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Blue Mosque Istanbul has hundreds of mosques. We visited the Süleymaniye, Rustem Pasa, and Blue Mosques. The first two of these were constructed by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in the mid 1500's and the Blue Mosque was built shortly after by a student of Sinan.

There are fewer churches in Istanbul, but the Hagia Sophia was originally built as a church in 537. After being damaged and repaired several times, it was converted into a mosque and now it is a museum. The Basilica Cistern was created during the construction of the Hagia Sophia and for many years it was Istanbul's water reservoir. The Chora Church, which was also converted to a mosque and then to a museum, contains many fine mosaics and frescoes.

Basilica Cistern

Dolmabahçe Palace Two great palaces are located on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Topkapi, completed in 1465, contains the Harem where the Sultan's mother, the concubines and wives of the Sultan, and the rest of his family, including his children and their servants resided. The Dolmabahçe Palace was built in the mid 1850's. The Grand Bazaar is a palace of another kind: a shopping palace containing over 4000 shops.

All photographs taken in Istanbul are Copyright ©2006 Jeffrey Barth, All Rights Reserved.
High resolution JPEGS are available upon request, contact Jeff.