1 We visited the Istanbul Modern as part of our very well planned itinerary. Set right on the shores of the Bosphorus, this new museum houses a great collection of contemporary Turkish art.
2 The details for the museum and its visitors are posted inside the front door.
3 There is a very good restaurant within the museum itself—very well designed with indoor and outdoor seating, serving contemporary Turkish food.
4 The view from the terrace of the restaurant is expansive and exciting. This is where we enjoyed our lunch.
5 This is the niece of our host in Turkey. She bears a striking resemblance to my niece Sophie.
6 I had the lamb "meatballs" with Turkish yoghurt and a grilled tomato.
7 The owner of the restaurant is young, hardworking, and very beautiful.
8 The curator of contemporary art took us on a very comprehensive tour of the permanent collection—we learned a lot!
9 One of the Turkish paintings, which was painted by a Turkish artist after studying in France in the early 20th century.
10 Another artist painted old luggage with gold and silver tops.
11 I loved this installation of graphic display of trees, which are projected onto a canvas. The artist is Jennifer Steinkamp.
12 A crazy installation of glass and string and geometric precision by Thomas Saraceno.
13 After the visit to the modern art museum we ventured by van to the great Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century A.D.
14 Outside the vendors were selling roasted chestnuts.
15 And roasted corn.
16 The sky that day varied from bright blue to brooding and cloud filled. The great spires were silhouetted against the sky.
17 The spires of the Hagia Sophia tower high above the dome.
18 Hagia Sophia was built as a cathedral and is now a museum. The name means "holy wisdom."
19 Inside are walls covered with marble, and the columns are fashioned from very heavily patterned marble.
20 Through a tall doorway, one can gimpse the huge central dome measuring about 108 ft wide and 189 ft high.
21 The main dome was built of stone and brick - the largest dome of its time built with no steel whatsoever.
22 Great oil lamp chandeliers hang along the central nave of the church, which measues 270 ft wide and 240 ft long.
23 Since I last visited Istanbul a few years ago, a giant scaffold has been erected so restoration of the wall frescoes and marblework can be accomplished.
24 I took many photos of the beautiful marble panelling.
25 Another panel.
26 And others.
27 There is a second floor reached easily by a curvaceous ramp. Walking along a clerestory hall, one can see down into the nave or sometimes to the exterior.
28 Heavy ancient ironwork is used as an effective balustrade.
29 A good view of the many graceful domes and arches constructed centuries ago—with no heavy equipment, no cranes, and no steel!!
30 When the cathedral became a mosque, giant wooden rondels were installed to cover the Christian mosaics throughout the cathedral. This is the back of a rondel.
31 One of the beautiful early mosaics being restored.
32 Another portion showing the extent of age and damage.
33 A tomb in the floor of the museum.
34 One of the most spectacular mosaics.
35 And another.
36 This is the marble pulpit in the nave of the church.
37 Kevin and I found a bit of sunlight and posed for a photo.
38 Upon leaving Hagia Sophia, I took one last photo.