Back in Istanbul

If the Earth was a single state, Istanbul would be its capital

Napoleon Bonaparte

Blue Mosque from Turkoman Hotel

Blue Mosque from Turkoman Hotel

It is great to be back in Istanbul. After dropping my bags off at the Turkoman Hotel (with a fabulous view of the Blue Mosque) I was off to get my cultural fix. While staying in Sultanahmet is expensive, I think the accessibility it gives to the sites is well worth it.

Blue Mosque Interior

Blue Mosque Interior

The thing I like most about Turkey is how open they are about their heritage, opening their mosques to non-muslims outside of prayer times. I was again struck by the sheer size of the splendid 17th century Sultan Ahmed Mosque (more popularly known as the Blue Mosque and with six, rather than the more common four, two or one, minarets). It is however not my favourite. That is, for me and many tourists and Turks alike, Rustem Pasha Mosque, which I am saving for the end of this trip.

Hagia Sophia Interior

Hagia Sophia Interior

And of course there is Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya in Turkish) – “Church of the Divine Wisdom”. I wandered around awe-struck (again!). The astounding architecture (no elephant columns like the ones in the Blue Mosque used here), the mosaics, the odd bits that don’t belong and yet do. Built between 532 and 537 under personal supervision of Emperor Justinian, it is a must see.

This entry was posted in Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

    Relive our travels and stories by browsing our articles and archives from the menus below.

  • Browse all our articles

  • Browse our archives