Ayasofya & Chora

Known in Greek as Hagia Sophia and in English as St. Sophia, the Ayasofya in Istanbul was designed to surpass the grandeur of any other monument to God. Built in A.D. 537 as the greatest church in Christendom and symbol of the Byzantium, Ayasofya was converted into a mosque in 1453 during the Conquest, where adjustments were made that included covering of the frescoes and mosaics and the addition of minarets. In 1935, Ayasofya was turned into a museum. Definitely worth a short drive outside of the city centre of Istanbul is the St. Savior in Chora. The original church in this site…

Istanbul

When friends ask for suggestions on places to visit, one of the cities I highly recommend is Istanbul in Turkey. I was in this awe-inspiring land a few years back and would not mind returning to. The only city in the world that straddles between Europe and Asia, Istanbul (and Turkey for that matter) is so vibrant and rich in history and culture. Turkey is a magnificent marriage of the historic and modern, western and oriental, and the common and exotic. One of the striking features of the city’s skyline is the Blue Mosque or the Sultan Ahmet Camii. Constructed between 1609 and 1617, this mosque is one…