Thursday, December 9, 2010

Istanbul not Constantinople

Not only does my friend Marisa currently live in India, she is a world traveler! Along with the Indian pictures she provided me with yesterday, she sent these enticing photos from her recent trip to Istanbul.
The tile and detail work in these 2 photos really stunned me. I mean, whats not to like here? That ceiling above alone (no pun intended) is a work of art!The colors in the skyline photograph surprised me. I think I always pictured the city as dry and dusty, not lush and green. But what the city is most well known for are its' mosques. Dominating the skyline is the Blue Mosque, or Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which dates back to 1609. The blue in the name refers to the blue tiled interior.
More famous is the Hagia Sophia, dating from 532. It began life as an Orthodox Basilica, was converted to a Roman Catholic Cathedral in 1204, was later converted to an Islamic Mosque in 1453 and since 1935 has been a museum.
Because of its' rich history, the iconography on the interior is all over the map: Christian, Islamic and everything in between.
The size of the space is immense -just look at those tiny people on the floor below! I love this shot with the chandeliers dangling below the viewer: it reminds me of views of land from an airplane between the clouds.And what is a trip to Turkey without a Turkish bath? Great architecture, beautiful views, fascinating history and a spa trip rolled into one. This just may be another destination to add to the list after India!

17 comments:

Karena said...

Fabulous architecture Stefan!! I would love to visit Turkey and India!

Remember to come & enter my $200 Giveaway from Fifi Flowers!

Xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

Istanbul is so magnificent and life-altering.
I'd highly recommend a visit.
Surely beautiful at any time of year.
Really enjoyed yesterday's post as well, btw -- such attention to detail.
Alcira

nerochronicles.com

Kathy said...

I agree with you on the ceiling.....and will take the shutters in pic#2. K

Mel said...

A friend of ours lives in Istanbul now, and we really, really to visit.

David Toms said...

Istanbul is utterly fabulous, The Tokapi Palce is to die for. Also apart from the grand buildings the traditional wooden architecture of the city is wonderful!

Reggie Darling said...

One is mad to go to Istanbul and India, too. Thank you for these luscious photos.

hello gorgeous said...

Stefan: You won my KW book giveaway! Pls. email me with your mailing info: hellogorgeousblog@gmail.com. Thanks and congrats!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Great photos, all. I look at the fifth one in particular and think what a rich painting it would make, in the 19th century tradition of orientalism.

VictoriaArt said...

Great pictures! It's always so interesting how our imagination of a place can is so different then the reality.
It is truly the gate city between Europe and Asia Minor and would like to visit there rather sooner than later!

xoxo
Victoria

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Absolutely stunning. Please thank Marisa for sharing her beautiful trip - and photos!

Michael said...

Stefan -- Istanbul is a city of my dreams, and definitely on my list. Esp. as regards its Byzantine past, it's a fascinating place. I think you can read German, right? If so, the most moveing and exquisitely written account of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 is by far Stefan Zweig's narrative in his "Sternstunden der Menschheit" ("Great Moments in Human History"); the way he captures the last days and hours of a great culture is breathtaking; look it up if you're so inclined.
Take care,
Michael

Woody said...

You betcha! Istanbul's been on my list for the past couple of years but just when I'm about to do it, I go to Rome instead. Rome repeats and Istanbul top the list for me.

quintessence said...

I've actually always wanted to go to Istanbul especially to see the Hagia Sophia - an incredible architectural feat. Wonderful enticing photographs.

theduchessofH said...

I love the title of this post! Now I'm wracking my brain to remember which song contains these lyrics?

Beautiful photos!

Eric H said...

I recently visited these places in Istanbul and unfortunately the beauty and architecture was overshadowed in my memory by the stifling heat, my exhaustion and the many overzealous carpet salesmen who chase you down the street! It was good to be reminded of what is great about it from the comfort (and safety) of home. It's all part of the experience though and I would still recommend those who haven't been to go! The other must-see is the grand bazaar and spice market which was definitely a spectacle to be seen.

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

These are wonderful photos; great eye behind that camera!

Mariel Torres said...

Istanbul is definitely in my list of must-see places... it looks so breathtaking!