Sunday 5 May 2019

Istanbul Top Attractions: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum and Hippodrome Square

Istanbul which I initially mistook for Turkey's capital is its largest, its most populous and most happening city. Being under the influence of many world renowned empires before, Istanbul is culturally and historically rich and offers a host of interesting places to visit and things to do, hence a visit to Turkey is deemed incomplete without a stopover in Istanbul. Among the places that top its list of attractions are Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Museum. These two are among Istanbul's most iconic structures, attracting thousands of tourists each day. They are often visited together as they are located next to each other.  Not to be missed while visiting these two is a site of historical significance in the vicinity called The Hippodrome of Constantinople.

Blue Mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque which is more popularly known as Blue Mosque is located in the old town of Istanbul where a number of other historical sights are found. This mosque was built by an Ottoman king, Sultan Ahmed in the early 17th century and is reputed to be one of the top ten most beautiful mosque in the world. The mosque got its nickname from the blue tiles that embellish its interior. The mosque has many domes:  5 major domes and 6 smaller domes which together with its six towering minarets adorn the skyline of Istanbul. It also features a huge inner courtyard which is flanked by charming arcades.
Even though Blue Mosque is a functional mosque, it is open to the public and for free too. There is however a strict dress code to follow. To facilitate visitors who are not aware of this rule, a kiosk is set up in the compound to loan out head scarves and sarongs which can be returned at the exit.

Wearing a borrowed head scarf

The arcade that flanks the inner courtyard

The interior

 The intricate designs and paintings on its ceilings and walls

In the garden at the exit

Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia Museum with a history that dates back to the 6th century was originally a church. It was converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Empire and later became a museum. Built during the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire), this monument is an architectural masterpiece which has made its way into the list of  'Seven Medieval Wonders Of The World'. 
This imposing monument features an enormous dome, beautiful doors, solid pillars of stones and marbles and intricate mosaic work depicting Christian scenes but because it was built so long ago, the artwork in its interior appeared to have seen better days. Though the paintings have faded, other structures remain intact and overall it is still very stunning. 

The beautiful park in front of Haggai Sophia Museum

 The fading artwork on the walls and ceiling

Marble pillars and beautiful arches

Beautiful tulips in the park fronting Hagia Sophia Museum

Hippodrome Of Constantinople
The Hippodrome of Constantinople which was established in Year 203 by a Roman Emperor is a rectangular arena which used to house sporting events like gladiator fights, horse and chariot races.  On the arena a couple of obelisks, a column and a fountain have been erected. Today the hippodrome is a square.
Obelisk Of Theodosius, erected during Byzantine Empire was brought from Egypt. This obelisk is 3500 years old. Seen in the background is Konstantin II Obelisk 

 Stone carvings at the base of the Theodosius Obelisk

German Fountain on the northern side of the hippodrome, constructed in 1898 to commemorate a German Emperor's visit to Istanbul.

Related Posts: Click To View
1. 10 Fun Facts About Turkey
2. The Blossoms And Wild Flowers Of Turkey
3. Istanbul Attraction: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum And Hippodrome Square
4. Istanbul Attraction: Grand Bazaar
5. Istanbul Attraction: Tulip Festival @ Emirgan Park
6. Istanbul Attraction: Topkapi Palace Museum Photo Gallery
7.Istanbul Attraction: Taksim Square And Istiklal Street
8.Istanbul Attraction: Bosphorus Cruise
9. Staying In Radisson Blu Residence, Istanbul
10. From Istanbul To Canakkale
11. The Ancient City Of Troy And The Acropolis Of Pergamon
12.Photos Of Sirince Village, An Ancient Greek Village In Turkey
13. A Visit To The Ancient City Of Ephesus
14. Pamukkale Cotton Castle & The Ancient City Of Hierapolis
15. The Journey From Pamukkale To Cappadocia
16. Staying In A Cave Hotel In Cappadocia
17. Getting To Know Ortahisar
18. Cappadocia, A Rocky Wonderland
19. Goreme Open Air Museum, Cappadocia
20. Cappadocia Underground City: My Photo Gallery
21.Journey From Cappadocia To Bolu
22. Staying In Buyuk Abant Hotel
23.Random Snapshots Of Turkey

No comments :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...