6 nights / 7 days
Day 01 Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, assistance and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in istanbul.
Day 02 Istanbul (B-L)
Start after breakfast for a tour in GALATA,the centuries- old Jewish neigborhood with it’s famous tower built by Genoese.Visit to NEVE SHALOM “Oasis of Peace” Synagogue, the biggest sephardic Synagogue in İstanbul. The Synagogue is beautiful with it’s strong dome carrying a chandelier of 8 tons,coloured glasses,wooden structures and marble sections.Continuation to the only active Ashkenazi Synagogue founded by Jews of Austrian origin in 1900. Stop at OR YOM (Old Age Home) also known as old Alliance School,possibility to meet members of the community. Lunch in terrace of Old Age Home where you have a panoramic view of the city. During the visit the Botton Apartments where a famous Jewish family lived in 1900’s will be visited from outside.Drive to Karakoy District where we can see the heritages of Camondo Family and the Camondo Stairs. We will visit also the Jewish Museum of Turkey located in the complexe of Neve Shalom building, known as Quincentennial Foundation. Visit from outside the former Zulfaris Synagogue existed in 167In the afternoon, visit the Hippodrome, Blue mosque and Topkapi palace. Overnight in istanbul.
Day 03 Istanbul (B-L)
Drive to Balat District along the Golden Horn,residential area of Ottoman Jews where star of David still appears on the facades of some buildings. Visit the Ahrida Synagogue built in the 15th Century. Visit the Jewish Hospital Or Ahayim, free time in the street and lunch. In the afternoon we will continue with a cruise on the Bosphorus. From the awe-inspiring Dolmabahce Palace to the wooden houses on the Bosphorus called “Yalis” ,you will experience the best views the city has to offer while enjoying a wonderful cruise along the Bosphorus. Istanbul Cruise will give you a unique insight into the great city’s history. Our cruise will end in Eminönü Pier where we will enjoy to visit the Egyptian Bazar,Spice Market and the Grand Bazar. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 04 Istanbul – Edirne (B-L)
Early breakfast at the hotel and check-out. departure for edirne, the second capital of ottoman empire situated in the northwest of turkey with borders with greece and bulgaria.visit the great synagogue of edirne restored by the prime ministry general directorate of foundations (opened on thursday, 26 march 2015) the great synagogue is one of the most important faith centres of edirne, hosting the houses of worship of three sacred religions. it was built with the permission of the ottoman government and the edict of abdulhamid ii in january 1906. it is the largest synagogue in balkans, and the third largest in europe. the restoration of the synagogue was initiated in 2010 in the scope of the reforms addressing the religious freedom and social life requirements of various religious groups in turkey. the synagogue is opened for service after five years of effort.possibility to visit selimiye mosque, the symbol of edirne. carrying the name of the then reigning sultan selim ii, the mosque was built by famous architect sinan. architect sinan finished the construction in 1575, when he was 85 and considered selimiye mosque to be his “master piece”. its huge dome is even higher than that of hagia sophia. selimiye mosque is the crown of edirne with its simple but glorious existence. unesco added selimiye mosque and its social complex to its world heritage list on june 27, 2011. overnight in edirne.
Day 05 Edirne / Plovdiv/Sofia (B-L-D)
Lucina the Greek called Plovdiv “the biggest and most beautiful of all towns” in Thrace. It is Bulgaria´s second largest city. The old town show us the long and varied history of the city: the Thracian fortifications used by Macedonians masons and overlaid with Byzantine walls, the mansions erected during the Bulgarian Revival, the Ottoman mosques and artisan´s homes of the lower town. Plovdiv was a cross-road between East and West. There are still remains as: the city Forum, the Amphitheatre of Philip II of Macedonia (he gave it the name “Filipopolis”). We can visit picturesque buildings from 17-18 centuries (The Revival Period), the Church of Saint Constantino and Saint Helen, the Ethnographic Museum. We can visit them or simply to walk across the narrow streets of the Old Plovdiv for enjoying the charm of the city. The city is situated on both banks of Maritza river and surrounded by three hills: “Trimontium”.
