While the weather was wet and cool, the sights for this day were both spectacular and historic. We began by journeying to one of the most ancient churches in the world, Hagai Sophia, Holy Wisdom. The picture below is an interior photograph.
This church, built in the 6th century under the patronage of Emperor Justinian, was later converted to a mosque, and today is a museum. The photograph below is the spot in the church where the various emperors were crowned as rulers of the Eastern Roman Empire.
The large circle in the picture is surrounded by twelve smaller circles representing the The Twelve Apostles. The emperors wed their rule to the church, and the church at this point was more than happy with the marriage. As a Baptist who values separation of church and state, this marriage has alway been a bad one both for the state and the church.
The next picture is a shot of the larg crowd gathering in the Sultan Ahmet Camii (also known as the Blue Mosque). It was contructed in the early 1600s over the site of the ancient Roman hippodrome. It has beautiful hand-made blue tiles (hence the name) that adorn the interior.
The last picture is taken in the Grand Bazaar which is a covered market of over 4000 shops. The picture below is for my NT501 New Testament students who are reading this week about the evil eye in the ancient world and the world of the New Testament. This shop was selling nothing but evil eye amulets. The seller guaranteed they would ward off anything bad.