Sir John Soane Museum Foundation

Soane Travels


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2011 SOANE TRAVELS:  Istanbul

Sunday, 8 May to Sunday, 15 May 2011

You are cordially invited to join us for
a Soane Travels trip sponsored by

Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation

~  Istanbul  ~
Exploring the world of Sinan to Soane

(Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, 1490-1578 | Sir John Soane, 1753-1837)

Travel with us for 8-days as we explore the worlds of architecture, art and the decorative arts in the stunning and unique capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople - since 1930 known as Istanbul.  This special trip is  reserved for twenty-four discerning travelers who are seeking an extraordinary journey to this beautiful land... the crossroads of Eastern and Western cultures and civilizations.
While Sir John Soane never traveled to Constantinople, his dramatic use of light and domes in his work shares much with the architecture we shall be experiencing.  As Sir John Soane was important in his time to the Regency period in England, Mimar Sinan (c. 1490-1578) was of similar importance in the Ottoman Empire.  Sinan is one of the best known figures in this part of the world as he designed, built and supervised over 476 prominent buildings (196 of which still survive today).  His most famous project is north of Istanbul in Edirne, home of the Selimiye Mosque which is larger than Istanbul's most famous Hagia Sophia.  Sinan also designed buildings in Damascus, Sofia (Bulgaria), and in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This was the time of Michelangelo and his plans for St. Peter's Basilica; Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned in 1502 for a bridge project by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II of Istanbul to span the Golden Horn.  Classical Ottoman architecture is said to have reached its climax at the time of Sinan's death in the late 16th Century.  In addition to Sinan, we shall explore the works of many other talented architects, designers and artists that came before and since.

Guiding us for our week will be Mr. Saffet Emre Tonguç, a local historian, lecturer and writer.  He received his Masters in Ottoman Social History and will provide us with a fascinating insight into this most colorful and rich culture.  His interests include houses and landscapes, and his work has been featured in Maison Francaise, House Beautiful and has published three books on Turkey including most recently "Istanbul: The Ultimate Guide," 2010.

Some of the many highlights in store will include visits, receptions and dining experiences in private homes of leading Turkish families, famous decorators and private collectors.  The "private view" is a hallmark of the Soane Foundation's travel program and that of Stefano Aluffi-Pentini and his team.  Additionally, our itinerary includes an exclusive visit to the St. Sophia Museum and the Topkapı Palace.  There will be a full-day private Bosphorus Cruise and related visits, plus a private dinner cruise to see the sun setting over this magical city (sun sets at around 8:15pm).

Travelers can plan to depart from USA on Saturday afternoon, flying non-stop from New York's JFK on either Delta Airlines (flight departs JFK 4:50pm, arrives 10:15am) or Turkish Airlines (flight  departs JFK 4:45pm, arrives 9:25am; or second daily flight departs 10:45pm, arrives 3:25pm)   We will be staying at one of the top hotels in Istanbul, the Ritz-Carlton located near Taksim Square on the European side of the Bosphorus and which is perched on the hill overlooking this fascinating city.

* * *

Soane Travel trips are all inclusive and provide a deluxe personalized travel experience. The cost per person includes seven-nights in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, breakfast each day, all lunches and dinners including evening cocktails or receptions, local transportation by private deluxe coach, all entries, guides and our local historian for the week.

Sponsored by Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation | Arranged by A Private View of Europe, A Private View of Italy


Please click on the globe below to view photos from past SOANE TRAVEL adventures


PLEASE send us an # e-mail or call to let us know if you have an interest early so that we can keep in touch as details and plans develop – no mass mailing will be done on this so it is mostly word of mouth that sells-out our very special trips.

Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation wishes to recognize our various current travel partners
for their help to organize our varied trip offerings:

Classical Excursions

A Private View of Italy / A Private View of Europe

Academic Arrangements Abroad


Nikolai Yermolayev and Tatiana Yermolayeva of the Alliance Foundation St. Petersburg

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