Friday, January 13, 2017


Sütlüce, Beyoğlu - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'36.0"N 28°56'52.0"E / 41.043333, 28.947778

Miniaturk / Sutluce, Beyoglu - Istanbul photo miniaturk191.jpg


The construction of Miniaturk, the first miniature park in Istanbul, began in June 30, 2001. With great fanfare opened the park to visitors on May 2, 2003.

Miniaturk covers a total area of 60,000 square meters. Its model area is 15,000 sqm, making Miniaturk the world's largest miniature park in respect to its model area. Miniaturk also boasts 40,000 sqm of open space, 3,500 sqm of covered area, 2,000 sqm of pools and waterways, and a parking lot with a capacity of 500 vehicles.

The park contains 105 models done in 1/25th scale. 45 of the structures are from Istanbul, 45 are from Anatolia, and 15 are from the Ottoman territories that today lie outside of Turkey. Additional space was reserved for potential future models. The infrastructure was built taking into consideration the needs of potential additions. Therefore, Miniaturk will continue growing, modeling, in a sense, planned urbanization.

The landscape planning of the area took place simultaneously with the infrastructure work. The plants were raised in an environment with similar climate conditions to that of the Golden Horn. In line with the general concept of Miniaturk, the model area was decorated with fine grass, dwarf plants and bonsai trees. The grass and bonsai trees were planted after the models were put in their place.

In addition to the models on exhibition in the open-air museum, Miniaturk also has different places where the visitors can enjoy themselves. These places include a 400-seat amphitheater, a gift shop that sells souvenirs of Miniaturk, a playground to attract the interest of younger visitors, a life size chess board and a labyrinth.


This monument in Ankara was built in the years 1944-1953. A symbol of the Turkish people's gratitude to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, supreme commander of the Independence War and the founder of the Turkish Republic, Anıtkabir is one of the most significant buildings of the Second National Architectural Movement. Designed by Emin Onat and Orhan Arda and built on an area of 15.000 square meters, the Anıtkabir is the most important and meaningful architectural work of the Republican period with its Lion's Road of 260 meters in length, its Mausoleum, and Victory Square.

Selimiye Mosque
The most splendid Ottoman building in Edirne, Selimiye Mosque, was built in the name of Sultan Selim II. It is regarded as the masterpiece of the great Ottoman architect Sinan, responsible for its construction in the years 1568-1575. It has four minarets, each 71 meters tall and each with three separate staircases inside leading to the three different balconies (şerefeler). Its decorated door opens to a front yard surrounded by 18 domes and columns with porches. The muezzin’s platform inside the mosque is exactly half the size of the Kaaba in Mecca. The mosque is also famous for its marble mimber and tiles, some of which were taken by the Russians when they occupied Edirne during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. The mosque is very rich in stonework, tiles and other decorative work.

İshak Paşa Palace
This building was constructed by the son of the Ottoman provincial governor İshak Paşa, between the years 1784-1785. It is located near Doğubeyazıt in eastern Turkey. While its overall structure is in line with the traditional layout of Ottoman palaces, its main gates carry traces of Seljuk architecture. The decorations on the gates are a blend of craftsmanship from different cultures, including Iranian, Anatolian Seljuk, Georgian and Caucasian. The structure and especially the decorations were destroyed to a great extent during the Russian invasion of World War I. The most important feature of the palace is that it has one of the first examples of a central heating system in a region of cold climate.

Sacred Fish Lake
Both are located in Urfa, a holy city common to the three great monotheistic religions. Also known as Zeliha Lake, the fish in the Ayn-ı Zilha lake are regarded as sacred. The Halil-ür Rahman Mosque next to the lake was built of cut stone between the years 1211-1212. Built upon the order of Melik Eşref Muzafferiddin, nephew of Selahattin Eyyubi, Halil-ür Rahman Mosque is one of the most visited places in Urfa even today.

Bursa's Great Mosque
The largest mosque in Bursa, the Great Mosque was opened for prayers in 1400. It was constructed upon the order of Yıldırım Bayezid, as a gift to the people with the war booty from his victory at Niğbolu. The northeastern minaret was added during renovation in the reign of Mehmet I (1413-21). Süleyman Çelebi, the writer of the Mawlid, served as the imam of this mosque throughout his lifetime. The mosque is famous for its pulpit carved from walnut and for its calligraphic plates.

