IstanbulAs we were reading this travel guide on Istanbul, we kept thinking of a way to uniquely illustrate its diversity on our blog, so that its personality would stick and urge us to finally visit it. And then it hit us: colors! Bridging Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. Istanbul is a city of fascinating contrasts and the photos below depict quite a few:

Istanbul offers a wealth of historic and religious places to take in. A walk downtown promises unforgettable sights. The photo camera seems mandatory.

Istanbul colors

Off in the distance beyond the Bosphorus you can see the minarets of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

grand bazar istanbul

The Grand Bazzar

Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum.  From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire). The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

hagia Sofia

Hagia Sofia

The narrow Bosphorus Strait divides Istanbul “separating” two continents, Europe and Asia.

Wooden Houses and Castle of Anadolu, Bosphorus, Istanbul

Wooden Houses and Castle of Anadolu, Bosphorus