Turkey: Day 2 (Tour of Istanbul: Hagia Sophia)

After I managed to catch my breath and move on from the Blue Mosque ordeal, our group walked a short distance over to Hagia Sophia.  What’s interesting about it is that it was first a church, then a mosque and now a museum.

Being the tourist, I first had to stop and snap a few pictures.  Here it is from outside.


Interestingly enough, I didn’t learn my lesson from the Blue Mosque incident.  I managed to get separated from our group yet again.  I was so proud of myself.  Fortunately this time I wasn’t alone.  My friends were with me.  We scrambled looking for anyone from the group or the guide, but no can do.  So, we stood in one place while my friend’s husband went looking for the group.  He found them and we were reunited :D.

So we got inside and learned about the interesting history of the now museum.  What interested me most was that so many things were still intact today, after all these years.  There seemed to be something from everywhere.

From the period under Christianity


When it was converted into a mosque, such images were covered in plaster as in Islam images are prohibited.  Amazingly, removing the plaster didn’t cause much damage to the original work.

From the period under Islam


Amazing how well all of these things have stood the test of time.  I don’t know if anything today is of the same quality of these past generations.

Anyway, other than the mishap when we first got to this place, this particular place on the day’s tour list was uneventful.  I was just happy to see all of these places, many of which I had either learned about in school or later from friends.

We left for our next stop which was a stop at a carpet weaving outfit and then a walk through the Grand Bazaar.

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