THE ORACLE WAS RIGHT!
A group portrait of three great architectural edifices in Istanbul: from left to right, the Blue Mosque (known in Turkish as the “Sultanahmet”) with six minarets; the St. Sophia (“Aya Sofya”) with four, and St. Iriné ("Aya Irini") with none. Seen in silhouette, the first of these is a mere infant 400 years old; the other two have been around for 1500 years.
One of the most historic cities in the world, Istanbul, is also one of the most beautiful. Two thousand eight hundred years ago, the colonizer of cities, Byzans, visited the oracle of Dephi, and posed the question, “Where should I establish my next city?” The oracle, an elderly priestess, retired into her cave in order to ruminate, and returned to utter a garbled response. (She was intoxicated by the hallucinogenic gasses emanating from the walls of the cave.) A priest standing-by interpreted the oracle’s message, “Opposite the Blind!” This meant nothing to Byzans, who took his ships, as he had been planning to all along, and sailed north up the the Aegean — then through the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and entered the Bosporus. On the right side (starboard) he noticed the exquisite towns of Ischitari and Calcedonia, and murmured out loud, “These people knew where to select the sites for their towns...” Then turning around, he saw the sun setting over the far more beautiful left side (port side) that was easier to defend. He continued, “but they must have been blind to have missed this side!” There he founded “Byzantium” in the 8th century. Four centuries later, Phillip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, lashed his ships together, creating a pontoon bridge so that his army could cross the Bosporus. All this took place before the Christian Era.
In the mid-forth century AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine accepted Christianity as the official state religion, and in dividing the empire into two halves, established Byzantium as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. (Only after his death was the city christened "Constantinople.") A century later still, Justinian the Great, commissioned the building of the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya). Completed in just five years, the colossal edifice, supporting a dome 31 meters (102 feet) in diameter and 56 meters (180 feet) in height, immediately became the defining building of Christendom. Three months ago I posted a photo,Deformed with Age, showing the second-floor gallery, along with 1200 year-old Viking Graffiti carved on a bannister.
Nine centuries later (on May 29, 1453) when the Ottomans conquered the city, Constantinople was renamed “Istanbul,” and the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. Four minarets were added, and immense buttresses were built to support a building beginning to lean. (The huge dome would influence Ottoman architecture dramatically, with the multi-dome design of the mosques of Bursa making way to the single-dome designs of mosques of the future in Istanbul.) Finally, just 75 years ago, the 1500 year-old building was transformed into a museum — no longer a church or a mosque — in a tacit statement by Ataturk of universal religious tolerance, and resistance to one religion or another being the sole steward of the building.
The photograph was shot from the Crystal Serenity, sailing out of Istanbul around 7:30 pm, on August 22nd 2008. The precise location is “Yeni Kapi,” (“New Gate”), where recent archaeological excavations revealed human habitation approximately 8000-8500 years old. Even our distant ancestors recognized beauty when they saw it. The two ancient towns on the Asian Shores of the Bosporus, Ischitari and Calcedonia, are now Üsküdar and Kadiköy, two of the municipalities of this city straddling two continents. Marica Biagini, a fellow physicist and Trekearth enthusiast, posted an image Fall of Constantinople last month that puts this site into better focus.
Nikon D200, Nikkor 28-200 mm lens. ISO 200. Shot in RAW.
With this last post I am submitting in 2008, I would like to wish all my Trekearth friends a New Year, marked by health, happiness and prosperity. —Bulent
marjan, ymrk, stelli, azaf1, Sistercosmo, adores, gracious, Tezic, Henryk_Bilor, Dyerco, Wandering_Dan, bostankorkulugu, amazon, feather, Dpbours, Kielia, Tue, paololg, Charo, isabela_sor, jonathan_hart, parbo, ruisc_pt, AiresSantos, ciakgiak, JCG, BWJ, papagolf21, Cretense, ahmetgedikli, Didi, judesta, ChrisJ, Graal, jafadabret, Angshu, belido, Felip, alvaraalto, MLINES, g_panakia, stego, fulvio52, temmel, chpp, yedirenk, Docarmo, Emile, ManuMay, mongen, elenimavrandoni has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
marjan (6279) 2008-12-31 10:53
hi Bulent, good shot , nice story and excellent composition of this endless town.
polpo56 (15134) 2008-12-31 10:59
I'm very happy to riceve your wishes.
Nice light in this picture.
