Originally built as a Constantinople Christian basilica (name meaning Holy Wisdom), it was transformed into a mosque several hundred years later with the new city name of Istanbul. Today it is a non-religious museum that reflects the heritage of both religions.
This image was taken in a plaza outside the Spice Market in Old Istanbul. There is a strange juxtaposition of the scantily-clothed girls on the background advertisement who seem to be looking at the conservative muslim women in head-to-toe black attire.
This bronze burnished figure adorns the top of the large gates at the entrance to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. I don’t know the background of the figure/face. My friends know that I can’t pass up a good door or gate!
The Magnificent Haghia Sophia, meaning “Holy Wisdom” in the original Greek tongue, was built as a Eastern Orthodox Basilica in 537. About 900 years later, under Ottoman rule, it was converted to a mosque. Under the rule of moderate Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, it was secularized and became a museum with no religious dedication. The frescoes, tiles, adornments and sculptures are amazing and so well-preserved for a structure that is 1600 years old. Unfortunately, there are Turkish political leanings that want to bring the structure back as a mosque. Pity.
I doubt that most would want to go into a cistern. But this happens to be one of the major tourist sites in Istanbul. A MASSIVE underground site, built from unused columns of other structures is below the old city of Istanbul. Large goldfish are easily seen in the darkness, with high contrast from up-lighting on each column.
This is one of our HUG students trying to understand the culture when we were in Turkey in June. During times when worshippers are not present, tourists are allowed to enter, with certain rules. All must take off their shoes, and women must cover themselves modestly and cover their head. During worship, muslim women are not allowed to be with the men.