Happy New Year and Buon Anno! I’m having trouble downloading all of my Istanbul pictures to my computer, so for now, here are a few of my favorites I’ve been able to download so far.
- I get excited when I get new stamps on my passport. It’s not as “fun” in Europe anymore when you don’t get stamps when you’re anywhere in the EU.
2. Europe (our left), and Asia (our right)
3. Not a great picture, but the inside of the Hagia Sophia. It was the place I wanted to see the most in Istanbul because it used to be a church built at “Constantinople” in the 6th century (532–537) under the direction of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. When the Ottoman Turks conquered Istanbul in 1453 under “Mehmed the Conqueror” they converted it into a mosque (in 3 days!) – not really 3 days, but more to come. They covered the Christian mosaics with plaster (or something – I’m not good with materials). Muslims don’t believe in depictions of Mohammed, God, or holy people, so their mosques are decorated mostly with Arabic script and floral or geometric patterns.
It was changed into a museum in 1935 under Mustafa Atatürk, the founder of the current Turkish republic. He wanted it to be a more secular representation of the country.
4. One of the mosaics that hasn’t been fully restored.
5. The Blue Mosque from a window in the Hagia Sophia
That’s all for now. More to come!
P.S. For those readers who talk to my dad, he has pledged to come (to Europe) in the spring now that he has so much time as a retired person. 🙂 He came to Europe a few years ago when I was living in the south of Italy, and we had a great time in Germany together. Let’s put “pressure” on him to come again!