Cistern and Blue

3
Sep
2012

Today I continued my exploration of Istanbul with another walk from Taksim down to Sultanahmet, the oldest part of the city. Almost as an afterthought I decided that in addition to the Blue Mosque (the main reason for today’s trip) I would also stop along the way to check out the quite intact Basilica Cistern, that dates from the 4th century. Wow, was I ever glad I did. This place is hauntingly beautiful, and despite the noises made by the other tourists, I found it to be calming and mesmerizing. I was in a bit of a trance in this place, feeling oddly connected with it and something reaching across the many centuries to whisper in my ear. I highly recommend a trip here if you come to Istanbul.

Next up was the famous Blue Mosque, free to get into and absolutely lovely in its own right. The light and patterns of the place were really stunning, but for some reason after my reverie in the cistern, it left me feeling less exalted than I had expected. Perhaps it is that it was even more crowded, or that my expectations were too high after the photos I had seen. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful and well worth a visit, an amazing work of architecture.

You can check out the photos of both, plus a few more of the streets of Istanbul, in the album below…