On Wednesday afternoon after everyone arrived in Istanbul, we were given a tour of several sights in Istanbul. The history of this city is incredible. The first place we visited is the Underground Yerebatan Cistern. This was made in 532 AD for fresh water storage.
There are fish in the water
A lot of slave labor went into making this place
There are two Medusa head column bases. One sideways and one upside down.
They tell us that this site was in the James Bond movie "From Russia With Love"
Our guide, Emin, is a member of the church in Istanbul
Next we went to the Hagia Sophia Museum. This place is unique because it was originally built as a Christian church in 537. For 916 years it was a church, then Istanbul was conquered and it was used as a mosque for 481. In 1934 it was made a museum. However, many of the Christian art work has survived.
E/S Edwards, John, Stutz, Colton, Anderson, Cullum, Stone, Storm, Bro. Fitzgerald
Next we visited the Hippodrome or Sultan Ahmet Square. This was a huge arena began in 203 and completed in 330 for the ceremonies of Constantine the Great (!)
This oblisk is dated at 15th century BC and was brought to Istanbul from Egypt to celebrate the Pharoah's victory here.
Next, the Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Construction began on this in 1609. Many of the tiles are blue and green, thus the name.
Stained glass windows
We had to remove our shoes to go in here, and cover our heads. Sister Cullum, John, Storm, Edwards, Colton, Stutz, Stone and me. Elder and Sister Weaver had gone back to the hotel.