Sultan Ahmed Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque should not be missed by any tourist in Istanbul. Set on one side of the magnificent Sultanahmet Square, this vast mosque with high-domed ceiling is accessible to non-worshippers only at certain times of the day.
But don’t let the time of its closure put you off! The beautiful exterior can be considered one engineering marvel. It is tagged to be one of the most impressive monuments in the world. And its interior is a beautiful display that exudes peace, harmony and goodwill.
Can’t say much about this place for I was astounded by the massive beauty of the Blue Mosque. Let me just post numerous photos I took of this majestic world wonder.
VoucherCloud, a money-saving app, last year released a world map that identifies each country’s most popular tourist destination based on TripAdvisor’s top-rated “things to do” feature. Surprisingly and with a bit of disappointment, the stand out for my country, the Philippines, was Kayangan Lake. But where is that? I wonder how this lake beat and knocked out world-class destinations like El Nido, Boracay and Bohol.
But when I checked Turkey, I was super happy to know that this beautiful country’s top destination was the Hagia Sophia. Though they seem to be a flop in the Philippines, VoucherCloud and TripAdvisor are so correct with the Turkey result. I have recently been to Turkey and only a stupid, puny and absurd tourist will miss the majesty, grandeur and beauty of the great Hagia Sophia.
As one of Turkey’s most celebrated landmark, the great Hagia Sophia was a Byzantine church for 916 years. It was later converted into an imperial mosque by a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and stayed as such for 482 years. Then in 1935, it was transformed into a museum and was later considered to be a UNESCO World Heritage site. It may have a turbulent past but because of its rich and significant historical background, Hagia Sophia easily earns respect from all religions and occupations.
Though every nook and corner of this building seem to have an intense and loud story to tell and despite being the busiest and most visited attraction in Turkey, the Hagia Sophia still maintains its calm and peaceful effect towards its visitors.
I don’t have a tip on how to explore this ancient structure. The only advice I can give to all those who will be fortunate to visit this top Turkish destination is to breathe, digest and admire the bravura of the rich stories of this spectacular structure.