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!