Double-Minareted Medrese
It is believed that this medrese (Muslim religious school) was built between 1270-1291 upon the order of Hüdavend Hande Hatun, the daughter of the Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat I. Also known as the Hatuniye Medrese, it is the largest medrese of those built during the Seljuk period. The medrese was damaged during various wars, and was turned into a cannon foundry after renovation by Murad IV (1623-40). It was used as a foundry until 1846, when it was again converted into a medrese and was used as such until the foundation of the Republic. Famous for its neat cut stone, stone decorations and minarets, the medrese was inaugurated as a museum in 1942.

Sümela Monastery near Trabzon
Clinging to a cliff-face on a mountain at an altitude of 1300 meters, it is also known as the Virgin Mary Monastery. According to legend, the monastery was first built in 385 by two monks from Athens. Its final appearance took shape with additions made in the 14th century. A huge cave which forms a 400 square meter church is carved into the rock. 100 steep and narrow steps lead up from the valley to the monastery which resembles a castle. It has six storeys, two of which are terraces. Each storey has eight rooms in a row decorated with frescos.

Traditional Stone Houses in Mardin
This city about which the earliest information is to be found in Roman sources contains remains from various civilizations, ranging from the Persian and Byzantine to the Syrian  and Arabian. These traditional stone houses in Mardin which are hundreds of years old are built from yellow limestone and cut stone. Courtyard walls resembling castle defences, monumentary vaults, decorated arches and moldings are the most striking features of  the Mardin houses. Pre-planned straight and stepped streets as well as little squares are formed according to a human scale. Each house faces the plain without obstructing the view of its neighbours.

Temple of Artemis
Built in the ancient city of Ephesus - present-day Efes in the Aegean region of Izmir - the temple dates back to 334-250 B.C. Also known as the Artemision, the temple was numbered among the seven wonders of the world in antiquity. After the first temple was burnt down in 560 B.C., a new temple of the same size but three meters higher than the original was built on the same site. It was the biggest temple of the Hellenic period. It was demolished by Goths in 262 A.D. and was never restored. The remains of the temple which were discovered during excavations performed for the British Museum in late 19th century were taken to the UK. The big hole left after the remains were dug out is now known as the English Hole.

Aspendos Theatre
The theater built in the 2nd century A.D. near present-day Antalya is the most important structure of the ancient city of Aspendos, which was located 6 km to the east of Serik. It was constructed during the reign of Emperor Antonius Pius. The city was founded by the Argos civilisation as a river port in 5th century B.C. The theater still remains today with its stage intact. An interesting fact is that stone tablets were used for tickets here. The 15.000-seat theater in Aspendos is one of four theaters which remain today in Anatolia from antiquity. Aspendos Theater is in very good condition today since it was renovated by the Seljuks and used as a caravanserai.

Süleymaniye Mosque
The mosque which is situated within the walls of the old city was built by master architect Sinan during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent between the years 1550-1557. It is one of the most fascinating mosques in Istanbul and is considered to be a work from the height of Sinan’s career. Decorative work at the Süleymaniye Mosque, which is famous for its acoustics and its ventilation system, was carried out by the most famous artists of the day. There are ten galleries on the mosque’s four minarets, symbolizing Süleyman the Magnificent’s position as the tenth sultan of the Ottoman dynasty. Marbles used in the mosque were brought from Marmara Island; the colored marbles came from the ruins of the city of Belkıs in Yemen, while the green marbles came from Arabia.

Bosphorus Bridge
Opened to the public in 1973, the Bosphorus Bridge is the first bridge to connect the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, spanning the Bosphorus between Beylerbeyi and Ortaköy. As another one of the famous landmark symbols of Istanbul, the Bosphorus Bridge is also known as the "Pearl of Istanbul". The piers of the suspension bridge are spaced at a distance of 1,074 meters from each another. The width of the bridge is 33 meters, its piers are 165 meters long and traffic  crosses the bridge at a height of 64 meters above sea level.

Dolmabahçe Palace
This building, designed by architect Karabet Balyan, was constructed at the behest of Sultan Abdülmecid between 1848-1856. The palace takes up a surface area of 45,000 square meters, while its walls are covered with neoclassical, empirical and baroque decorations. Its symmetrical façade along the quayside has a total length of 284 meters. Towards the close of his life, Atatürk resided at Dolmabahçe Palace where he welcomed many foreign statesmen who were on visit to Istanbul. He died in the palace in 1938. Today, the palace is a museum affiliated to the Turkish Grand National Assembly Presidency of National Palaces. The room of the heir apparent has served as the Design and Sculpture Museum of Istanbul since 1937.

