This page is focused on the mosques
& palaces of Istanbul. The skyline of Istanbul dotted with its domes
& minarets is terribly dramatic, and I couldn't really get a good
picture so you'll just have to go there and see it for yourself!
This is the Aya Sophia, originally the Sancta Sophia first built
by Emperor Justinian in 527. It is located on top of Byzantium's
Acropolis. Within the 14 centuries of its existence, it has changed
quite a bit, first as a small church, then a much larger one, then
a mosque and now its a museum.
This is the Blue Mosque, another one of Istanbul's most famous
mosques. It was built around 1600 and was built to rival and surpass
the Aya Sophia. The architecture outside is stunning. The inside
This is the Eminönü Mosque, or New
Mosque. It sits on the waterfront near the Galata Bridge, makes
for a lovely stroll in the evening. The fish stalls, mosques,
and loads of people out and about for an evening walk make for
a very festive atmosphere.
This is the main entrance to the Blue Mosque.
The smaller domes cascade down from a central main dome, which
is visually stunning. In front is typical small family.
Another picture of the cascading domes from
the first courtyard.
Inside the Blue Mosque. Note the carved wooden
doors and beautiful ceiling tiles.
Here is the inside of the mosque. Each square
on the carpet indicate a place for kneeling & prayer. I'm
not sure how many hundreds of squares there are.
Here, behind the lattice work, is the place
for women to pray. Some women did pray outside of the lattice
work sections, but always behind the columns, to the back of the
These two pictures were taken by Laurie, inside
She's far more bold than I....*
We caught a whirling dervish show one evening.
The Whirling Ceremony (or Sema) features a flutist, drummer, chanter
or choir and dancers. Losing themselves in the spinning dance
represents becoming one with and dissolving in God.
Here's another picture of the spinning. The
spinning (and there is an unbelievable amount on it) is non-stop
during the 45 min. performance.*
Here is the entrance to Topkapi Palace, the
residence of the sultans for over 300 years. Home to amazing tile
work, architecture, and the imperial treasury which includes 200
lb gold candlesticks, golden & pearl encrusted thrones, and
jeweled items with rubies, emeralds, & diamonds the size of
Take a look at this gateway: the tile work,
multiple types of
marble, and golden foot wash.*
This is the greeting room of the palace Harem.
The Harem is not just the place the babes hung out, but it is
the term for the private living quarters of the royal family.
This is one of the private rooms used by the
These two pictures show you some of the details
that went into each of the room decoration
Notice all of the different patterns....quite