If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul. ~Alphonse de Lamartine
Sunset in Istanbul, January 11, 2015. Historic peninsula.
Sunset over the historic peninsula. You can see the Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque in the background. The mosque’s real name is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Its popular name, the “Blue Mosque” comes from the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Hagia Sophia is a former Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi in Turkish). From the date of its construction in 537, it was used as a church for 916 years but, following the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed in 1453, it was converted into mosque. Then it converted into a museum in 1935. Its name comes from Ἁγία Σοφία in Greek, meaning, “Holy Wisdom”; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya. And Topkapı Palace is a large palace located on the Seraglio Point (Sarayburnu), a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara, with a good view of the Bosphorus from many points of the palace. It was the one of the major residency of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years (1465–1856) of their 624-year reign.