Sultanahmet Mosque
The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) built by architect Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa in 1609 during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I. Due to its walls being covered with blue and white tiles up as far as the second level of windows, Europeans began to call it the Blue Mosque. The first mahya (oil lamps that are hung in a row between the minarets) was placed by Sultan Ahmed I during the holy month of Ramadan, and this later became a Ramadan tradition. The Blue Mosque, which is unique in Turkey with its six minarets, was constructed on the ruins of the Great Place of Byzantium.

Topkapı Palace
Topkapı Palace was built on a seven hundred-acre area on the first of the seven hills of Istanbul. Construction work on the palace commenced in 1468 during the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. Since his time, 24 sultans and their wives, families and servants, lived in the palace until the middle of the nineteenth century. The palace was the location where many official ceremonies took place. Today, the palace is open to the public as one of the world’s greatest and most famous museums.

Haydar Pasha Station
Another one of the architectural works that has come to symbolize Istanbul, Haydar Pasha Station was conceived by Otto Ritter and Helmut Cuno. Construction of the station began in 1906; its lounge was opened for service in 1908, while all remaining work was completed within the following one and a half years. Elements taken from Central European baroque, German Renaissance and neoclassical styles are brought together in the station’s design.

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia which is located in Sultan Ahmet Square in Istanbul was completed in 537, during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. It is the most magnificent architectural work built during the Byzantine period. The dome was last rebuilt in 1346, having collapsed many times previously. The construction was damaged by soldiers of the Fourth Crusade in the early 13th century. However, it has survived down to the present day thanks to reinforcement and restoration work undertaken during Ottoman times. It was transformed into a mosque by Sultan Mehmet II immediately after the Conquest of Istanbul in 1453. At that time the minaret made of bricks was added; the thin minaret made of stone dates back to the period of Bayezid II (1481-1512), while the thick minarets made of stone were added by master architect Sinan later in the 16th century. Tombs of Selim II and Murat III are located in the courtyard. Considered to be one of the most important architectural works of the world heritage, Hagia Sophia was used as a mosque for 481 years. It has been in use as a museum since 1934.

St. Anthony’s Church
The church was opened as a place for worship in 1912, work having begun on it in 1906. The biggest church in Istanbul, the Church of St Anthony of Padua is an Italian Catholic church run by the Franciscan Order. The construction is in Italian Gothic style built in red brick, designed by the architect Mongeri. One can enter the churchyard through gates between two six-storey buildings which were built as real estate for the church and which face on to Istiklal Street. The church is administered by Italian priests and is the most popular church among Roman Catholics living in Istanbul, with large crowds present at Mass especially at Christmas time.

Ecyad Castle
This castle in Mecca was built in the late 16th century in order to ensure the defence of the Kaaba and served as a Turkish Garrison until World War I. The castle was built on an area of land covering 23 decars in a position that overlooks the Kaaba. However, it now no longer exists since it was demolished in 2002 to be replaced with a hotel. Nowadays, the porticoes built around the Kaaba by Sultans Abdülaziz and Abdülhamid are the only constructions that remain after four hundred years of Ottoman sovereignty in Mecca.

Dome of the Rock
Built by Caliph Abdülmelik bin Mervan in 691, the Dome of the Rock (Kubbet-üs Sahra) in Jerusalem is one of the leading artistic works of Islamic architecture. The Dome, the lower part of which is coated in marble while the upper has ceramics in green, yellow and blue, was renovated during the period of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. It was also restored by the architect Kemaleddin Bey in the early 20th century.

Al-Aqsa Mosque
The Al-Aqsa Mosque (Mescid-i Aksa) was built in the 6th century in Jerusalem - the city towards which the Prophet Mohammed and his followers initially prayed. The Prophet Mohammed prayed here on the night of his ascent to heaven. The holy place took its current form as a result of the renovation work undertaken by the Ottomans following the conquest of Jerusalem by Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1517. Later, it was restored by architect Kemaleddin Bey at the beginning of the 20th century.

Atatürk’s House
The house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, was born and where his family lived for many long years in Salonika was built in 1870. Its is now enclosed within the garden of Turkey’s Consulate General in Salonika.

The Mostar Bridge in Bosnia
An integral part of the architectural and urban structure of the old city of Mostar, the bridge was built in 1566-67, planned by Ottoman architect Hayreddin. The bridge, which is one of the biggest single-arch stone bridges in the world, has become the symbol of Mostar. It was bombed and destroyed in 1993 during the wars in the Balkans. However, it was carefully rebuilt according to the original plans and reopened to the public in 2003.
 The bridge is a rare work of art in both its artistic and scientific aspects where a great architectural logic is integrated with a profound aesthetic sense.

