Suleymaniye Mosque

Landscape of Istanbul from the Suleymaniye Mosque

Istanbul (Turkey). I’m a bit worried: maybe I’m sick?

Ok, let me serious, since my parents and relatives could read this sentence and get scared… I’m joking of course! And I’m perfectly healthy – I have some kilos to loose though, perhaps I spend too much time blogging my photos and I do not run enough. Anyway, the point is that out of 8 posts in January (including this one), 7 (some 90%) are about Istanbul! So, the conclusion is only one: I’m sick of Istanbul, meaning that I’m totally crazy for this city and I’m loosing control in photo-blogging about its places, landscapes and situations… This is my problem, and I do not want to find a cure 🙂

Probably the two snowfalls that hit the city this January are responsible for my situation, but I found that everything – including places where I have been several times before – when covered with snow was irresistibly beautiful!

This one posted here, for example. I have seen this landscape of Istanbul from Suleymaniye Mosque an uncountable number of times: I love these small domes of the former “preparatory school” (in Turkish, mülazim) gently degrading down toward the sea; and I could stay hours watching the Galata Tower dominating the Golden Horn (Haliç) and the Karakoy peninsula. But the scene is covered by the snow, it’s completely different – not to mention the fact that all around is silence (but – I’m sorry – photography cannot represent noises yet).

The weather forecasts bulletin says it’s going to snow again: I recommend all photographers to prepare their cameras and lenses, and to include the Suleymaniye Mosque in their photo-tour around Istanbul…

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Landscape from the Golden Horn (Haliç) Metro Station in Istanbul

Istanbul (Turkey). Although its position – which is not very efficient, being in the middle of the bridge crossing the Golden Horn – the Haliç Metro Station is an amazing observatory for capturing great photos of the Sultanahmet skyline.

The bridge crosses the Haliç fiord between the Galata Bridge and the Ataturk Bridge, just in correspondence of the Suleymaniye Mosque (here in the background). The metro line is the one going between Yenikapi and Taksim (proceeding to Levent and Haciosman).

My favorite moment of course is at sunset, when the sun goes down toward Eyup and the beginning of the Golden Horn: the water surface looks like covered with a layer of gold, and the Sulymaniye Mosque gets colored first with orange tones, and then becomes pinkish.

When the Haliç Bridge was built, there was a tough debate among politics, experts and citizens, mainly because its shape (it is a cable-stayed bridge) and its dimensions were compromising the landscape of Sultanahmet historical area, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The risk was in fact the possible consequent cancellation from the UNESCO list, a big shame for such an important place. It was the typical and tough trade off for cities – like Istanbul – between the preservation of the cultural imprinting and the efficiency required by the urban development. As far as I know, the situation is now stable and – according to UNESCO website – Sultanahmet is not at risk of cancellation.

However, it must be said that in the last years, Istanbul improved significantly its public transportation networks. The city is huge, and it is not easy to move from a point to another given the traffic at every time of the day and the night. The metro is expanding its lines and stations, is clean and efficient. And most important, is safe.

So, for those who are going to visit Istanbul, I recommend to include a walk on this bridge in the “to-do” list, bringing a sturdy tripod to mount the camera after the sunset.

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Couple At Suleymaniye Mosque

Istanbul (Turkey). In the past days, Istanbul has been interested by an exceptional wave of bad weather, with very severe snowfalls. I wasn’t there unfortunately – and it’s a pity because Istanbul under the snow is something of unique – but I remember when exactly one year ago I was walking around Suleymaniye Mosque, and I noticed this couple through a window. It was a very romantic scene, with snowflakes falling down and the man protecting his lady on their way to the mosque…

Istanbul. Nei giorni scorsi Istanbul è stata interessata da un’eccezionale ondata di maltempo, con forti nevicate. Non ero lì purtroppo, e mi dispiace erchè Istanbul sotto la neve è un qualcosa di unico; ma ricordo quando esattamente un anno fa stavo camminando attorno alla Moschea di Solimano e ho notato questa coppia attraverso la finestra. Era una scena molto romantica, con i fiocchi di neve che cadevano e con lui che proteggeva la sua signora mentre si dirigevano verso la moschea…


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Turkish (De)Lights (Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul)

Istanbul (Turkey). Few minutes only just to share a photograph I found last night in my archive, and which dates back to 2011. It’s the beautiful chandelier at the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, one of the most beautiful sites in the old town of Sultanahmet.

The mosques’ chandeliers are probably the first thing people notice when they enter into the praying room, and even contemporary mosques such as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman or the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi have huge chandeliers to impress visitor and worshipers.

Istanbul. Pochi minuti per condividere una fotografia che ho ritrovato ieri sera nel mio archivio, e che risale al 2011. Si tratta del meraviglioso lampadario nella Moschea di Solimano a Istanbul, uno dei siti più belli nella città vecchia di Sultanahmet.

I lampadari delle moschee sono probabilmente la prima cosa che le persone notano entrando nella sala della preghiera, e anche le moschee contemporanee come la Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman o la Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi hanno enormi candelabri per impressionare i visitatori e i fedeli.

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