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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Archive for September, 2013

September 25th, 2013 The Blue Mosque of Istanbul

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Sept. 25, 2013) – It’s hard to miss the Blue Mosque if you approach the city, as we did, by water. It looms over the city from its highest hill.  You can tell this Mosque from the bevy of others as it has six tall, magnificent minarets, rivaling the Mosque in Mecca.  Named for its beautiful blue Iznik tiles used to decorate the interior with intricate floral design, it was built in the 17th century by Sultan Ahmet I, as his answer to the Hagia Sophia, located within view across the park. It is open to the public except for specific prayer times and is an amazing place to sit on the carpeted floor, lean against a large pillar, and relax and contemplate! Enjoy the photo tour.

September 23rd, 2013 Istanbul’s Amazing Hagia Sophia

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Sept. 23, 2013) – My wife Kathleen had planned our two day stop-over in Istanbul and I had no idea what she had planned.  My biggest surprise were the two magnificent structures, The Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, separated by a series of fountains and a large green space on what the city calls its First Hill.  I’ll post photos of the Blue Mosque next, but for now, let’s take a look at the Hagia Sophia, now the city’s most interesting and probably the most visited museum.  Built in A.D. 537 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian as a Christian cathedral, it was converted into a mosque by the conquering Ottomans, and then into a museum in 1934.  The building has a soaring dome, large columns, and massive open space. The Christian-centered mosaics were plastered over when the building became a mosque, and partially uncovered when it became a museum!  Enjoy a photo tour of this magnificent building, its mosaics and its massiveness!

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