“The Spiritual tour took me into the hidden spiritual spaces off Istanbul's main drag, Istiklal. The tour was like having a good friend with a deep knowledge of the area showing you the sites. Deeply informative, but just casual enough that it was also thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to discovering more about the many layers of Istanbul and highly recommend the Istanbul Tour Studio.” Read more on Tripadvisor.
SPIRITUAL SUNDAY WALK
This tour offers a chance to follow the footsteps and religious rituals of different communities inhabiting the old Istanbul district of Pera (Beyoglu in Turkish). Pera’s settlement history dates back to the 5th century AD. Today, it is one of the very few places in Istanbul where the sound of Ezan (Muslim call to prayer) and the bells of Catholic Churches get mixed up in the air. The original name of the area “Peran en Sykais” is a Greek word that means “The fig field on the other side”. Pera being the little city across the Golden Horn from old Istanbul has always been home for minorities and expats.
Today Pera neighbourhood still represents the rich mosaic culture of Istanbul. On this walk, called “Spiritual Sunday Walk,” we are focusing on the past residents and owners of Istanbul from the perspective of religion and beliefs. Starting from an Armenian Gregorian Church we visit one per each house of worship.
The multicultural make-up of Pera
- Venetian and Genoese: Pera was home to Catholic Venetian and Genoese immigrants referred as “Levant” meaning “Eastern” in French. The Levant culture left its mark in the architectural façade of this area. Many of the monuments and landmarks carry the traces of this culture.
- From Spain to Constantinople: Sephardic Jews were another society who played an important role in the development of culture and business of Pera area.
- Ottoman Turks of Istanbul: Needless to say, Turks have also been permanent residents of the city since 1453 and they added to the richness of the area through their Muslim traditions and culinary culture.
Where we visit on our Spiritual Sunday Walk:
- Armenian Gregorian Church
- Roman Catholic Church
- Greek Orthodox Church
- Galata Mevlevihanesi (with an option to watch a Whirling Dervishes ceremony)
- Crimean Memorial Church (Anglican)
- A former Jewish Synagogue
- One of the oldest mosques in Istanbul
- An underground Mosque
- Russian Orthodox Roof-top church
Among the interesting topics you will learn about are:
- Fourth Crusaders and Latin Kingdom of Constantinople
- Foundation of Sunni-Sufi Muslim Community by Rumi (Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi)
- Whirling Dervishes and Sufi Music
- The Ottoman era in Constantinople, its early mosques and Islamic culture
- The Levant Culture (European immigrants daily and religious lives in Constantinople)
- Sephardic Jewish community and their journey to the Ottoman lands in 1492
- Crimean War (Ottoman/English/French vs. Russian), the Crimean Memorial Church and Florance Nightingale
Who is this tour for?
- Anyone interested in finding out about the multicultural make-up of Istanbul.
- People who have an interest in history, culture, architecture, or religion.
- Anyone who thinks that spending a Sunday walking around the charming backstreets of Istanbul learning about the city sounds like the ideal Sunday.
Why book with Istanbul Tour Studio?
- Istanbul Tour Studio is rated "Excellent" on Tripadvisor. Click to read the latest reviews about us.
- We make you feel at home! Our tours give you the feeling that you are walking around Istanbul with local friends.
- We have team of knowledgeable personnel that are trustworthy, friendly and always on time.
- We’ll take you to the places where no other tours usually go.
Optional: Sufi Ceremony at 5:00 pm
The Sunday walk will end at Karaköy around 3:00 pm. For those who are interested in watching the Sema (Whirling Dervishes) there is an option of staying to watch the weekly Sufi ceremony at Galata Mevlevihanesi, every Sunday starting at 5pm.
How much is the private Spiritual Sunday tour per person?
- Our private Spiritual Sunday tour price is $120 USD/person for two people. ($240 USD/total for two adults)
- Our prices are quoted per person. We require minimum two participants to organise this private tour. Please contact us if you'd like to book a private tour for one person. The prices include English speaking professional guidance and venue entrance fees. We offer dynamic pricing which means as the number of people on your private group increase, our per person prices decrease.
- This tour costs $120 USD/person for two people; $95 USD/person for three people; $80 USD/person for four people; $70 USD/person for five people and so on. You will automatically get the dynamic pricing at the booking phase once you select the total number of people.
Managing Director of Istanbul Tour Studio