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Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine response to the Temple of Solomon

The legend has it that when he first entered his masterpiece, emperor Justinian lift his eyes towards the dome and uttered: “Oh, Solomon, I’ve surpassed you!”. To understand just how entitled this far from modest remark was, we must put our imagination to work, picturing the basilica painted, the marble floor, the precious stones, the […]

Dolmabahce Palace, the architectural treasure of the sultans

Dolmabahce Palace is the largest and most luxurious residence in Turkey: 15,000 square meters, 285 rooms, without counting baths, halls and annexes. In the palace the oriental opulence of the six sultans who have lived here (past rulers of the Ottoman Empire) meets Western sophistication. The palace looks more like an imperial residence of French […]

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, one of the greatest political leaders of 20th century

The closest character to Ataturk is probably Napoleon Bonaparte: a military man with great achievements on the battle field, a reformer involved in every aspect of life, with a legacy that lives to this day. Ataturk had only 15 years of political power to transform a decadent empire, attacked by all its neighbors and their […]

Blue Mosque, a masterpiece of classic Ottoman architecture

Facing its Byzantine model, Agia Sofia, the Blue Mosque is a landmark of Istanbul. The Blue Mosque is the only mosque in Istanbul with 6 minarets. Since minarets (the towers of a mosque) are a rank sign, the sultan was criticized for choosing an equal number of minarets to that of the Ka’aba Mosque in […]

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