Situated in the beautiful Sultanahmet Square (Sultanahmet Meydani) about 300 meters apart the Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque face each other. Both structures are historical-cultural gems within Istanbul. The Blue Mosque dates back to the 17th century, while the Haghia Sophia has its first construction date during the 5th century. Adjacent to these architectural wonders is the remnants of the Hippodrome, which was once a huge stadium in the heart of the Constantinople. This was originally built during the 3rd century and after Emperor Constantine enlarged it, the stadium was reported to hold up 100,000 spectators.
Here are a few more photos depicting various views of the Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
Interior view of the nave looking up towards central dome. Included are mosaics of seraphims and Islamic calligraphic roundels. © 2012 Terry Ownby.
Looking up at the central dome of the Haghia Sophia (Church of Divine Wisdom). In addition to beautiful tile-work, frescoes of the “seraphim” angels can be seen along with gold Islamic calligraphy in dome center after conversion by Ottomans during 15th century. © 2012 Terry Ownby.
Mosaic of the Virgin and Child with gold gilting in dome above the mihrab ( a niche that faces Mecca). © 2012 Terry Ownby.
This is a detailed view of the dome above the mihrab, which has the image of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child. This is either a fresco or a mosaic (it appears to be made of small tiles, suggesting a mosaic). © 2012 Terry Ownby.
This view was taken from the first upper level and shows intricate tile-work in the domes, along with a mosaic of an angel in the distance. © 2012 Terry Ownby
Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahment Camii) with Turkish pennants in Istanbul, Turkey. © 2012 Terry Ownby.
Blue Mosque courtyard with visitors qued for tour, Istanbul, Turkey. © 2012 Terry Ownby.
Interior view of Blue Mosque showing Iznik Turkish tilework, Istanbul, Turkey. © 2012 Terry Ownby.
Blue Mosque interior view with chandelier and Iznik blue tiles. Istanbul, Turkey. © 2012 Terry Ownby.