Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Ayasofya and the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey (April 25-27, 2008)

The Ayasofya from the outside
Inside the enormous Ayasofya. The Ayasofya was built in 537 AD under orders by Emperor Justinian. When Istanbul was conquered by Sultan Mehmed in 1453, he had the church converted into a mosque. Today, the building is a museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
An intricate mosaic inside the Ayasofya
Here I am, wearing blue in front of the Blue Mosque (it's the inside of the mosque that's blue). The Blue Mosque, or the Sultanahmet Camii by its proper name, is decorated with approximately 20,000 tiles that give the mosque its popular name.
The beautiful interior of the Blue Mosque

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