Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hagia Sophia Mosque, Part 1

The Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was first dedicated in 360. It suffered damage in several wars and kept being restored by the current conqueror. It served as the Greek cathedral of Constantinople until 1204 when it was converted to a Catholic cathedral by Crusaders. In 1261 it again became a Greek cathedral. It became a mosque in 1453, and remained a mosque until 1931 when the new Republic of Turkey made it a museum.  

Point your camera anywhere and click. 

Fabulous calligraphy. The structure on the right is the top of the pulpit.

The structure at bottom right is a private room with a sultan screen to shield the sultan from curious worshippers.

The sultan's private viewing room.

Inside the mosque it was damp and chilly. Lots of visitors noticed a cat (one of many in the mosque) using a bright light as a heat lamp.

He was very popular with all photographers, and stayed there enjoying the warmth the whole time I was wandering around the mosque.

I love cat-friendly museums. Istanbul seemed to be a very cat-friendly place. They were everywhere.