Hagia Sophia


Structurally an architectural wonder and aesthetically an incredible monument for both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox cathedral that later became an Ottoman imperial mosque, and is now a museum in the Turkish Republic.

Built in 537 as a cathedral in Constantinople with two floors centered on a nave that holds the great domed ceiling measuring 180 feet above the floor, along with smaller domes that extend upward. An engineering marvel for its time of great architectural beauty.

During the Byzantine period the apse was decorated with mosaics of a representation of the Virgin Mary with a young Jesus Christ on her lap. Most mosaics are made of pieces of stone or glass of different colors known tesserae.

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Destination: Istanbul

As summer comes to a close our team headed to Istanbul this week, that modern-day city that sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and most definitely straddles both the ancient and modern worlds. The Bosphorus is still a route for maritime trade with the sounds of merchants and construction keeping the area buzzing with the various cultures.

Whenever you travel it is best to rise early to partake in the historical sites, visit museums, but while in Istanbul you must drink tea, enjoy a Turkish breakfast or visit public bathing called ḥammām.

Faith [historically Constantinople] is the capital district in Istanbul, and Beyazit Square is located in the European section of the city.

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque [Ottoman] near the fountain of Sultan Ahmed III in Faith Turkey

Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami 
Every visitor to Istanbul should experience a Turkish bath, and at Kilic Ali Pasa they offer the traditional ḥammām. This service includes an attendant who will wash and massage you., but no matter which service you choose you may use the facility for as long as you wish.

One of the most picturesque sights in Turkey is the Ortaköy Mosquethat sits on Bosphorus. Designed by Armenian architect Garabet Balyan in 1855 in neo-Baroque style.

Most churches and mosque have exquisite features, and these 13th century Byzantine mosaic’s in the Hagia Sophia are absolutely spectacular.

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