he will visit Sultanahmet Square today..this place is situated inside the old byzantine city walls.. and facing the open sea.. the port.. the commerce centers are and were always situted there.... and of course this part has been and still is one of the most important parts of the city for all ages..
During the byzantine empire.. it was the hypodrome area.. where they made rallies of old days.. there were two groups the greens and the blues.. and these had even political power.. the two team raced in small cars and it was turning to quite a bloody end sometimes.. the big royal palaces and the big churches were there.. here is general view..
the pride of this place are the two neighbour buildings.. the Hagia Sophia.. Ayasofya in my language.. and the Mosque of Sultanahmet ..Saint Sophia which is not dedicated to St Sophy as believed but to ''Holy Wisdom'' was built on 360 AC.. but has perished many times.. and the last building dates to 537 .. during the reign of Justininus.. the dome was a roman.. but placing a dome on a rectangular building has never been attempted before.. and never again after.. this was a trial of architecture.. the aim was to prove the power of the byzantine emperor to the world..but the structure was not right and the dome was so large that the walls which carried it ..bended by this weight..and it has collapsed a number of times and had to be restorated a number of times.. which costed great amounts of money..finally on 1453.. when the ottomans conquered the city.. Mehmet the Conqueror.. has had his religeous 'namaz' sevice held in here.. another show of power.. but the bulding it was in ruins..the head architect Mimar Sinan.. was ordered to renovate it.. and has added some external walls to prevent collapse.. four minarets.. and it has been converted into a mosque.. it was converted to a museum.. after the republic was founded..by the orders of Atatürk.. and still is a museum.. the dome is beautiful.. and large as I mentioned..and it is happy to see that the mozaics remained all these years..The same Fatih the Conqueror.. he killed himself to stop one of his soldiers destroying a marble cover within the church..in order to find a hidden treasure .. this was a very clear message.. to whoever thought of destroying..
there are many beautiful mozaics.... dating back to the 9th.. 12th century..this one below is Jesus Christ coasted by the empress Zoe..and emperor Konstantin Monomaknos..who is 3rd husband of the empress.. and the writing over the head and the head itself ..of the emperor which was dating back to the first husband were scraped and changed after their marriage.. and the mosque of Sultanahmet.. known as the blue mosque.. It is the only mosque which has 6 minarets.. and at some angles you can only see three .. they superpose each other..
and the dome .. and some of the walls are covered by Iznik tiles .. very renowned for their intricate design .. mostly bue..therefore the name.. and has lots of botanical patterns on them..
the dome and arches .. are beautifully shaped..
this is all for the Pope.. half an hour in the Hagia Sophia.. 15 minutes in the Blue Mosque..
but there are so many beautiful things around he misses.. the Egiptian obelisc.. the serpentine column.. the palaces.. and other museums dating from thousands of years..this place is also a social center for people.. parks.. cafés.. and lots of special restaurants are making this place a favorite one for us.. not only for the tourists.. the best meatballs of the city..are made in a restaurant at the square is there.. for us on sundays.. autumnal walks in thousand of years old streets.. and parks.. filled with centennial trees..
walkng there..you feel as though you could hear the whispers or even shouts of all those people.. who reigned.. had fun.. had strikes.. died and loved in this old city.. this is the city's soul..
Istanbul had been and still is the most important aim of those who look for power.. but she never cares.. like a beautiful lady .. she has her own lifestyle and interests.. she remains.. the others are gone.. will be gone.. one day..
as I always say.. art remains.. beauty remains.. everything else.. is transitory..