Istanbul, Turkey

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) DRE# 00949880

We recently visited Turkey and had a wonderful time exploring many areas across the country, including Istanbul, the Seven Churches of Revelation, the hot springs of Pamukkale (the Cotton Castle), Cappadocia to see their Fairy Chimneys, the underground city at Kaymakli and so much more.  There is way too much to share in one post, so I thought I would start off by sharing a little about the mosques we visited in Istanbul, Turkey.

Hagia Sophi Grand Mosque

Originally, this was a Greek Orthodox Church that was built in the sixth century.  When Constantinople fell, it was converted into a Mosque.  Interestingly, it was converted into a museum (in 1935) and then recently back into a mosque.  It was beautiful.

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque

Much of the original artwork has been saved, but when it is time for prayer, some of it gets covered.  Why? "In some forms of Islamic art, aniconism (the avoidance of images of sentient beings) stems in part from the prohibition of idolatry and in part from the belief that the creation of living forms is God's prerogative" Wikipidia. The mosaic below is above the entrance to the mosque and you can see that there is a covering below the artwork.

Entrance to the Grand Mosque

Another beautiful mosaic is located as you exit the mosque.  It is of Constantine holding Constantinople in his hands and Justinian holding the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in his hands.  They are presenting each to Christ who is being held by Mary.

Mosaic of Constantine, Justinian, Christ and Mary

YouTube Short showing the interior of Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is located right next to the Hagia Sophia Mosque (aka the Sultan Ahmed Mosque).  It is equally beautiful, but in a much different, more traditional way.  It was built between 1609 and 1616.  It gets its name from the 20,000 beautiful, hand painted blue tiles that decorate many of its walls. They feature several different types of tulips.  Did you know that tulips were native to Turkey and that they exported tulips to Holland?

The Tiles of the Blue Mosque

We also loved the stained glass.

Stained glass in the Blue Mosque

The ceilings are gorgeous, too!

Some of the ceiling of the Blue Mosque      The ceiling at the Blue Mosque

Youtube Short showing the interior of the Blue Mosque.

Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent

This is the largest mosque in Istanbul and was built from 1550 through 1570.  It overlooks the Golden Horn, The sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus Straight.  It is a beautiful location!

The Golden Horn

We loved the stained glass in this mosque as well.

Stained glass in the Suleyman Mosque     stained glass in the Suleyman Mosque     Stained glass in Suleyman Mosque

Everywhere we turned, there was something new and beautiful to see.

The front area of the Suleyman Mosque     The ceiling at the Suleymand Mosque     The entrance to the Suleyman Mosque

YouTube Short of the interior of the Suleyman Mosque.

It was a great start to our trip!

Overlooking the Golden Horn

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy,

Istanbul, A Real Turkish Delight (Part 2)
Adventures in Turkey (Part 3)
Adventures in Turkey (Part $)

Posted by

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758




Comments (47)

Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Brian England.  We did have a great time.  I am guessing that you will be seeing a few more pictures soon.  

Aug 11, 2023 02:51 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Kat Palmiotti.  When we went to Israel, they did not let us enter the Dome on the Rock (the mosque above the Western Wall (Wailing Wall).  They only let us view the exterior, so I was surprised that we were even able to enter the mosques.   

Aug 11, 2023 02:55 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Yes, Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist.  The photos do not always capture the moment.  One day, I woke up really early to watch about 300 hot air balloons go up over the valley.  It was truly magical.  Not one of the pictures could do it justice.  You will see some of the pictures in another post.  I hope I can find one or two that come close.  

Aug 11, 2023 03:20 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Hope she is fine by now I thought she would chime in:)Endre

Aug 11, 2023 09:58 PM
Ray Henson

I hope so too, Endre Barath, Jr..

Aug 14, 2023 12:22 PM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Ray, Your photos are beautiful and your trip must have been amazing!

Aug 12, 2023 01:43 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400!  It was all amazing and some of it came close to magical.  We were fortunate to be able to make the trip. 

Aug 14, 2023 12:23 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Aug 18, 2023 08:01 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Ray,
Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. It looks amazing.

I'm curious: Has the Pickleball craze made it to Turkey? If not, what does the average citizen do for recreation?

Aug 18, 2023 08:57 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Kristin Johnston - REALTOR® !

Hi Carol Williams.  I did take my paddle with me, but I did not see any courts.  I did see some tennis courts and a few basketball courts.  My guess is that soccer is big there, but it is only a guess. 

Aug 18, 2023 12:54 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Ray. Must say your photos are awesome. A trip of a lifetime. Enjoy the journey.

Aug 19, 2023 05:28 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Wayne Martin.  We have been back for a bit, but I am certainly enjoying re-living our vacation.  It is amazing how quickly our memories can fade.  Writing about our adventure is bringing so many memories back. 

Aug 19, 2023 07:31 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Ray, for sharing your travels.

This is an interesting destination.

Aug 19, 2023 01:24 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Roy Kelley.  I really appreciate you dropping by, leaving a comment and re-blogging my post.  

Aug 19, 2023 01:27 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh, I LOVE the architecture, steeped in rich history, Ray! Absolutely stunning photos of the mosaics as well. I'm so glad you and Mary Margaret are thoroughly enjoying your travels. You've made me want to add Istanbul to my bucket list as well!


Aug 20, 2023 10:14 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Great pictures. I hope you had a nice trip. One more place to add to my bucket list.

Aug 23, 2023 07:44 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Debe Maxwell, CRS.  I had no idea what to expect on my trip and the things I did expect turned out to be all wrong.  It is a beautiful country with so much history to enjoy. 

Thank you, Joseph Domino 480-390-6011.

I hope you both get a chance to visit Turkey one day.

Aug 24, 2023 08:02 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I have never been to Turkey. It is not on my bucket list of places to visit. Yet, I know that it would be an enjoyable event. There is just not enough time and money to visit the many enticing places that I know I would enjoy.

Aug 24, 2023 06:03 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It would be wonderful to have enough money to visit all of the wonderful places in the world, but we also have limits, John Juarez.  It has been pretty cool to go on a few adventures lately.  We are trying to decide what part of the world should be next.  😃

Aug 28, 2023 12:41 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


What a beautiful post from your Istanbul trip. I enjoyed hearing about your trip online but had missed this post. We have good friends who have been and they raved about it as well.

Looking forward to reading part II.


Aug 31, 2023 08:04 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Jeff Dowler, CRS.  I think there will be a part three and part four, too.  I hope it doesn't get to be too much. 

Sep 01, 2023 04:40 PM