From the UNESCO site

With its strategic location on the Bosphorus peninsula between the Balkans and Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Istanbul has been associated with major political, religious and artistic events for more than 2,000 years. Its masterpieces include the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, the 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the 16th-century Süleymaniye Mosque, all now under threat from population pressure, industrial pollution and uncontrolled urbanization.

Istanbul, geographically is the city of the seven hills, it is a transcontinental city across the river Bosphorus. It is a city with layers and layers of history, the monumental architecture bearing witness especially to its Byzantine and Ottoman period. However it is not only the architecture, the intriguing geographical spot and history, it is the open mindedness of its people, which makes the city even more attractive.  This city has an Islamic culture, Christian and Jewish culture, look for it and you will find it. Living by tradition and most modern aspects and outlooks to/on/about life co-exist here hand in hand, but in Turkish please! Yes, this is another interesting aspect I observed: Turks are very loyal to their language – be it in Turkey, be it the most modern Teenager, be it the third Generation of Turks growing up Germany or Switzerland: they speak and understand Turkish! Another thing I find Turks to be very loyal about, is their food and their Cay! I drifted off telling you more about Turks than Istanbul: enjoy Istanbul through the pictures we took in 2005, which was one of our first digital photography and travel experience! And as a young Turkish lady said last week: April and May are the most beautiful times to visit Istanbul!

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

a Cathedral, then a Mosque, today a museum

Hagiasofia Mihrab

Hagia Sofia Mihrab

Hagiasofia Mihrab

Hagia Sofia, the Mihrab

Suleymani Mosque

Suleymani Mosque

This mosque is bit off the central part of Istanbul, however still very easily accessible and emanates an elegance, which was unique for this place – my opinion!

Suleymani Mosque inside

Suleymani Mosque, the prayer hall, just behind the Mihrab

Regretfully, my then camera and photography skills couldn’t do justice to the interior of this beautiful prayer hall

Suleymani Mosque, Iznik ceramic art work

Suleymani Mosque, Iznik ceramic art work

We visited Istanbul and these sites in 2005 and hope to go there soon again! We highly recommend a visit to Istanbul for all the reasons it is!

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