The Synagogue of Plovdiv It is one of the most ancient cultural monuments of the city. It dates back of the III-IV centuries A.C., when Plovdiv was called Filipopolis. It is the most ancient Synagogue in Bulgarian lands. It is outlined for its dimensions and mosaics. In a coloured mosaic that dates back of the centuries III-IV AD was discovered an inscription in Greek and a golden drawing of the Menorah (chandelier of 7 arms) The synagogue was active up to the 6th century when it was destroyed by the barbarians. The synagogue was restored between 1886-1887. During the period from 1998 to 2003 was made a complete external and internal restoration of the building. It is a monument of gratitude of the Hebrews of Plovdiv for having being saved. This Synagogue only opens the Sabbath and in the big festivities. For this reason if the visitor wants to admire its beautiful internal decoration out of these dates, he must inform previously the Plovdiv branch of the Hebrews in Bulgaria, Shalom. Return to Sofia
Day 06 Sofia (B-L-D)
Breakfast. Walking tour in Sofia: The Capital of Bulgaria has changed its name down the ages: Serdica (8th -7th centuries BC) because of the Thracian tribes “ serdi” who built the original settlement. During the 14th century it was named Sredets and from the 14 century the present name: Sofia. It is one of the most ancient cities in Europe. Due to its important strategic position on the road linking Constantinople with Central Europe it has an important architectural heritage: Greek, Roman, Byzantine, etc. The motto of its national emblem is “Sofia grows but does not age”. It has about 1 million inhabitants and it is situated in the foot of Vitosha mountain, the Bulgaria´s first National Park. This nearness allows the visitors to reach the higher peak (2290 m height) in only 1 hour from the city centre. The quietness and charm of Mount Vitosha offers ideal spots for picnics or walking in the summer and superb skiing in the Winter.Sofia´s protective fortress walls for 12 centuries, straddle the city centre where remnants of the original Serdica settlement (2nd century) still lie.
Sites must be visited:
Sveta Nedelya Church. Sofia´s cathedral during the Middle Ages. It gives the name to the Square where it is situated and it is close to the Banya Bashi Mosque (16th century),the Turskish Baths(1911), the Hali covered market and clock tower, the Sinagoga (a building from the sepharad jews who came from Portugal and Spain and established in Bulgaria during the 15thcentury. One of the largest in Europe. St George Rotunda, (4th century)part of a large archeological complex with rare Roman architectural features and beautiful frescoes. It was built during Roman Emperor Constantino I the Great. Sveta Petka Samarzdhiiska Church, built toward the end of the 14th .The Church Historical Museum (1905) richly ornamented . The Russian Church Saint Nicholas Built between 1912 and 1914 according to the Russian Architectural Style of 17th and 18th centuries. The Alexander Nevski Memorial Church, the symbol of the city: Neobyzantine style with magnificent icons and frescoes. The Crypt preserves a rich collection or religious art: icons, frescoes, engravings, etc. The Cathedral was built in 1912 as sign of thankfulness to Rusia for the liberation of Bulgaria from the ottoman yoke. The Church of Sveta Sofia (Holy Wisdom) One of the most ancient temples of the city:5th and 6th centuries. Sometime in the 14th century the town became known as Sofia, the name probably taken from the Church.The Boyana Church on Sofia´s outskirts (World Heritage) a fine example of Medieval architecture with unique wall paintings from 1259.The National Museum of History. It was established as museum in 1973 and keeps a rich exposition of the Bulgarian Historical and Cultural Heritage. It is worth seeing the “oldest gold of the world made by human hands” (4000 years BC), the treasure from Panagiurishte (4th century BC) and the Hall of the Thracian Treasures.
The Synagogue of Sofia. Building of the Sephardis who came from Portugal and Spain and were established in Bulgaria in the 15th century. Is one of the major ones of Europe. Built between 1905-1906 according to project of the architect Friedrich Gruenanger like imitation to the already existing Sephardic synagogue of Prague. In size, it is the Europa’s second Sephardic synagogue. The rich ornamentation of fronts and interior sample the influence of the art Hispanic – Morisco that the Sephardis brought. This one is the ideal place to begin a circuit dedicated to the Hebrew heritage in Bulgaria. It was officially inaugurated on September 9th, 1909 in presence of the czar Ferdinand and of the tsarina Eleonora. The synagogue was restored on the occasion of its centenary in 2009. When the visitor enters in the central room comes back to the epoch in which in Sofia were living 20 thousand Hebrews. In the second floor you can find the only one museum in Bulgaria of the Hebrew history. The collection is in the former room for rehearsals of the choir of the synagogue. The above mentioned choir was created in 1910 and though its official name is different, nowadays it is known as “Choir Tsadikov” in honor of its director.
Visit of the National Museum of History in the afternoon. It was established as museum in 1973 and keeps a rich exposition of the Bulgarian Historical and Cultural Heritage. It is worth seeing the “oldest gold of the world made by human hands” (4000 years BC), the treasure from Panagiurishte (4th century BC) and the Hall of the Thracian Treasures.
Day 07 Sofia – Transfer to the airport.