Constantinoble – Istanbul

Originally city was founded by name of Byzantium around 670 BC by Greeks. Later on Roman emperor Constantine I transferred the imperial capital from its historic base – Rome – to Byzantium in 330 AD. He named the city as Constantinople and it started to develop fast forward because it’s magnificient location. Magnificient Place near sea routes and crossroad of East and West made Constantinople a success story.

When Western Rome finally collapsed in fourth century BC, Eastern Rome continued to live as new Roman empire with Contantinople as it’s center. Emeperos Justinianus and his warlord Belisarius made Rome in fifth century nearly as big as old Rome.

UntitledA picture of Contantinople as it’s final days. Note the chain that blocks route to “golden horn” – natural harbor. Under picture lies still some peace of that chain!

Then came difficult times as new religion from east started to conquere land and was heading on west. One by one Byzantium (former Eastern Rome) lost Spain, North Africa and middle East. In Manzikirt army of Byzantium suffered a heavy loss to Turkish invaders and lost whole Anatolia. Difficult times came but Byzantium managed to survive and grow again when Timur Lenk defeated muslims and Turkish army.DSC05954
As always in Greek cities there was a temple in Akropolis – on high hill.

There were civil strife and confusion inside Constantinople and finally even crusaders occupied and sacked the city. But once again the city raised itself and became a capital of Byzantium. But tides where turning and new enemy Ottomans conquered all lands in Anatolia and also on European side of the city. Finally ottomans were even reaching Hungary and Vienna.

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Maybe these scary soldiers where those one who conquered Constantinople – elite soldiers Janitsars.

Things were looking now really bad for Constantinople. They were standing alone as a separate city in middle of Ottomans empire. So Mehmed II build a fortress – Rumelian castle – in shores of Posboros near the city. He gathered a toll and prevented mercant ships to travel through into the city. Then he started a two months siege over Constantinople and finally city was conquered by the Ottoman Empire on Tuesday 29 May 1453. As they has promised Turks sacked the city throughly and burned and killed inhabitants. That was the end of that over 200o year old city, which probably had all the knowledge and scriptures from Greek-Roman civilations on Eastern Mediterranean.

DSC06197Haga-Sofia was the pearl of Contantinople – church that once was held as a unique because of it’s beauty – then mosque and now museum.

DSC05265Here we can see a view from balcony to altar. Here Emperor and Empress followed the ceremony. Last Christian mass was held Monday evening 28 May 1453. Next Morning city was seized and pillaged.

DSC05295There are still some paintings and mosaics left from those times.

DSC05311Nice view from upper floor over Haga Sophia interior.

DSC05234From down below those cupolas of Haga Sofia look still really magnificient! But I guess cupolas need maintenance.

DSC05244Nice piece of decoration in columns.

DSC05217Inside Church there is really beautiful and peaceful athmosphere.

DSC05237Is this from Christian era or from muslim times? Anyway very beautiful!

DSC05241Some scenery from halls inside church.

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But architecture of Haga Sophia is really unique!

Constantinople today
Only little is left from old Greek-Roman city in these days.
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An obelisk brought here by emperor Theodosius. Here used to be the most famous building of Contantinople – the hippodrome – the horse-chariot race arena.
DSC06085This small corksrew is a famous column than one used to stand in hippodrome. Behind can be seen the column of Constantine.

DSC06004Still there are some places remains of city walls of Contantinople.

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One famous palce is basilica Cistern which were ment to be as reservoir. This huge storage under ground can store hundred of thousands cubic meters of water.

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Famous Foundation of one of the columns – a head of Medusa.

Because of the old age of town it was full of Roman statues and grave Stones.

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Grave of centurion? Head of Octavian?

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A grave of gladiator fighter? A nice statue of woman figure…

Some of the Roman statues seem to look sad and they whisper: “Don’t forget me! Once I used to life here. Once this was my city!”
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I met this fellow when visiting toilet – he was keepin quard in corridor. I wonder did he ever thought to be put in this place – surely not …

DSC05624In place of old Greek temple (in Akropolis) stands now Topkapi palace of sultans.

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Columns of Constantine…

20150605_171058 (2)Here Galata tower built by Byzantine on 13th century BC. Destructed by earthquake and build again By Ottomans.

20150605_163800Some atwork over elevator in Galata tower.

20150605_165000View from top of Galata tower – today’s Istanbul is a busy and noisy city of 17 million people! So it looks!

Yes – little is left from the jewel of Eastern Mediterranean. Constantinople is lost and vanished in to history … too bad!

Modern Istanbul

These modern Istanbul is a city with more than 15 000 000 people! It is one of the biggest cities in Europe. It is spreading on wide area with modern high buildings.

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Here one of the mosques near shore and Cruise boats. Nice scenery in dark night.

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In it’s European side Galata tower shines in many colors when sun has set…

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Because Istanbul is surrounded by sea one can see ships, ferries and boats everywhere.

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Very beautiful light shows are covering many buildings on shores of Phospore sea.

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There are not so many bridges from Europe to Asia in Istanbul – only three for the moment. Here nice building under vast bridge.

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Here again mosques scenery from north side of Phospore shore.

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This building looks really amazing and catches one’s eye.

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This mosque is photographed from cruise boat and is located on European side of Phospore shore.

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Here is Rumelian castle built by Mehmed II as lauching point to capture Constantinople.

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And here is Grand Bazaar. And it really was a grand bazaar – corridors after corridors for several kilometers.

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Here is view from street near Haga Sophia and basilica Cistern.

DSC06201Haga-Sofia last time!

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