Sultanahmet - part 1

Sultanahmet is the historic neighbourhood in the city center of Istanbul, part of the Fatih district. Here you can find Istanbul's most popular attractions, the former cathedral and mosque Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
These two buildings both have huge interiors beneath the massive domes, we went inside both of them. Between them is a large fountain that is illuminated in different colours after dark. Sultanahmet is also where hordes of tourists arrive, and you can find many restaurants there.


Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). Formerly mosque and a byzantine cathedral, now a museum. It was built in year 537 as a Christian church, it was transformed into a mosque in 1454 by the Ottomans, after the fall of Constantinopel (now Istanbul).


Hagia Sophia

  Hagia Sophia   Hagia Sophia entrance
Hagia Sophia  

Hagia Sophia

  Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia's massive interior    


Hagia Sophia windows        





The fresco inside the dome  


The stairway hall of Hagia Sophia       Hagia Sophia from the Bosphorus


The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) was built by Sultan Ahmet II to surpass Hagia Sophia and the Süleymaiye mosque. It was completed in 1616. The name comes from the blue ceramics roof tiles from Izmik. It is also known for having as many as six minarets. To enter the mosque you have to take your shoes off and women have to borrow a blue headscarf.


The entrance ot the Blue Mosque

  The courtyard    



Interior of the Blue Mosque. It is large inside but not as large as Hagia Sophia.   Ceiling of the Blue Mosque


Detail of one of the six minarets

  The courtyard    




Divanyolu Caddesi

  Divanyolu Caddesi   Divanyolu Caddesi
Sultanahmet Square and the Blue Mosque  

Sultanahmet Square is the square between Hagya Sophia and the Blue Mosque, where you can find the Hypodrome

  Sultanahmet Square: Hypodrome obelisques


  The Obelisque of Theodosius   The Obelisque of Theodosius

Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia

  Ayasophia Restaurant, we tried it
The tourist police building   The entrance to the underground water cistern, Yerevatan Sarnici   Yerevatan Sarnici, the underground water cistern. Click on the photo to get to its separate page.

The small tower is part of the underground cisterna, Yerabatan Sarnici

The fountain at Sultanahmet Square. It is situated between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque    


Divanyolu Caddesi

  Firestation at Divanyolu Caddesi   Divanyolu Caddesi

Yerabatan Caddesi and Hagia Sophia

Yerabatan Caddesi: colourful houses   Yerabatan Caddesi: Zeynep Sultan Mosque


Yerabatan Caddesi

  Yerabatan Caddesi   Yerabatan Sarnici entrance