Sunday, May 1, 2011

i cried.

When I took art history, my first semester of college in 1994 in Huntsville, Alabama, I studied the Hagia Sophia. It was so exotic, so other, so far away from me, in every possible way, it was beyond my ability to dream about dream about seeing it. Today we saw it. We saw the gorgeous interior, the amazing dome, the beautiful mosaics. When we crossed the threshold into the central space, I was so choked up, as I often am on our trips. Me, me, me, from where I'm from, I'm in Istanbul, I was standing inside the Hagia Sophia. Unbelievable.

looking up at the dome
standing on the 2nd floor gallery, looking down at the floor
giant marble urn
interior, amazing
beautiful script
gorgeous mosaics. I cried.
partial mosaics - still with the crying.
this was far up on a wall
for scale -- the Arabic parts were huge
that elevated platform was for the sultan, so he could sneak in and pray without being seen, thus maintaining his mystique (according to the Lonely Planet guide, anyway)
looking across the space
this is the detail shot...see it in place, below:

Marc looking at the giant marble urn
We went to the Blue Mosque, but it was prayer time so we couldn't go in. The Hagia Sophia is just a museum now, but the Blue Mosque is not a museum, but a living mosque. I hope we get to go back to see the interior, it sounds beautiful in another way. Here's the exterior of it:

We're heading out for another wandering-about; dinner tonight is already reserved, at a place near the Spice Market and the Galata Bridge. More on that later.

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