Galatasaray High School
Galatasaray was first established in Istanbul in 1481 to train and educate the best young minds for statesmanship for he Ottoman Empire and ever since, it has maintained its leadership position as an educational and cultural institution and played a pivotal role in the Turkish cultural life. Galatasaray’s status was fundamentally reviewed in 1868 and renamed as “Galatasaray Mekteb-i Sultani, as “ Royal School of Galatasaray”. It has continued its crucial role and leadership since the foundation of the Republic. Since its foundation, Galatasaray has graduated many writers, scientists, men of letters, teachers, diplomats, statesmen, politicians, and businessmen. The students of Galatasaray participated in the Battle of Çanakkale and War of Liberation. Galatasaray Football Club was founded and the first football team was formed in 1905 by the students of Galatasaray. The Galatasaray Alumni Association was established in 1908 and is one of the oldest social clubs in Turkey.

Galata Tower
Built in 1348 by the Genoese, the tower is located between Tünel and Karaköy. Galata Tower was the main tower in the walls and fortifications of Galata which no longer exist. The first tower at the site was made of timber in the 6th century B.C. In the 16th century, the building was used as a jail for laborers who worked in Kasım Pasha Navy Yard. It was later turned into a warehouse for the navy yard. In addition, it was used as an observatory during the period of Murat III (1574-95). The first human being to fly without using an engine, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, jumped from Galata Tower and glided over the Bosphorus Strait to Üskudar on the other side. The Tower has 16 floors, including the basement, and stands 62 meters high.

Mevlana’s Tomb in Konya
The tomb was built in the year 1274 in Konya. Its dome decorated with turquoise tiles is one of the most beautiful artworks of the Seljuk Empire. The 16-piece ribbed green dome was designed in an architectural style that reminds one of Turkish nomadic tents. This world-famous dome was commissioned by Gürcü Hatun, the wife of Seljuk Vizier Muhittin Pervane, to architect Bedreddin Tebrizi. The building was opened to visitors in 1927 under the name of "Konya Museum of Old Artefacts" by order of Atatürk. Due to the love and tolerance in Mevlana's invitation to the whole world, "Come, whoever you are", it is appropriate that this is the first historical work that welcomes visitors to Miniaturk - in token of the Anatolian tradition of multiculturalism.

Darüşşafaka High School Building
Construction on this building in Istanbul’s Fatih-Çarşamba district commenced in 1868 and was completed in 1873. It was built under the supervision of a council chaired by Mayor Server Pasha. Darüşşafaka was established by a private education institution during Ottoman Times, and was the first free private school with focus on the education of poor but brilliant children. This historical edifice served as a school for 120 years between 1873 and 1993.

Izmir’s Clock Tower
The Clock Tower located between Konak Mosque and the sea in Izmir’s Konak Square has become a symbol of the city. The tower was built in 1901 on the order of Grand Vizier Küçük Sait Pasha as a gift on the 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdülhamit's enthronement. The clock on the tower - initially known as the Hamidiye Tower - was a present from the German Emperor, Wilhelm II. Journalist Hasan Tahsin became the first to open fire on the occupying forces, in front of this tower, during the occupation of Izmir after World War I.

Izmit’s Clock Tower
As a result of the decree sent to governors to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdülhamit's accession to the throne, many clock towers were built all over the country. Izmit Clock Tower was designed by architect Vedat Tek upon the order of Musa Kazım Bey, governor of Izmit, and built in 1901. The neoclassical clock tower, which stands just in front of the Hünkar Pavillion of Sultan Abdülaziz, has four floors. The ground floor houses fountains, while the clock is on the top floor. All four facades of the middle floors are decorated with the seal of Sultan Abdülhamid II. The pointed cone on top is coated with lead. The clock tower has been an inseparable part of the history of Izmit throughout the 20th century, and has become the symbol of the city.

TBMM Parliament Building
The current working place of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was designed by Australian architect Prof. Clemens Holzmeister, whose project won the official contest in 1938. Construction started on October 26th 1939 and the building was inaugurated on January 6th 1961. The architectural features of the Parliament building were designed in the framework of a solemn, strong and robust structure intended to symbolise the power and the eternity of the Turkish Republic. All spaces were created with monumental, balanced and three-dimensional emphasis.

