[travel] Turkey: Istanbul Part 2
This is the 2nd post of Istanbul and will include the Hagia Sophia, Archeological Museum, and Topkapi Palace. The 1st post of Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and the general streets of Istanbul are here.
Let’s start with Hagia Sophia, which was probably my favorite site in Istanbul. This church, converted mosque, converted museum is one of a kind and literally took my breath away…
This is a place we unexpectedly spent the most time in because it holds a surprisingly wide collection of artifacts excavated from all over the country and beyond. From old tablets to Egyptian and Christian Sarcophagus, to an Islamic coin collection, etc. it does an excellent job of displaying Istanbul/Turkey through the ages.
This palace used to be the primary residence of Ottoman Sultans for about 400 years. Unfortunately photos were not permitted in any of the collection rooms but there are some serious holy relics kept here, like Muhammad’s cloak and sword, Moses’s staff (yes, I said Moses), David’s sword, Abraham’s pot, just to name a few. There are also various collections of wardrobes, jewelry, weapons, pottery, etc. Ladies, among the jewelry is an 86-carat diamond, named the “Spoonmaker’s Diamond” because apparently a poor fisherman found this shiny rock and not knowing what it was, sold it in the market for 3 spoons. Could you imagine finding an 86-carat diamond on the beach???!!