Sunday Special – Blue Mosque, Istanbul


Istanbul is an amazing city in my opinion. In fact, only Paris surpasses it as my favourite. I spent a mere four days there in 2015 however it has imprinted upon me a lasting impression of beauty and history.  Although there are numerous mosques in this city of nearly 15 million the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, or the “Blue Mosque” as it is commonly referred to by tourists, is the most well-known and recognized. Taking eight years to build (1609 – 1616 C.E.) by order of Sultan Ahmed I, it has five large domes and six minarets along with several smaller domes. Within its walls are thousands upon thousands of blue Iznik tiles which why it is referred to as ‘The Blue Mosque’. To this day it continues to serve as a mosque, allowing Muslims to come to prayer five times per day. At these times the mosque is closed to tourists and non-Muslims.  As this is a popular attraction do expect queues during visiting times. I recall long lines yet they moved quickly.  I was glad to know that I could take non-flash photos in this stunning example of Ottoman architecture. It really was fascinating to see. I look forward to when I return to the Blue Mosque and Istanbul with my sister at some point in the future.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Istanbul’s Blue Mosque

Within the mosque’s courtyard

The beautiful interior

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Sunday Special – Ephesus, Turkey


A city beyond old, Ephesus was built around the 10th century BCE. It has seen much through the various ages including Bronze, Archaic, Hellenistic, Classical, Roman and Ottoman. Located in the Izmir province of Turkey it is close to the city of Selcuk. It was a main port in centuries past and was a key player Roman and Byzantine eras. Once it was under Ottoman rule in was eventually abandoned in the the 15th century CE.

Today it is a plethora of historical ruins. It is the location of the Temple of Artmeis, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Serapis, Basilica of St John, the Terrace House, the Scolasticia Baths and much much more.

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Celsus Library, Ephesus. Photo credit: Taken and owned by Vwpolonia75 (Jens K. Muller) via Wikimedia Commons

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Terrace Houses, Ephesus – Photo credit: Taken and owned by Rita124 via Wikimedia Commons

The Map Project – Istanbul, Turkey


I’m loving The Map Project posts! I hope you are as well. Today we head to Istanbul, Turkey courtesy of Deklan. Enjoy!

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Hi it’s Deklan! I am happy to share Eeva’s adventure in Istanbul for her blog today.

Istanbul is a very big city in Turkey. It has 18% of the country’s inhabitants. It is in Europe and Asia. It is on the coast of the Black Sea.

It is the only city in the world that is on two continents.  It is not the capital of Turkey, Ankara is the real capital since it became the Republic of Turkey in 1923

When Eeva was in Istanbul, she sent us pictures and a video of the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi.   I loved them!  I loved how they danced and twirled around and around so much.  I tried to do it too for a long time but I got really dizzy and fell down.  I tried to tilt my head like them too.  Seeing these dancers was my favourite part of Eeva’s big trip!

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World

The Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

Interior of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Interior of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Whirling Dervish

Whirling Dervish