Istanbul

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If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.
– Alphonse de Lamartine

There are perhaps millions of writings on Istanbul. Writers who have spoken from their hearts, their experiences, their memories and on whatever sources they can dig on. I am one from thousands and thousands to come; who was smitten by Istanbul, the very first time I set my eyes on it. I save the praise for others to write, for I am sure my words going to fail me miserably. I share here the beauty of Istanbul in colours, as seen by my mortal eyes.

 

DSC_2951Istanbul from Bhosporus Strait

577987_4994825102043_878378495_nI love ancient ruins and old buldings.These walls caught my eyes the very first moment when I set my foot on Istanbul’s soil. Known as the Walls of Constantinople or the Theodosian walls; built by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II

483737_4994824662032_775366882_nSultanahmet area

FRESCO Hagrid FRESCO

Wall made from ceramics pieces. Creative.

DSC_3410Istanbul lollipop: a name given by me.

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The Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) or famously known as the Blue Mosque. It is called the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. At its lower levels and at every pier, the interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, made at Iznik (the ancient Nicaea) in more than fifty different tulip designs. The tiles at lower le…vels are traditional in design, while at gallery level their design becomes flamboyant with representations of flowers, fruit and cypresses. More than 20,000 tiles were made under the supervision of the Iznik master potter Kasap Haci and Baris Efendi from Avanos (Cappadocia). If you are a Muslim, find a time to perform your prayer inside. You’ll be overwhelmed by it, especially during the Azan. I was speechless.

20121207_103016_Anne 20121207_102907_Hagrid

A congregation like no other. Birds scattered on the courtyard of Rustem Pasha Mosque.

HS14from the inside of Hagia Sofia.

DSC_3386Inside the Imperial Gate (Bâb-ı Hümâyûn) of Topkapi Palace, facing the Blue Mosque.

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Sarcophagus lining the outer front of Istanbul Archaeological Museum. The remnants of Byzantine Cistern at the frontyard of Topkapi Palace.

20121118_143516Hagia Irene is a former Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul.

DSC_3016The Galata Bridge is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul, between the districts of Karakoy (Galata) and Eminonu. This is one thing that I missed doing: a walk at sunset on Galata Bridge. The weather did not consent to my wishes.

20121118_145816An evening facing the Blue Mosque.

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Among the jewel of all fruits~ grapefruits, oranges and pomegranates. Winter time in Istanbul is pomegranate season. I wasted no time and bought myself a cup of pomagranate juice and finished it in one single shot.

DSC_2824Despite of its dilapidated condition and over rustic peeling yellow paint, this beautiful yellow building housed the Tourist Police Station for Sultanahmet area.

DSC_2919 TBM1

Turkey flag on Istanbul’s sky. The inside dome of the Blue Mosque.

TP9One of many beautiful ceilings in Enderun Library, Topkapi Palace.

DSC_2707The tourists. The wanderers. The faithful. The lost ones. The restless. The Blue Mosque.

20121118_143900The Imperial Gate (Bab’ i Humayun) fom the inside of Topkapi Palace.

DSC_3062A bird who was oblivious to the morning light, with the Blue Mosque behind it.

DSC_3049In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence. -Robert Lynd

DSC_3052A view of the Bosphorus strait as seen from my hostel’s rooftop. Breaking dawn along the Bosphorus strait.

Either I conquer Istanbul or Istanbul conquers me. -Fatih Sultan Mehmet

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