some anglers move. Dressed in their heavy coats standing on a pier and bake on grill mackerel and bogue, serving on bread with onions and parsley. Anything tastier for someone who wants to sate his hunger and continue browsing. The doll houses Halki renovate together and Paradises gardens are reminiscent of scenes that sprang from the Victorian era.
The magnificent island of Buyukada, just ten minutes from Halki, is doubtless romantikotero and most beautiful island of Marmara. This place once foreign travelers opt for holidays, staying in inns and hostelries. Also chose to live on the island, because the land was cheap and great opportunity for the construction of spacious houses. The station of the harbor is a real masterpiece. Disembark from the boat and staring at the small shops of the plant that attract visitors with their baklava and Turkish spices. Slightly deeper, the carts parked ready for work, if ship arrived. Expose the horses from the blankets that warms and elevate the world. The carts, taxis the island, flooding the place, start the battle speed! Tourists are enough for the season. Walk the streets and look fascinated by the majestic architectural samples. Several of them are abandoned and crumbling. Staircase of the island, in a shop, a misspelled sign indicating, "Welcome to our island. Speak Greek. "
The walk continues at St. George the bell, the miraculous church, like they say, that one has to visit. Many are the Turks who climb the rugged hill tying in their wake colored ribbons with wishes. The offerings which Greeks and Turks offer in Agios Georgios is hundreds every year, culminating on the day of the feast of St. George.
Line for the notorious National Orphanage for which much has been said, as a decision of the Supreme Court of Ankara canceled the title of the property. The house belonged to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and today remains closed, the future of foggy. As looks planted into the rich wooded slopes of the island, desolate and away from civilization, the National Orphanage hardly approached even the trolley.
The Prince is the largest island until the beginning of the last century its population reached 15,000. Today, residents most of whom are Jews and are no more than 7,335, while in summer are 65,000.
In that place was exiled by Nikiforos Logothetis the Irene, the empress who blinded his son Constantine Khazars to steal the throne. It's already evening. We leave the last boat at 7, the island of Buyukada. Behind us, and move away, small emerald islands, under the full moon, keep alive even their image, until I languished on the horizon the figures, leaving a light sheen. Think that their story tends like sheen longer passed to modern Hellenism.
Three days, with flights to Istanbul, accommodation in Buyukada and expenses for food, drink and small scale purchase will cost around 500 euros per person.
HOW TO GET THERE
Plane Athens - Istanbul. Olympic: 2 flights daily. Ticket price (high season winter): 285 euro with airport taxes. The price remains the same and summer.
Turk Hava Yolari (Turkish Airlines): 2 flights daily. Price return ticket (high season winter): 239 euro with airport taxes. Price for the summer high season: 285 euro with airport taxes.
WHERE TO STAY
The island on which it is worth to stay overnight is the prince. Featured hotel:
Splendid Palace Hotel: A historic building architectural style Art Nouveu. Price double room: € 110 (high season).
HOW TO DOLLY
From the dock Isklelesi in Sirkesi Istanbul depart daily from 7 am until 7 pm, the boats for the Princes' Islands. The ticket has the same value for all destinations (1.66 minutes). On the islands there are no cars. The travel by horse carriages and bicycles, which are rented.
TI AND WHERE TO EAT
In Buyukada, the church of St. George of the bell attracts hundreds of worshipers every year. This is the party anyway worth visiting. Next to the church there tavern makes excellent meatballs and sausages. It also serves a good red wine. Avoid fish restaurants along the port of Buyukada. It's too expensive for Turkish data and strong tourist profile. Delicious is mackerel, which bake in the coals anglers, the quay of the harbor. Also look for local small kempaptzidika that are hidden in the narrow island. It is clean, economical and delicious. If you stay overnight, you can dine in the hotel restaurant.
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