Freitag, 11. Juni 2010

After sunset in Sultanhamet...

Have you ever been to Istanbul?

Two weeks ago I had to answer this question with "No, never". 

But then I got the chance to travel to the megacity (and European Capital of Culture 2010) located left and right side of the Bosphorus - one part in Europe, the other part in Asia.

And now I know it was a mistake...
...waiting such a long time for the first trip to this amazing destination!

Here are some of my first impressions of Istanbul right after the sun vanished in the west behind one of the seven city hills. The photos are taken in Sultanhamet, one of the city districts on the European part. Where you (and many millions of tourists and inhabitants) find some of the most important places of interest of the old town parts formerly known as Constantinople.

The first two photos display the Hagia Sophia, a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica (inaugurated by Constantius II on 15 February 360), later a mosque, now a great museum in Sultanahmet, Istanbul.

Opposite to Hagia Sopia, after a turn to the left, you see the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, widly known as the Blue Mosque.

The Blue Mosque - it was built between 1609 and 1616 - is one of the two mosques in Turkey with six minarets.
Many tour guides often tell the following story, although it is not true: The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the two mosques in Turkey that has six minarets. The other one is the Sabancı Mosque in Adana. When the number of minarets was revealed, the Sultan was criticized for being presumptuous, since this was, at the time, the same number as at the mosque of the Ka'aba in Mecca. He overcame this problem by ordering for a seventh minaret to be built at the Mecca mosque. In fact, the mosque in Mecca already had seven minarets for over a century before the Blue Mosque was constructed.

I took the photos from two different "roof garden restaurants" which are very popular in Istanbul.


  1. Merhaba Uwe,

    There's always a "first" for everything, and I'm so glad you did it on your way:) Looking at your stunning night views of most iconic statues located in the historical peninsula, without any doubt you should have enjoyed your time being in Istanbul that's a major target for any traveler, being a modern city with a long history.

    Reading your note left at CR, I see that you had an enjoyable strolling for a little taste of Europe and a little taste of Asia, as well as taking a Bosphorus tour where the continents meet! A must for everyone. Because no other megacity lies on two continents as Istanbul does. No worries, the day you get ready to take your next trip to Ist'l, I know you will see the different tastes of both sides. For instance, housing on the Asian side is different, greener, a bit silent, relaxing people, the Prince islands charm peaceful, more & more.. In fact we were living in the European side, later we moved in the opposite side. All in all, combining the inclusiveness of different lands, the City offers a wide variety of choices, of course for who want to see/live and understand:)

    Highly appreciated your quick editorial work on today's very first article, thank you for your valuable time. Impatiently waiting for the upcoming story of Turkish Delight soon..

    Wishing you a great week with lots of fun random surprises;) Hoşçakal.

  2. Hi Uwe,
    nice pictures of Istanbul. It is quite a long time ago that I have been there. I was in 1989 and 1990 and I was surpriced,too like you, what a beautiful city it is.
    Greetings from your old colluege Marc

  3. Du darfst gerne auch auf Deutsch schreiben, Marc, but I appreciate your comment in English as well (of course)... ;-)

    Ich hoffe, dir geht's gut - bist immer ein gerne gesehener und gelesener Gast auf meinem Blog.


  4. Thanxx a lot, Nihal, for your kind and detailed notes - I appreciate and enjoy them very much!


  5. Breath taking!
    Wonderful night scenes of the beautiful city!