I wish you and your family a wonderful year 2009.
stelli (2993) 2008-12-31 11:15
Wonderful sunset photograph with an amazing synthesis including those "huge" monuments for architecture and civilization! Thank you for sharing! Regards Stella
deermen (1938) 2008-12-31 12:02
merhaba bülent bey,
çok güzel bir slüet çalışması kompozisyon ve renkler şahane
Sistercosmo (242) 2008-12-31 12:27
wonderful and fascinating capture, striking silhouettes and an excellent, educating note. Thanks! I too wish you and your family all the best in 2009, especially good health, contentment and lots of honest love!
adores (37679) 2008-12-31 12:32
A very good post for the end of the year!Istanbul is surely one of the most beautiful cities I know.Good composition, I like the silhouette of the minarets with that golden sky as a background.
Happy New Year to you and to your family!!!!!
gracious (20025) 2008-12-31 13:16
Wishing you THE MOST JOYFUL HAPPY NEW YEAR2009!
Sincere thanks for this beautiful image from Istanbul in the evening light over it!
so calm and peaceful atmosphere and a good mood!
greeting from NZ
Morac (27665) 2008-12-31 13:24
Good shot , nice story and excellent composition.
Happy New Year to you and to your family.
Tezic (17867) 2008-12-31 14:53
merhaba Bülent Bey,
tüm minarelerin birbirini kesmeden yer almasını sağlayan bakış açınız ve yarı siluet haliyle ortam ve ışık harika..
Size ve ailenize sağlık, huzur ve başarı dolu bir yıl dilerim..
sevgi ve saygılarımla-coşkun
Hunkar (6866) 2008-12-31 15:29
Zarif minarelerle İstanbul'un klasik görüntüsü tüm güzelliğiyle gözler önüne serilmiş..
İyi yıllar dileklerimle,
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2008-12-31 16:23
Nice capture - great contrast and these minarets like a rockets waiting to reach the sky :). Lovely colour of the sky.
Happy New Year
Dyerco (10185) 2008-12-31 16:29
A wonderful silhouette of the mosques and their respective minarets. I did not know they were that close together. Well done.
Happy new year to you and yours.
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2008-12-31 17:55
Merhaba, Bulent -
A fitting sunset post for the end of the year! And a nice story, too.
Did you notice that on Hagia Sophia there is just a touch of sunlight?
Happy year from Jean and me to you and Carol Jean,
PS: Look for something in your mail soon.
bostankorkulugu (42080) 2008-12-31 23:32
sultanahmet, ayasofya, aya irini... üçünün bir arada en güzel hali bu herhalde... minarelerin hepsini görebildiğimiz ideal açı... bir istanbul klasiği... ama en klaslarından... ne dnilebilir ki... elinize, gözünüze, gönlünüze sağlık profesör...
iyi yıllar size tekrar...
hay_kes (30446) 2009-01-01 0:23
Nefis bir İstanbul panoraması.Silüetler mükemmel.Elinize sağlık.
Sağlık, huzur ve mutluluk dolu yeni bir dileklerimle..
azaf1 (15929) 2009-01-01 0:51
Good morning Bulent
You bet the oracle was wise, but it's a great pity we have lost the art of foreseeing and predicting. Excellent composition with those three jewels in the sunset background.
Best wishes for a prosperous and happy new year full of good health and ...nice shots
amazon (12112) 2009-01-01 2:06
icinde yasiyor olsam bile asla seyretmekten bikmayacagim siluetler....cok sansliyim galiba,bunu bana bir kez hatirlattiginiz icin tesekkurler,
jhm (140110) 2009-01-01 2:21
You found a wonderful place, great contrast between the dark silhouettes of the minarettes and the wonderful smooth pink sky.
Excellent captured, nice composed and great presentation
High quality, very well done, TFS
ymrk (14955) 2009-01-01 3:01
Harika bir manzara ve teknikle muhteşem bir fotoğraf.
Sizin ve ailenizin yeni yılını kuluyor,sağlıklı ve mutlu nice yıllara diliyorum...
carper (96) 2009-01-01 4:20
happy new year to you Bulent,
a good contour shot here, well taken with a fine atmosphere, good photo.
TGULUMSER (13252) 2009-01-01 4:34
Bulent Bey merhaba,
Guzel Istanbul'un cok cok guzel bir karesi. Sabah renkleri, sakinligi... harika,
Sevdiklerinizle birlikte guzel bir yil dilegiyle,
feather (51130) 2009-01-01 8:34
There was still enough light to show some detail in the cityscape: the mosques in particular. The slender and graceful minarets add a lot of extra interest to the general 'shape' of the skyline. Your POV on board ship has again given you a unique vantage point. Fascinating note too.
Happy New Year to you and your family too
Dpbours (222) 2009-01-01 8:40
I'm starting 2009 with an elaborate explanation! Talking about a lengthy note, but an interesting one for the people that make the effort to read it entirely.
