Monday, 14 May 2012


Home again to rain and cold.  Having said that it seems to have been a very 
sunny weekend in Dorset! 

In Istanbul cloudy skies in the morning gave way to sunny afternoons .  Outside in the
evening eating meze, accompanied by a bread called 'poof', think a very large pitta 
blown up like a balloon(!)   Watching the world go by.

One of my favourite sites is Aya Sofya, once a Byzantine church; ransacked in 1204
during the 4th Crusade;  in 1453 Mehmet the Conqueror had the idolatrous images
covered over, and 'he said his first prayer there on the following Friday'.  But a tiny
potted history! 

It continued as a mosque until 1932.  It is now a museum.   From the outside it looks
as though dodgy builders have been at work.  So many extensions.  Inside, under the
domed basilica, there are marble and mosaics, paintings and blue tiles from Iznik.
It's interesting to see the layers of history, and amazing that they have survived at all.

looking up to the first gallery

the second gallery and part of the dome

blue marble panel

blue tiles from Izmit

images from a calligraphy exhibition
with unintended reflections

detail of red stylized tulip

feeling thirsty?

marble niche with basin,
copper jug and tap
the Hand of Fatima is in
control of the water flow

1 comment:

Eva said...

How beautiful!