The Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are two of the most beautiful and historically significant religious buildings in the world and they are just a few hundred meters apart on top of the first among seven hills of Istanbul, where the ancient city of Byzantium was founded. The Blue Mosque, or officially the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the younger of the two structures having been constructed during the height of the Ottoman Empire between 1609 and 1616. The Hagia Sophia was constructed during the Roman times in 537AD and was the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church until the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
The Blue Mosque is known as such due to its beautiful blue tiles that decorates its interior. The Mosque is still used today and shoes must be taken off to enter the premises. Women must wear head covers as well to show respect.
The Mosque courtyard where you can wash before entering the Mosque
The famed tiled roof of the Mosque
The Mosque from afar and a Filipino Tourist taking a photo.
The Hagia Sophia is the more historical of the two buildings and it is said that the Blue Mosque was the Islam Ottoman rulers’ answer to this originally Christian church. It was converted to a Mosque during the Ottoman times but is now a Museum where the old Byzantine artworks are being rediscovered and renovated.
The main tourist entrance into the Church with a renovated Gold Fresco.
Byzantine artworks are being renovated back to their original splendor.
The impressive dome, still decorated as a Mosque.
View from the second floor of this huge Church. The size of the people gives you an idea of the sheer scale of this 6th Century Building.
Restored Byzantine fresco of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jeseus on the dome is contrasted by Islamic decor and artwork around the church.