Aya Sofia – This is just next door to Topkapi. The church of the Divine Wisdom is one of the most impressive buildings. Inside Aya Sofia is just an awe feeling.. I cannot describe. This building was born as a church and then served as a Mosque for a few years of its life… Hence the significance inside… is far too impressive.
Blue Mosque – Adjacent to Araya Sofia is the Blue Mosque!! Blue because the tiles inside are meant to be blue in colour. For now you can forget the tiles.. and when you are standing next to it.. the 6 minarets & domes will not fail to astonish you!! This imperial mosque is a premier site in Istanbul. The Blue Mosque is truly magical. It is currently an operational mosque, however visitors are allowed to go inside, view & appreciate the architecture and say a small ‘Thank you’. By far only the Blue Mosque could stand beside the Araya Sofia… and is an apt sibling!!
Hippodrome – You can exit the mosque to the Hippodrome which used to be the heart of Constantinople’s political & sporting life. Today is stands as a calm park. Even this park will captivate you with its old world charm and perfectly architectured towers and Egyptian stone carvings. Here is the road that leads from Constantinople to Rome!!!
I’d love to write more on Istanbul… the people, the place, the food, the architecture, the history… but for now I’ll take your leave. Surely if you have one day in Istanbul, this itinerary is more than enough!! You will be visually stunned.
If any of you are travelling to Turkey, do write to me… and I’ll share my tips!!! *smiles*