Stunning Spring Festival.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Istanbul between 1st and 30th April 2013, like we were, you’ll see vibrant coloured tulips everywhere across the city’s main attractions, parks and roundabouts.
Now in its eighth year, the Tulip Festival has become a stunning spring attraction, with a staggering 14 million bulbs in bloom – that’s one for each person living in Istanbul!
270 different varieties of tulip are on show in the city.
It was the Turkish Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, who first introduced Europeans to tulips. In 1554 he presented some bulbs to the visiting Austrian Ambassador Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, who took them back for the gardens of Emperor Ferdinand I. The Emperor’s imperial gardener and botanist, Carolus Clusius, took some bulbs with him to Holland and began cultivating them on a much larger scale, and from that point on, the Dutch tulip industry flourished.
For more information about the festival, visit http://www.ibb.gov.tr/en-US/Pages/Haber.aspx?NewsID=757