A wise year to you as well!!
imago_lux (249) 2009-01-01 8:41
Nice skyline. Look to this photo is looking to Orient.
Kielia (23711) 2009-01-01 9:03
an adequate contribution at the end of the year 2008 acommpanied by a very interesting note. The gentle light of the evening accentuates the elegance of the towers excellently.
With all my best wishes for a wonderful year 2009!
Tue (27696) 2009-01-01 10:49
Great view of the skyline of Istanbul. The soft, warm colour of the sky is lovely and the silhouettes of the many minarets stand out very nicely. Thanks for sharing!
Best wishes for a Happy 2009!
jmcl (14535) 2009-01-01 11:44
happy new year to you and yours ..
Beautiful "simple" presentation .. with that wonderful sky and the shadowed beauty .. thoughtful and beautiful .. wonderful note as always .. very nice. take care, John
paololg (31448) 2009-01-01 12:51
Ciao dear Bulent,
marvelous silhouette of the mosques of Istanbul in pleasant contrast with the warm light of the sky. A really suggestive photo, compliment to your cleverness!
I wish you and your family a beautiful new year full of happiness and success!
Charo (51210) 2009-01-01 12:59
Profiles of some of these beautiful mosques stressing on the sky orange. Excellent composition and color.
Happy New Year 2009!
jonathan_hart (21274) 2009-01-01 13:16
a classic from Istanbul, the monumentals mosquees, the complete note help to learn more about this town with few but precious informations that I missed before, TFS
parbo (11092) 2009-01-01 15:01
Hello Mr. Atalay,
Wonderful shot and great note to accompany the image. You select a famous silhouettes of famous city in splendid color and tones. Enviable clarity and sharpness, congratulations.
I wish you and your family a healthy, prosperous and happy new year.
ruisc_pt (10836) 2009-01-01 15:04
I like the way you frame it and the light control
AiresSantos (56155) 2009-01-01 23:15
Beautiful picture with the famous Mosques in Istanbul. Excellent informative note.
I wish you and your family all the best for the new year
TopGeo (38204) 2009-01-02 0:35
A wonderful silhouette of the mosques!
The new pictures with our new wishes and the hope of being rich and inspired for love peace happiness and this New Year
tober (8797) 2009-01-02 7:41
Merhaba Sayın Hocam, yıllar yılı seyretsem seyrine doyamayacağım bir manzara. İstanbul'da olmadığımdan ne yazık ki bu güzelliklerden mahrumum. Yazdığınız harikulâde not da ayrı bir değer katmış bu eşsiz görüntüye. Crystal Serenity yolculuğunuzun bir hayli büyüleyici geçtiğini tahmin ediyorum.
Elinize sağlık, saygılar,
ciakgiak (30421) 2009-01-02 8:26
Very beautiful silhouette of the mosques of Istanbul in contrast with the splendid colors of the sky. A really magnificent photo, with a special sharp and contrast!
I wish you and your family a beautiful new year!
anokutan (15097) 2009-01-02 9:10
Bülent bey merhaba,
Harikulade güzel.İstanbul'un simgesi durumundaki bu silüetleri o nefis sarı fonla sunmak...Süperrr.Saygılar.
zeynepe (0) 2009-01-02 9:34
Merhaba Bulent Bey,
Turuncu arka fonuyla inanilmaz siluetler yakalamissiniz, Istanbul'un muhtesem bir tanitim karesi olmus.Notunuz da her zamanki gibi muhtesem.
Tebrikler, tekrar mutlu yillar,
JCG (35129) 2009-01-02 10:05
Firstly thank you for the always interesting note which comes to supplement the photograph. And cheer for this splendid back-light on these mosques symbols impossible to circumvent of the town of Istanbul. Very beautiful image.
With all my friendships, I present to you like with all your family all my best wishes for this New Year's Day,
BWJ (3064) 2009-01-02 11:16
This is a mesmerizing scene with a gorgeous warmly lit sky and a fabulous silhouette of Istanbul. Your note is filled with wonderful history. Exquisite!
papagolf21 (86766) 2009-01-02 11:36
Bonsoir, mon bon ami Bulent,
Il existe des moments de grâce offerts par la nature donnant une autre vision de l'environnement. Ici, la beauté parle d'elle-même, le ciel fait ressortir à merveille ces oeuvres délicates d'architecture.
Comme il est agréable de pouvoir contempler après tant de siècles de si beaux édifices.
