From our perch a thousand feet up in the air, a hot air balloon sweeps low over the town of Uchisar. Later, we found out it was our other half of our tour group who got a more adventurous tour.
With my tripod set up beside Hadrian’s beautiful Roman gate in the old quarter of Antalya, the colours from the street lights streamed in, illuminating the ancient stones with a healthy, yet eerie orange glow.
Docked with other vessels on a still bay in the Aegean, we set off to explore the island, which was once part of a Lycian city state in the 4th century B.C.
** Don’t forget to check out the first episode of my Turkey travel show at the bottom of this post where I am in the thriving hub of Istanbul. It’s not to be missed. **
Having studied medieval history in university and even high school, the Aya Sophia of Istanbul or the Hagia Sophia cathedral has always been on the top end of my travel list.
Dedicated by Byzantine Emperor Constantius II in the year 360 A.D, the first of three cathedrals was built on the orders of the rather famous fellow known as Constantine the Great, the founder of Constantinople itself.
After the wooden cathedral was burned, the second cathedral (built by Emperor Theosidius) was subsequently destroyed during the Nika Riots of the 6th century A.D. Seemingly doomed, Emperor Justinian I built the Aya Sophia only weeks after the deadly riots saw the cathedral razed.
Known as masters of mechanics, their task was to build a world wonder. Constructed in only five years, and with rare stones from across the empire, the cathedral rivals those built across Europe nearly seven centuries later.
Ten thousand workers were put to task carrying material from Egypt, Syria and other places around the Mediterranean. Columns were even carried from the famed Ancient World Wonder, the Artemis Temple for use in the construction of the Aya Sophia.
Well versed in statistics, kinetics and mathematics, Anthemius and Isidore were excellent builders, but the cost of the cathedral was incredible. It is reported when Justinian saw the completed Hagia Sophia, otherwise known as the Church of the Divine Wisdom, he cried out these words.
“My God, I am grateful to you for choosing me to complete this monument. I am now greater than Solomon.”
In the fourth century A.D, the Roman Empire moved its seat of power away from Rome and centered it on Constantinople. The third cathedral, the one seen today, has withstood the test of time–nearly 1,500 years of time to be exact.
Though converted to an Islamic mosque in the 15th century, the relative tranquility of the resulting centuries–no massive sieges to note–may in fact have led to the preservation of one of the world’s most incredible buildings.
Today, restoration work has brought out many of the Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, illuminating an age many deemed forgotten. As I walked into the cathedral, my breath was taken away by the sheer scope and brilliance of the building.
Light still pours into the cathedral, much as it would have 1,500 years ago and one walks through the giant iron doors into the splendid building commissioned by an Emperor remembered for his coding of law as well as his building projects.
Some of the best memories I’ll ever have of the Aya Sophia were shooting timed-exposure night photographs of Justinian I’s pride and joy. Taken at midnight, some of these photographs are my favourites.
Welcome everyone to the first episode of Traveling with Krushworth where I visit the sights of Istanbul, the capital of Turkey. There’s many more videos in the series, found under the video tab but here’s the Istanbul episode. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it. Happy travels.
With the sounds of Fethiye a mere din against the slow crashing of the waves against Fethiye’s harbour, my friend and I set out onto the darkened docks with my tripod to capture the stillness of the Aegean and the harbour’s many masted boats.
Welcome photo lovers, travel enthusiasts and fellow bloggers to Traveling with Krushworth. Much as there are my photos from Great Britain, Cambodia and Turkey, follow me across Great Britain and Turkey with my YouTube travel show Traveling with Krushworth Happy travels! The Istanbul episode is to your left.
On any given day, nearly 50 anglers can be seen casting their rods into the Bosphorus in an attempt to catch fish for the numerous fish restaurants below them on the bridge. For those tourists walking by, it’s a perfect moment to capture a fisherman in his element with the mosques of Istanbul in the background.
Built on the orders of Emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D, the Aya Sophia was the crowning jewel of cathedrals in its day and continues to astound visitors much as it would have in the 6th century. With my tripod, I captured the historic landmark at midnight.
Having walked from the Sultanahmet district over the Galata Bridge into New Istanbul, I slowly meandered my way through the streets until I was standing in front of the Galata Tower, which was built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D. Now a restaurant and a weird night club, the tower still offers tourists and residents alike the best view of Istanbul.
Seen from across the Galata Bridge, the Suleymaniye Mosque is one of the most important in Istanbul and was built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century.