The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus is a 32 km long strait in Turkey, separating the continents of Europe and Asia. It is the waterway from the Black Sea in the North to the Sea of Marmara in the South.

The width of the strait varies from 500 meters (1640 feet) to 3 km (2 miles), its depth varies from 50 to 120 meters (164 to 394 feet.

It has always been one of the world’s most strategic waterways throughout history. In fact it is a very busy strait with many ships and oil tankers, as well as local fishing and passenger boats.

It runs right through the heart of Istanbul, past the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, several Ottoman palaces, at least two fortresses, forested hills, and shore villages with Ottoman architecture. (For self-guided touring, I’ve divided it into the Southern Bosphorus and Northern Bosphorus.)

There are two suspension bridges linking the two sides of the strait: The first one which was finished in 1973 lies between Beylerbeyi and Ortaköy and is called Bogazici Bridge. It is 1074m (1175yards) long, 6 lanes, 165m (540ft) height of piers. 

The second one called Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge lies between Anadolu Hisari and Rumeli Hisari and was completed in 1988. It has a length of 1090m (1192yd) long, 8 lanes, and a height of 65m - from the water.

Bosphorus is one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery in Turkey with several palaces, ruins, villages, and gardens along its coast. The best way to enjoy this beauty is to take a trip on one of the coastal boats.

Some of the interesting palaces, buildings or neighborhoods on the Bosphorus are: Galata tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Yildiz Palace, Besiktas, Ortaköy, Arnavutköy, Bebek, Rumeli Fortress, Tarabya, Yeniköy, Istinye, Sariyer, Uskudar (Scutari), Kanlica, Beykoz, Anatolian Fortress, Beylerbeyi Palace and Kuleli Military High school.

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