Choosing the Hotel
This would be my first visit to Istanbul, hence as a beginning I wanted to make a research about the historical places that I would visit for 2 days. Since I have a limited time period for staying in Istanbul, I preferred to stay in a hotel where she is super close to the historical old city, and the world wide known landmarks.
I started with a list of landmarks that I wanted to see the most and listed them in an order according to their distance from one another.
1- Hagia Sophia
When you type Istanbul on google.com the first place that pops up is Hagia Sophia. This landmark will be the first stop in my list.
Hagia Sophia (Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία) is a religious building that was first built as a church in the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.
The present building, now a mosque, was the third church building on the site. The third Hagia Sophia was built between 532 and 537, as the cathedral of Constantinople, the capital city of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity.
The Roman emperor Justinian the Great ordered the construction. The architects were Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus. The Greek historian Procopius wrote about Hagia Sophia's construction. The building's roof (a large dome) fell down not long after the church was complete.
Justinian again ordered the church's completion. The dome broke apart and has been rebuilt many times, but the walls and floor of the building are the same as those of Justinian's time.
The decorations, including mosaics and frescoes, are mostly from the Middle
It was used as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral until 1453, except when it was the Roman Catholic cathedral between 1204 and 1261. The Ottoman sultan and caliph Mehmed the Conqueror converted Hagia Sophia into a mosque in 1453 after the Fall of Constantinople.
Ages. ‘Hagia Sophia’ (2021) Wikipedia. Available at: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia (Accessed: 21 November 2021).
2- Sultan Ahmet Mosque (The Blue Mosque)
Sultan Ahmed Mosque is our second stop, when we step out of the tram we see both Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque in a wide landscape. They are very close to each other and make an elegant combination of late Byzantium and classical Ottoman architecture.
There is a tale about the number of minarets (towers where the official calls for prayer.) We would ask it to the locals, and see what we would get from them.
This grand bubble of masonry, one of the great and defining features of Istanbul's skyline, was constructed between 1609 and 1617 by Sultan Ahmet I, who was not only driven by a desire to leave behind an imperial namesake mosque, but was also determined to build a monument to rival the Ayasofya.
So great was the Sultan's ambition that he had one unfortunate architect executed before finally choosing Mehmet Aga, probably a student of Sinan, who came up with a plan commonly accepted as impossible to build. The design is a scheme of successively descending smaller domes that addresses the problem of creating a large, covered interior space. The overall effect is one of such great harmony, grace, and power that it's impossible to walk away from this building unaffected.
Several legends are associated with the construction of the six minarets. One says that the sultan's desire for gold minarets altin in Turkish was understood as alti, or six. Available at: https://www.frommers.com/destinations/istanbul/attractions/blue-mosque-sultan-ahmet-camii (Accessed: 21 November 2021).
It was apparently a tale and we could not find a written evidence, but its the way that the tales become world wide known stories.