Foodntravelling.com – If you had the course of western civilization. You must be familiar with the historical site called the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Back to the history, where the Greek civilization takes a lot role in Europe in the Medieval era. Including Turkey, their invasion spread throughout this Ottoman country.
The Greek empire know exactly the potential space of Istanbul that is located between two continents Asia and Europe that divided with Bosphorus strait.
So, that makes Istanbul blessed by tons of cultures and great architecture design! Including the most well-known Istanbul historical sites the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque that we will discuss a lot in this writing. So, if you have a chance to visit Istanbul, you don’t wanna miss both Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque! Let’s dig in!
Hippodrome of Constantinople
When you have a plan to travel to Istanbul, and you want to go directly to see the Blue Mosque. Our advice for you is to come in the morning, so the place does not full yet with some tourists. Moreover, we will get the spectacular ambiance to enjoy the courtyard area with a nice and quiet ambiance. But if you come too early, and probably the Blue Mosque does not open for the public yet. Don’t worry, you can go to see another historical landmark near the Blue Mosque area!
There is another amazing Greek monument in Istanbul, it is the Hippodrome of Constantinople. We will see the amazing Egyptian carving on the historical tall monument. The preservation of it is well-kept, so it looks like new. On the base site of this monument, we can see Theodosius the Great and his family carving on the site. It’s an open public area, so don’t miss capturing this Istanbul recognizable landmark before you leave Istanbul!
Sultan Ahmet Camii/ The Blue Mosque
There is no wonder that thousands and thousands of people visit the Blue mosque every single year. The depth of history of western civilization displays the great medieval architecture style of the Blue Mosque. The Sultan Ahmet Camii or in English well-known as the Blue mosque because it has a lot of blue tiles inside.
The Blue Mosque has the Christian orthodox influence but it is still the Ottoman style. If you take a look between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia they look similar both externally and internally. And if you are confused about which one is made first, we tell you now that Hagia Sophia is made before the Blue Mosque.
The Ottoman empire takes back Istanbul from the Constantinople empire. Hagia Sophia is the pure and virgin Christian Orthodox church in its age, but when Sultan Ahmet takes back Istanbul. He has converted the church into a Muslim prayer place called the mosque. But then, the sultan wants to create the mosque but has the same design as Hagia Sophia. So, that the Muslims can pray in the new building, not a former church. The Blue Mosque was built around 1609 and 1616 in the victory of Sultan Ahmet’s age. Sop, then the Hagia Sophia turns to be a museum and very well-kept to reminds back the history. And there are lots of museums in Istanbul that are worth visiting!
After we talk about the brief history of the Blue Mosque, It’s better to see the great Medieval Architecture style inside of it. Let’s have a look!
The Blue Mosque has spectacular architecture that combines with Classical Ottoman style and Byzantine architectural influences. This mosque has 6 minarets which have controversial to the Great and Holy Mosque Masjidil Haram in Mecca. So, the government of Turkey resolves this case by adding one minaret to the building. So, the Blue Mosque has seven minarets.
Five Giant Domes
When we enter the Blue Mosque, we will be amazed by the tall building and amazing 5 giant domes above. The huge prayer hall area is covered with a red carpet. There are over 20.000 handmade ceramic tiles that decorate the domes. It has floral and cypress designs which look spectacular! In contrast to the red carpet for the flooring, the blue mosque interior looks so attractive to the eye!
Dozens of antique chandeliers
Another unique feature in the Blue Mosque interior is the presence of antique chandeliers. There are dozens of chandeliers keeping the rustic look inside and give the warm effect inside. Theirs shines successfully highlight the beautiful blue tiles ceramic decoration which looks even more beautiful!
Dozens of stained glass windows
The natural lighting and some ventilation in the bLue Mosque come from the stained glass window. If you are trying to count the window that has been installing in this mosque, that will make you dizzy. However, this giant mosque has over 200 stained glass windows.
That is the overall of the Blue Mosque interior, it is absolutely spectacular! This ancient mosque is very well-kept and so bold with Medieval architectural history. The Blue Mosque is one of the spectacular Istanbul historical sites you have to visit!
The is another historical site to visit when you come to Istanbul is Hagia Sophia. The ancient of this building has layer upon layer of history. In the Greek empire age, Hagia Sophia was a Christian Basilica, and then change to be Roman Catholic Cathedral, and then when the Ottoman take the site. It was converted to be a mosque, and after the blue mosque was built the Hagia Sophia turned to be a museum when the father of Secularism of Turkey, Attaturk reign Turkey’s government.
In 2020, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan officially says the Hagia Sophia back functioning as a mosque. Although there are many speculations in the people of Turkey, still the Hagia Sophia function as a mosque!
Giant marble flooring for the entrance
When we first step inside the Hagia Sophia, what we notice is the giant marble flooring that gets slum. Remembering thousand and thousands of people have pass-through this entrance, so the floor is kinda slum now. When we get inside we will smell the stone and must, it such an ancient aroma. Immediately, it will lead us into the ancient ambiance inside!
The giant dome and beautiful mosaic decoration!
When the Hagia Sophia is the museum, we can see the Christian orthodox decoration that tuck on the giant dome. Around the area of it, we can see beautiful mosaics blend with the Christian interior decoration. This architecture has a deep history of two religions, Christ and Islam. But, now, since 2020 when the Hagia Sophia convert to be a mosque. The Turkish government covers Christian decor with a cloth. However, the Hagia Sophia is a must-visit historical site in Istanbul. With the layer upon construction, it also has layer upon layer of history in it!
Feels like In underground on the next upper gallery!
After admiring the first floor of the Hagia Sophia construction, we can continue our tour to the upper gallery. When you step the stairs and passing through the stone wall and flooring will make you feel like in the underground environment! Inside the second floor, there are some giant rooms that have large windows open. If you are able to see the view through the height window, you will see the beautiful Bosphorus Strait and the Blue mosque. We have the perfect angle to portrait the beauty of Istanbul city through the second floor of the Hagia Sophia!
Near the Hagia Sophia complex, still located in the Sultanahmet region. We can find the largest and underground cistern called the Basilica cistern. This mystical underground cistern is a must-visit cistern in Istanbul!
When you plan to travel to Europe, Istanbul is the city you are worth visiting! There are lots of historical sites in Istanbul and easy access to transportation will make your journey feel easier! In addition, there is the oldest and largest covered market, the Grand Bazaar will complete your journey. Especially if you’re looking for souvenirs to bring back home. And looking for anything about Turkey, you will find it in this market!
Talking about Istanbul’s most well-known tourist attractions. We don’t wanna miss both the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia on the list. Both have the ancient and marvelous architecture Medieval age in the design. Moreover, the layer of history for both these sites always be a worth visit place in Europe!
We already have shared with you a brief history of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. And we also already shared with you the outstanding architectural design of both historical sites in Istanbul. In addition, there is a Hippodrome of Constantinople you can visit too while visiting the Blue Mosque. It has the same area as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. We hope you enjoy our guide about visiting the historical sites in Istanbul. We cannot wait to share with you the upcoming food and travel tips on this site!