Perhaps no city better symbolizes the conflict of East and West than Istanbul.
“Istanbul, was once Constantinople.” The City that towers over the Bosphorus Strait is the only city on
earth that can claim it has been the greatest city for both Christianity and
Islam. The fall of Constantinople was but one part of the Turkish expansion.
With its minarets and call to prayer many western writers have described
Istanbul as the Gateway to Asia. Coming from living in Damascus, Syria
I saw this great city as a gateway into Europe. I guess it’s all based
upon your perspective.
When Constantinople fell to the Turks under Mehmet II, the Turks were quick
to put their stamp on their greatest prize. When Mehmet II marched into
the city he marched immediately to Hagia Sofia and changed the great church
into a mosque. The other great building of the city is the Blue Mosque
built in the early 17th century and is just across a small plaza from Hagia
Sofia. Compared to the chunky and heavy Byzantine building right beside
it, the Blue Mosque with its six slender minarets and cascading domes the
building seems like a fairy tale.
In Istanbul's Markets
Sunset over Pamukkale
Like all great Port Cities seafood A
Chess Board made for the
Hours South of Istanbul are pools
plays an important role in the
tourists reflects what age grabs
and hot springs the Romans once
life of the locals. In one of the
cities numerous markets a boy sells
A fresco in one of Istanbul's Churches
Location, Location, Location: Bosporus
turned Mosque reminds the visitor that
Because Modern Day Istanbul srawls on both sides of the
Istanbul's walls once protected a different faith.
and likewise two continents, ferries
constantly cross the waters as
part of the cities public transportation.
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