As promised in my People of Istanbul post, I found Istanbul to be worthy of two postcards posts. I knew going into the city that Istanbul architecture would be mind-blowing; this city has seen the rise and fall of empires, and has the buildings to prove it. It’s impressive how much has stood the test of time.
As it turned out, this series turned out to also be a study in light. Natural light, floodlights, lanterns all highlighted the best features these structures had to offer.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque: Better known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles that cover its walls. Could just as easily be the gold mosque when the midday light is pouring in.
Possibly my favourite place in all of Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern. You wouldn’t think a place whose sole purpose is to hold water would be that interesting, but the Basilica Cistern is full of details to discover. Many of the columns and pieces were reused from older buildings, like the famous upside down Medusa heads.
The Tiled Pavilion, now part of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum complex, is the oldest secular building in the city (built in 1472). The deep blue and gold tiles glowed in the sun.
Turns out the Tiled Pavilion also used to be a private residence of the sultan (you know, when he got tired of Topkapi Palace). A house just isn’t home without a Fountain of Youth.
The Hagia Sophia. Impossible not to be awed by this church/ mosque/ museum (not to mention two churches that came before this building).
The sheer amount of intricate detail in this massive building is bananas. Emperor Justinian I, and everyone who came after him, knew how to create grandeur and majesty.
The Hagia Sophia showing its long history: Greek Orthodox mosaic of the Virgin and Child and Islamic minbar where the imam delivers his sermon.
I know, I know, these are some obvious buildings to choose and Istanbul architecture is so much more than the classics, but I couldn’t help myself. Can you blame me?