Setting out to explore the old city area Sultanahmet.. Today we take ‘the funicular’. It is a cable based tube system that connects the lower part of Istanbul to the higher one. It goes inside a sloping tunnel. Like most good public transport networks from the cities of the world the different modes are well connected through interchanges. We seamlessly move from funicar to the tram.. on the same card. Reaching the spacious and beautiful square with the beautiful blue mosque and The Hagia Sophia.
I timetravel back to the first year history lessons in architecture.. only the true scale and magnificence of the masterpiece is evident only now. Hagia Sophia has a striking beautiful form and a grand space. More than 1500 years old and Testament to both Christianity and Islam, each element, the doorways, the mosaics, the calligraphy , all have stories to tell.
The most impressive sight however was at the altar where the mother mary’s image in the mosaic is right above the prayer wall.. telling tales how the ottoman empire must have taken over the Byzantine.
The dome is a huge 55 m high and 32 m dia.. and is flanked by names of the prophet on all four sides.
Words are few to describe the building in its true glory. A must visit in a lifetime.. hopefully more than once 🙂