#1 HIPPODROME SQUARE
Also known as Sultan Ahmet Meydani (Square). Hippodrome comes from Greek words "Hippos" meaning horse and "Dromos" meaning path or way. The area here used to be a chariot-racing track.
|German or Kaiser-Wilhelm fountain|
|Obelisk of Theodosius aka Egyptian Obelisk|
There were a few obelisks like this. This one I like because of the Egyptian hieroglyphics.It was originally made in Luxor and then shipped to Constantinopole (old capital, now Istanbul). The base is particularly interesting as it shows the life of the people way back when.
|The road next to Hippodrome Square|
There were more to see at roads nearby. A small cafe with fresh orange and / or pomegranate juice and souvenirs.
#2 BLUE MOSQUE OR SULTAN AHMED MOSQUE
|One of the most well-known mosque in the world|
Finished by 1616, this mosque has truly stand the test of time. It is also well-known for its 6 minarets, something not most mosques have. The word "Six" in Turkish (Alti) is almost similar to "Gold" (Altin).
|Tried using B &W filter|
I don't usually take black and white photographs because I am not good in it. But I kinda like this one. Taken in the mosque courtyard.
|Mom, our tour guide Eric and moi|
Our wonderful tour guide, Eric. His name is actually Erkal but it's kinda hard to pronounce it so he just asked us to call him Eric. Its something like "Air-Cal", his name.
|The Friday prayers were about to begin so we had to leave early|
Inside the mosque, the interior design is a marvel. It's called Blue Mosque mainly because of the blue tiles that adorned the interior. Religion does not allow them to design human or any figurines so the tiles were arranged in mosaic style, creating unique patterns everywhere.
|Mosque was decorated with colourful tiles|
They still kept this old paraffin oil lamps chandeliers which are kept really low - something about them not being good reflectors of light and also easier to reach.
|Walking across from Blue Mosque to next destination|
Outside, you can find many vendors selling roasted corn, bread / pastries and chestnuts.
#3 HAGIA SOPHIA
|St. Sophia is just a stone throw's away|
|The entrance to St. Sophia|
It means "Holy Wisdom" in Greek. St. Sophia was its old name, as a cathedral.
|Gold ceilings adorned the corridors|
Much of the Christian designs has been replaced with Islamic designs when it was transformed to a mosque. E.g. the cross design on the door was modified into an arrow design.
|Fusion of both Christian and Islamic designs|
Inside is colourful. Can still see the Christian churches influence, despite the Muslim religion adornments placed everywhere, like the Arabic letters depicting names of prophets and emperors placed at each corner.
|The seraph in the middle, the six-winged angel|
I love all the colours, very pretty despite some parts have peeled off or plastered over, it is really old.
|I love these vintage "chandeliers"|
You can still see the chandeliers, just like in Blue Mosque.
|I forgot what was beneath those grills but people were sure interested|
Every part of this museum tells a story. There was even a design dedicated to God of Sea, Neptune or Triton. And Lustration Urns from Pergamon. And mosaic design of Virgin Mary and Child, flanked by Justinian I and Constantine I.
Next post: Istanbul Topkapi Palace and Bosphorus River