Wanderings: Sightseeing in Istanbul

Hagia Sofia

Hagia Sofia

Istanbul.  I’d never been to a city with so much history.  Rome is the only place that comes close, and even that is not the same.  The area was first settled nearly 2,500 years ago, and over that time it was a major crossroads of trade and culture, as well as the capitol of four major empires.

History is everywhere in the city, re-appropriated and re-purposed, layered on top of its self and crammed together.  Stand anywhere in the city and you’ll find something beautiful from 500 years ago, then walk a few steps and find some place important 1,000 years ago, then turn a corner and find something 1,500 years old that was turned into something useful fifty years ago.

The modern day culture and the food were primarily what drew me to Istanbul, but we took a little time each day to visit one or two of the monumental historical sights the city had to offer.   Limiting the time we spend in museums, for us, means that when we do go to one, we don’t feel rushed and exhausted.  I like feeling like I can linger.  Explore every corner and look at the light from every window.  Imagine that I lived here and got to look at this tile or that stone, every day.

Hagia Sofia

Hagia Sofia

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Domes and Minarets

Domes and minarets from the Hagia Sofia looking over the the Blue Mosque

Hagia Sofia

Hagia Sofia

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

Yoros Castle

Yoros Castle

Installation at Istanbul Modern

Installation at Istanbul Modern

Topkapi courtyards

Topkapi courtyards

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Topkapi Palace

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Arcade leading to the entrance of the harems at Topkapi

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Spice Market

Spice Market

Istanbul.53

Spice market

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4 Comments on “Wanderings: Sightseeing in Istanbul

  1. It looks sooo beautiful. How awesome that you get to travel so much; Turkey is now higher on my bucket list. My buddy said they have awesome (and cheap) leather there ;)

    Like

    • They do have good leather there and you are more likely to be able to bargain with sellers than, say, in Italy. However, if you are at all interested in vintage leather, Buenos Aires is amazing. It costs about the same to get there as Europe, has a lot of the same appeal in terms of food and culture, but the exchange rate is so much better.

      We feel super lucky to get to travel, though lately its almost all for weddings.

      Like

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