Where Asia And Europe Intersect

by Kashif Masood | 21:03 in , , , , |

Where Asia And Europe Intersect 
Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, is the terminus of the famed Orient Express railway line, from Paris. This cradle of civilization, where the best of two worlds collide, is at the cusp of two continents.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, also known as the Blue Mosque, was built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I.

Under the main dome of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul.

The interiors of Aye Sofia. Also known as the Hagia Sophia, it was first built as an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral in AD 562. It served as a Catholic Church Cathedral from 1204 to 1261 before it was reverted to an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral. In 1493, it became an Imperial Mosque and was declared a museum in 1931.

 Another view of the awe-inspiring interiors of Aya Sofia, which was first established as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of the ancient city of Constantinople. It is considered the cornerstone of Byzantine architecture.

A view of the exterior of Aya Sofia.

First view of the Blue Mosque.

The Basilica Cistern lies underground about 500 feet away from Aya Sofia. It was built in the 6th century during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Constructed as a basilica, the structure became a cistern under the Ottoman Empire and provided a water filtration for the city of Constantinople.

The facade of Istanbul's famous Blue Mosque.

Eminönü, the heart of the walled city of Constantinople, seen from the Galata Bridge.

The cone-topped Galata Tower dominates the skyline of old Istanbul.

Stop at Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage) and refresh yourself with a pint of beer or Turkish tea.

Istanbul is an epicurean's delight. Turkish Dolmas (vegetables stuffed with meat) are usually served as a meze -- a short appetizing meal combined with cheeses and salads.

Tea is an important part of Turkish culture. Turkish tea, called çay, is a favoured substitute for both alcohol and coffee.

Small fishing villages in the Bosphorus.

The silhouette of the Blue Mosque against the skyline of Istanbul.

At the Grand Bazaar, where Salman Khan was seen shooting for Ek Tha Tiger.

The streets of Sultanahmet, in the old city of Istanbul.

Istiklal Caddeci or Istiklal Avenue is the busiest part of the town where local people go shopping.

The Gate of Salutation at the Topkapi Palace, which was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years. The palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Imperial Harem at the Topkapi Palace.

A tram in Istanbul. Local commutes are inexpensive as you can either walk or avail of the tram services.