Greg & Tracy - 2016 Europe & Asia travel blog

Sultanahmet Square looking towards the Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Inner square, Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

View from a roof top restaurant of the Hagia Sophia and Blue...

... at sunset ... wow ... we agreed that this view was...

...

View of the harbour to the south east.

Hagia Sophia at the other end of Sultanahmet Square from the Blue...

Hagia Sophia ... and famous spa on left side

Basilica Cistern ... nothing special from the outside ...

Basilica Cistern ... once you walk down the stairs ... quite impressive!


The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) ... was constructed between 1609 and 1616 and today is not only a functioning mosque, but also a very popular tourist site. 20,000 Incredible hand-painted blue tiles cover the mosque’s interior walls and more than 200 stained glass windows allow in light. At night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. Women are allowed inside the inner square as well inside the mosque for prayers, but must be covered with a head scarf and no skin showing (arms, legs).

Hagia Sophia ... "Holy Wisdom" was a Greek Orthodox church, later an imperial mosque, and now a museum. It was constructed in 537 AD and besides the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, it is one of the city's major tourist attractions. It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. (Wikipedia fact 瀹)

In the same area of the city is also the Basilica Cistern. It is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul and was built in the 6th century. This cistern provided a water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill, and continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times. At first entrance, you think yah... right ... a hokey tourist trap ... but once you climb down the stairs ... wow!

The Topkapi Palace was closed so unfortunately we were't able to go inside ... only walk thru the palace park, where we found a Fair Maiden.

Xoxo

Babs n Bones



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