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Church of St. Mary of the Mongols :: Istanbul, Turkey

October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Landmarks


Consecrated in the thirteenth century, Istanbul’s Church of St. Mary of the Mongols is the city’s only church to have continuously remained in the hands of the Greek Orthodox community. Unlike many of Istanbul’s old churches, St. Mary of the Mongols was never to be converted to a mosque according to an order given by the Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror; in fact, the order is still kept within the historic church today. Read more

Topkapi Palace :: Istanbul, Turkey

May 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Today one of Turkey’s major tourist attractions, Topkapi Palace was the official and primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 of their 624 year reign. This sprawling 175 acre complex once accommodated a community of four thousand people and is home to the most holy relics of the Muslim world. Throughout the years the complex has been expanded with many renovations done after an earthquake in 1509 as well as a fire in 1665. The palace is full of amazing examples of Ottoman architecture and its hundreds of rooms and champers house large collections of porcelain, weapons, robes, armor, murals and much more. In 1924, after the end of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish government transformed Topkapi Palace into a museum of the imperial era. Read more

Hagia Sophia :: Istanbul, Turkey

April 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Walk the streets of Istanbul and you will likely find your senses assaulted with myriad exotic sights, sounds and smells. But a few steps of marble, into what seemingly appears to be plain form the exterior, will take you to an entirely different world. Enter the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) cathedral in Istanbul, Turkey and you are instantly swept into a scene of hallowed serenity and sacred beauty. Built over five years from 532 AD to 537 AD it has been awing visitors ever since. Although quite ancient, Hagia Sophia continues to list among the largest covered areas in existence. Created originally as an Eastern Orthodox Church, it saw over 900 years of Byzantine emperors, grand cardinals, saints, soldiers, and worshipers. In fact, prior to its current incarnation, there were two previous great churches built on the same land, the first of which was consecrated in the year 360 AD. From Byzantium to Constantinople, eventually the land was conquered in 1454 by the Read more

Gamirasu Cave Hotel :: Turkey

August 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Hotels

Reserve a Room at Gamirasu Cave Hotel

In the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey is not only one of the most romantic hotels but also one of the most distinctive hotels that you can stay at with an extensive history to boot.  Gamirasu Cave Hotel was made out of a restored one thousand year old Byzantine monastic retreat that is located within a pre-historic valley called the Ayvali Village. Read more

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