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Religious Sites to visit in Turkey

Turkey, an enthralling tourist destination, stands on the boundaries of the Asian and the European continents. The middle-east land astounds tourists across the globe with its awe-striking beauty. The country has preserved its deep-rooted Islamic values since ancient times.

The land is rich in natural beauty. The tourists get mesmerized by the sights of the enormous sea beaches, lush green valleys, blue mountain ranges, and picturesque countryside villages.

Rich biodiversity is an asset of the fascinating land including, some rare species of flora and fauna. On the other hand, the vibrant and dazzling city life creates a striking contrast to the serene countryside. The abundance of religious sites mostly, the mosques and the ancient historical sites, add a royal, classic vibe to the land.

The blog intends to talk about the holy, sacred places located in different corners of Turkey. The country is known as the land of mosques. The blog will be helpful to the readers who are interested in a holy trip to Turkey. According to data, Turkey houses around 82,700 mosques in different corners. Apart from the mosques, almost 240 churches are found all over Turkey. Turkey houses around two lakhs of Christians.

Turkey is a Muslim country. Wherever you go in the country, you will see several mosques. The mosques in Turkey welcome visitors and devotees of all religions without any discrimination. This secular convention pleases and delights the tourists. Let us have a detailed guide of the religious sites located in different districts of the country.

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A General Visit to Mosques in Turkey

The mosques located all around the country perform prayers five times a day. The mosques observe the daily sacred rituals using a loudspeaker on the minaret. The devotees chant the first prayer of the day at the daybreak. The last prayer ritual takes place at sunset. As a secular country, Turkey Government does not make religious practices mandatory for the Muslim people. Some Muslim people only visit mosques every Friday. According to Islam, Friday is the sacred day. After entering any mosque, one must maintain silence. Photography is permissible in mosques. Women must cover their heads with scarfs in the mosque ground and, everyone needs to take their shoes off outside. The devotees can donate to the mosque if they wish. The mosques in Turkey are especially famous for their architectural splendor and Arabic/Urdu calligraphy. The minarets of the mosques act as the landmarks of the places.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Sultan Ahmed built the Blue Mosque as a symbol of peace after Persia defeated him in the Great War. Blue Mosque is famous for its blue-shaded interior décor. The mosque represents Ottoman architecture and calligraphy.

Tulip-patterned hand-painted ceramics adorn the mosque domes. Hundreds of stained-glass windows and doors decorate the ground floor. The large fountain in the mosque courtyard enhances the beauty of the religious site.

Timing: 24 hours

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia is one of the most popular tourist attractions located in the capital city of Istanbul. Initially, the structure used to be a Christian catholic church. In 1453, the Ottomans transformed the church into a mosque. Recently, the mosque ground has been declared a museum.

The mosque had been one of the most gigantic monuments in ancient times for its large domes. The mosque ground served the religious, artists', and political hub of the great Byzantine empire.

Timing: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

House of Virgin Mary, Ephesus

According to legend, Virgin Mary has taken shelter in the small village near Ephesus after the crucifixion of Jesus. Devotees believe the religious shrine to be the resting place of Mother Mary. The story does not have any association with reality, as the whole scene came in the dream of a German nun on her deathbed.

The wishing wall holds a special attraction to the devotees. Every year, thousands of visitors gather at the ground to pray to Virgin Mary and ask for wish fulfillment to the wishing wall. The pilgrims consider the fountain near the shrine to be therapeutic. On a visit to Turkey, the house of Mother Mary is a must-visit place.

Entry Fee: 7 Euro

Timing: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

The Temple of Artemis, Ephesus

The Lydian king constructed the Temple of Artemis in 650 BC. The temple was one of the most popular worshipping sites in ancient times. The temple was built on marshy land to prevent the risk of earthquakes. Contemporary people believed marshy lands to be the sacred place to Cybele, the Mother Goddess. Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple every year to strengthen the legend of Artemis. A reconstruction process took place in the 4th Century. The tourists must visit the exhibition hall to know about the historical importance.

Timing: 24 hours

Basilica of St. John, Ephesus

Emperor Justinian built the Basilica of St. John back in the 6th C. The basilica stands on the burial ground of St. John. The basilica had been topped with six domes resembling the structure of a cross. At present, the monumental basilica is in ruins. Recently, the excavation process has begun. According to the archaeologists and historians, the remnants of the basilica had been preserved symmetrically. The arrangement offers the visitors a glance of the ancient grandeur. The recent reconstruction process has worked on the marble walls and brick structures. The courtyard shows the monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife.

Entry Fee: 4 Euro

Timing: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Church of St. Saviour, Istanbul

The Church of St. Saviour was built to protect Constantinople from sudden enemy invasion. The church had undergone renovations after the fall. When the Ottomans came to reign, the church was transformed into a mosque. Later in 1948, a museum was structured on the mosque ground. The religious construction reflects 4th-century architecture. The interior decor showcases the Byzantine frescos and mosaics. The doors of the monumental structure depict biblical tales.

Entry Fee: 8.7 USD

Timing: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Seven Churches of Revelation, Anatolia

Seven churches of Revelation are the earliest cathedrals located in Izmir, Sardis, Hierapolis, Pergamum, Thyatira, Laodicea, and Smyrna. The churches are also known as Churches of the Apocalypse. Devotees consider visiting these seven churches as a pilgrimage journey on a visit to Turkey.

Grand Mosque, Bursa

Grand Mosque is one of the most significant examples of ancient Islamic architecture that was built in 1399. The mosque dates back to six hundred years. The interior décor reflects the Seljuk tradition. The mosque remained an asset of time even after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The mosque building consists of two minarets. Daily prayers are performed in the mosque ground. The mosque's walls are inscribed with calligraphy. The building has lost its grandeur due to seismic waves, but it is still a favorite destination for the pilgrims.

Time: 24 hours

St. Nicolas Church, Antalya

The church reflects a beautiful fusion of Byzantine and Greek architecture. The church was built back in 520 AD. The religious ground is the resting place of St. Nicholas, the then Bishop of the cathedral. The church was constructed on the ruins of Myra. The church is going to be enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ancient church site is a visual treat to the tourists.

Timing: 24 hours

The Oracle at Miletus

The temple of Greek God Apollo is known as Oracle. The ancient religious shrine is one of the oldest living sanctuaries in the world. Persians built the temple. The Tourism Directorate of Aydin has taken the responsibility to preserve the ancient site. The rich history and architecture draw thousands of tourists to the city throughout the year. The holy ground houses an amphitheater, a stadium, and a spring.

Entry Fee: 2 USD

Timing: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

St. Paul, Ephesus

St. Paul visited Ephesus in 52 AD to preach Gospel. Later, the Greeks threatened him and forced the saint to leave the city. The church is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

Timing: 24 hours

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To conclude,

The blog has offered the readers a detailed view of the religious sites located in different corners of Turkey. The shrines are significant itineraries in a pilgrimage journey. The tourists must book the Turkey Pool Villa to enjoy a comfortable stay in the foreign land. The warm hospitality of the staff and the best quality services rejuvenate the minds of the tourists.