T.C. Ziraat Bank
The Ziraat Bank building, which was built in 1926-1929 by Italian Architect Guilio Mongeri, is one of the leading examples of the First National Architectural Period. After being used as the headquarters of Ziraat Bank, one of the oldest banks in Turkey, the building was then turned into a museum. It was inaugurated for visits as Turkey’s first bank museum on November 20th 1981, the 118th anniversary of the bank's foundation.

Hacı Bayram Mosque in Ankara
This mosque was built in Ankara in 1427 in the name of the great sufi poet Hacı Bayram Veli. The tomb was constructed in 1429. The mosque was first restored by master architect Sinan in the 16th century. The tomb, which was later renovated in 1947 for a second time, houses 8 sarcophagi.

Temple of Augustus in Ankara
Most of the ruins of the Temple of Augustus, located next to Hacı Bayram Mosque, were uncovered during the excavations in 1939. The temple was built in the name of the Roman Emperor Augustus in 10 A.D., and was later used by the Byzantines as a church.

Antalya’s Fluted Minaret Mosque
The Fluted Minaret in Antalya’s old Kaleiçi quarter was built upon the order of the Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat I in 1230. It is the symbol of Antalya and can be seen from all around the city. Its trunk decorated with 8 cylindrical half-flutes stands on a square platform. Ulu Cami (Great Mosque) on the west side of the minaret is the oldest Islamic structure in Antalya. An inscription on the east gate of the mosque states that it was built on the site of a Byzantine Church. A medrese, a dervish hall and two tombs make up the Ulu Cami mosque complex.

Çanakkale War Memorial
The War Memorial is located in Çanakkale province, at the village of Morto on Hisarlık Hill. It was built in memorial of the 250,000 soldiers who fell in Çanakkale during World War I. Its construction commenced on April 19th, 1954, and was completed six and a half years later. The design by architects Doğan Erginbaş, Ismail Utkular and engineer Ertuğrul Barla won the official contest opened for the memorial in 1944. The memorial, which was inaugurated on August 21st,1960, has a museum on its ground floor, and includes a Turkish Soldier Monument and Turkish war cemetery

Traditional Turkish Houses In Safranbolu
Safranbolu, located around 220 km to the north of Ankara, contains rare examples of traditional Turkish houses which have lasted down to the present day. The picturesque town bedecked with mansions, houses and fountains from the 18th century is like an open air museum. The houses are generally made of stone on the ground floor and good quality timber on the upper floors. The stone ground floors, which appear like a natural continuation of the street, support the upper floors. The old streets, covered with paving stones. are narrow, twisting, rough and usually end in cul-de-sacs. The porches and pillars of the houses have an enlivening effect on the streets.

Box Office are open during the following hours : 09:00 - 18:00. The park is open for visits every day.

Miniaturk Restaurant, with its magnificent view of the Golden Horn, serves Traditional Turkish Cuisine dishes as well as other dishes that will appeal to different tastes. Miniaturk Cafe, on the other hand, offers fast-food. Open air shows and cultural activities organized at the theater below can be enjoyed from the stands in front of the terrace of the Cafe.

The first and only “monuments in crystal” museum in the world is now in Miniaturk:  the Istanbul Crystals Museum. This is an exhibition of three-dimensional works of art where crystal, light and laser technology combine to produce beautiful images from the past as well as from the present time.

16 of the most precious historic monuments of Istanbul re-created in crystal by means of laser technology: the largest models of this kind are in Istanbul Crystals. Istanbul Crystals, equipped with a high value variable RCB system LED technology lighting, is in the Park Miniaturk, Turkey in Miniatures.

The following models are exhibited in the “Istanbul Crystals” Museum:
The Galata Tower, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, The Çırağan Palace, The Mosque of Mehmet the Conqueror , The Haydarpaşa Station, the Building of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, University of Istanbul, the Maiden’s Tower, the Church of Saint Antoine, the Topkapı Palace, The Eyüp Sultan Mosque, the Rumeli Castle, the Dolmabahçe Palace,  the Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent and the Bosphorus Bridge.

Miniaturk's Panoramic Museum of Victory was inaugurated on December 25, 2003, in commemoration of the 80th year of the foundation of Turkish Republic. The war that we read about in history books seems as if it is taking place before our eyes. Models with sound and light effects not only take you to the front lines of the War of Independence, but also allow you the opportunity to observe the daily life behind the front.

In addition to the panoramic view of the Republic’s history, the Zafer Museum also has exhibitions of Anatolian village life and photographs of Atatürk. The museum also displays quotes from Atatürk that shed light on both the past and the future. The showcase of Turkey, Miniaturk also lets us witness the history of Turkey through the Panoramic Museum of Victory.


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