Day 1–Istanbul

Hagia Sophia









We couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather!     It was very foggy when we arrived on Saturday but this morning it was glorious.  After a late breakfast we started our day with a walk to the Hagia Sophia.  This was first a Christian church, built to rival St Peter’s in Rome.  When the Ottomans defeated the Christians in 1453 it was changed to a mosque and is now a public museum.

DSC03819DSC03810DSC03799                 DSC03652

Quite a few ancient mosaics from the original Christian church have been discovered.  Many were covered with plaster when it was changed to a mosque.  This actually helped to preserve them.






Next we stopped in to see the underground cistern.  Built on the site of an earlier basilica, it is often called the Basilica Cistern. There’s only a few feet of water in it now.  When in use it was big enough to hold 27 million gallons of fresh water.  Two of the pillars have even older bases of stone with Medusa heads carved in them.  No one knows why this one is placed upside down.  The other one is sideways.

The CisternMedusa Head in Cistern






This is the Blue Mosque, nicknamed for the blue tiles inside.

















You can buy fresh pomegranate juice on the street!

Pommegranet Juice

And there are lots of healthy looking cats hanging around.


The Blue Mosque

Today we stayed in the old district.  These sites are within a mile of our hotel and it was easy walking.  Tomorrow we’ll continue to explore this city of twenty million people!


About graciamc

Gracia's Travels is a photo blog. I always take too many pictures on trips so I justify my compulsion with this blog! The blog is mostly photos - they tell the best part of the story. Please contact me if you would like to use any of my photos.
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2 Responses to Day 1–Istanbul

  1. Joanne says:

    Already so much history and great pictures . . . glad you are enjoying perfect weather. I’ll look forward to your next posting.

  2. Bob Forgrave says:

    The Hagia Sophia is amazing. Thanks for sharing, Gracia!


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