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Newly published book reveals the changes of Istanbul’s old basilicas.

Newly published book reveals the changes of Istanbul’s old basilicas.

A new book published by the Istanbul Municipality, “Istanbul: The Awakening of the Historical City,” aims to reflect how Istanbul evolved over time. As the city hosted many civilizations for many years, the book highlights the civilizations, and how the area changed over time.

The book also reveals the expansion of tourism and restoration. While during 2004 and 2012 the municipality expended 1,997 billion Turkish Liras for culture and arts, restoration projects cost 262 million. A total of 98 artifacts have been restored and 21 artifacts are still in the preservation and restoration process.

The book also highlighted the buildings and historical venues of Istanbul. For example nine historical mosques have been restored for 32 million liras during the same period, the book revealed.
There are still four mosques undergoing restoration.

One of the most historical and oldest mosques of Istanbul, Altı Poğaça Mosque, built in 1482, become usable again. On the other hand, Büyük Piyalepaşa Mosque, cleaned from the buildings around it, became a historical venue for tourism and culture.

Basilicas of Istanbul

Basilicas of Istanbul were another aim for restorations and tourism. Three basilicas in Istanbul were restored, and the Basilica Cistern made in 542 B.C. was also renovated and the traffic around it has been stopped due to new regulations.

While the book reveals the municipality’s latest work, it also draws attention to the Sultanahmet area and its environs. The square has been renovated and transformed in a 9.3 million-lira project. The environs of the square also closed to traffic.

The palaces of Istanbul such as Tekfur, Beylerbeyi and Topkapı have also been renovated in a new project. Tekfur Palace is currently serving as a concert and cultural center.

Another project of the municipality attracting attention is the Anemas Dungeons at Edirnekapı. The dungeons are still under restoration. However the structure is now set to become an art gallery for future generations to use.

Between 2004 and 2012 a total of 79 antique fountains were also restored, according to the book.

April/30/2012

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