Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul in Turkey is the place where Europe comes closest to Asia. Istanbul has had a turbulent past. When the Eastern pope of the new East Roman Empire and took residence in what was then called Constantinoble, the city florished and grew as the center of the Byzantine world.

The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia on The Golden Horn, with modern Istanbul in the background

The Hagia Sofia

Hagia Sofia was the cathedral and most important Christian church in the East Roman Empire. The Hagia Sofia was to the Orthodox christians under the Eastern Pope what St. Peters Church in Rome is to the Catholic Church. The central cupola is 96 meters wide.

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is a relatively new building on The Golden Horn.

The Topkapi Palace on The Golden Horn

The Topkapi Palace at the Eastern edge of The Golden Horn was the royal palace of the emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

The Harem in the Topkapi Palace

This is the Harem and the residence of the wife of the emperor of the Ottoman Empire.

Mosaics inside The Topkapi Palace

The inside of The Topkapi Palace has had the decorations restored, and these mosaics offer some insight in the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire and its emperor.

The old bazar in Instanbul

The Grabd Bazaar or Capali Carsi in Istanbul is still very much in use. It is a covered bazaar roughly half a kilometer wide from West to East. Multiply this by the nine central pedestrian streets and you get an idea how long it will take you to see it all.

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