Thursday, June 20, 2013


Miniatürk overview
On the last day of our 2013 Europe trip, Jenny and I visited a collection of 1/25-scale Turkish miniatures called Miniatürk. Open for the past ten years, this tourist attraction features more than 120 models from Istanbul and other national regions, including 12 from the Ottoman Empire outside of Turkey.

Entrance ramp
Hagia Sophia
Getting there: Jenny and I opted to avoid getting gouged by Istanbul's notorious taxis, so we tried the local bus from Eminönü pier, which meant winding our way through narrow streets and enjoying an inexpensive tour of the city. For a while we wondered if we'd ever actually reach the place, but the destination was more than worth the hassle.

Jenny checks out Celsus library at Ephesus
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (aka "Blue Mosque")
Visitors stroll the park, using language-coded tickets to play explanatory audio recordings that explain each model. It's actually kind of cool, listening to the same presentation in English, Turkish, Arabic, and six other languages. Then there's the tiny-town treat of gaining an impossibly complete view of these architectural treasures.

Taksim Republic Monument
Selimiye Mosque detail
Highlights include exhibits that explain Turkey's perspective on World War I, a walkable version of the Bosphorus Bridge that connects Europe and Asia, and stores that feature hundreds of miniatures (or in this case, miniature-miniatures). Folks gathering around the Olympic Stadium can even select competing football fight songs to rile their friends.

Miniatures for sale
Battle of the Dardanelles 
Olympic Stadium
Jenny recommends that first-time Istanbul visitors start with Miniatürk; our choice to end our visit here only served to remind us of all the places we neglected to see during our Turkish travels. Of course we know we'll return. And having visited this place, we have some great ideas for the next itinerary!

Sultan Ahmed Mosque visitors

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