Beaucoup de bonheur, de douceur et de sérénité pour la Nouvelle Année, ainsi que la réalisation des projets les plus chers !
hatti52 (12786) 2009-01-02 12:43
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
bakış açınız harika,minarelerin dizilimi,gokyuzunun rengi enfes
size ve sevdiklerinize mutlu ve saglikli yillar dilerim
clio (27955) 2009-01-03 0:01
Beautiful "duet" with Saint Sophie and the blue mosque. The colors of the sunset are sweet and I like the very beautiful rhythm given by all these minarets which rise in the sky.
I wish you a great new year!
Cretense (68691) 2009-01-03 5:55
Hello, dear Bulent, my dear friend! Happy new year, best wishes to your and your loved ones! I also wish that you'll keep posting your photographic marvels and sharing valuable knowledge with all of us here in TE. Seing your photos and reading your notes will always be a pleasure and a fruitful experience!
Marvellous photo, from the unique skyline of Istanbul, fantastic shapes and silhouetes, great light managment! And, as said before, a remarkable note to accompany it! Congratulations!
ahmetgedikli (25482) 2009-01-03 8:27
İstanbulla bütünleşen bir görünüm... Sizin objektifinizden de bir harika...
Selamlar ve yeni yılınız kutlu olsun.
Didi (57264) 2009-01-03 11:14
Hello dear friend
Very great composition with a good exposure management for giving theese mosques silhouettes with a warm sky.
I wish you a happy new year 2009.
ysabaner (1069) 2009-01-03 11:58
Bülent Hocam merhaba,
Gökyüzünün rengi muteşem bir fon oluşturmuş yarımada üzerindeki Ayasofya ve Sultanahmet Camisi'ne, farklı inançlar ve kültürler bir karede ancak bu kadar anlatılabilir, İstanbul'un, boğazın ve tarihi yapıların harika renklerle gösterimi içi teşekkürler, elinize sağlık.
judesta (1006) 2009-01-03 12:43
Wonderful rich colours create a stunning backdrop to the very interesting silhoutee of the mosque. As always a very informative note.
ChrisJ (99364) 2009-01-03 16:46
Nice layering into horizontal thirds, each in a different colour tone, of dark blur, black, & orange. Superb silhouettes & graphism of the Mosque. Tfs!
Graal (97897) 2009-01-04 0:50
amazing pattern and silhuettes. Good idea and realization. An interesting note.Good photojob.
Happy New Year to You and family!
missninja (497) 2009-01-04 4:37
A very nice picture I love the warm colors and the contrast between the lovely silhouette.
It´s good to be back on TE, a lot of changes have happened during the last year and I hope that - when it winds down now - I have more time to take photos and to post them here. And meet all the friends at TE again!
Best wishes to you and your family and Happy New Year!
jafadabret (56501) 2009-01-04 8:58
Merci pour cette belle photo et pour tes voeux. Cette photo est superbe avec, en contre-jour, la ville de Constantinople parée de ses minarets et de ses coupoles. Le ciel doré est magnifique.
Meilleurs voeux pour cette nouvelle année !
ifanik (21679) 2009-01-05 1:05
Very beautiful photo my friend with nice colours
All the best for 2009
belido (19934) 2009-01-05 8:21
fantastic mood! The image is well divided in its layers and the orange tones are pleasant to look at. Very good one, I like it a lot!
PS: I wish a Happy 2009 for your and your loved family!
emka (80034) 2009-01-05 9:57
Hi Bulent, magnificent view! the silhouettes of the domes and minarets againt the sky look fantastic. Minarets are so slender, like pencils. Yes, Istanbul has unique setting and is very interesting and beautiful. I love visiting the temples of any kind and I saw these two famous mosques with minarets, and some more, but I do not remember if I saw this St. Irene. Wonderful golden colour of the sky. Excellent note, as always. I wish you and your family all the best in 2009.
Angshu (55942) 2009-01-06 0:27
Hello Professor ‘A’
A fantastic note to accompany this excellent picture. I really learnt some new things reading it! Liked the three layers created by the sea in the bottom, the silhouetted land & the pastel orange sky. The ten slender minarets make excellent viewing, along with tow dominant domes & the small one of St. Iriné on the right. Beautiful shot, perhaps one of the best I've seen from this place.
With Warmest Regards
Felip (3907) 2009-01-06 12:45
Classical but equally magical shot of Istanbul silohuetted against that golden coloured sky. A very complete note.
alvaraalto (6177) 2009-01-06 13:10
A excellent lecture together with a great moody picture. A combination so characteristic for your TE-contributions. And this time quiet suitable with the book I’m reading at the moment. (Baudolino of Umberto Eco).
MLINES (12516) 2009-01-06 23:02
Hi Bulent, These temples with tall spires are always good to see. Your rendition is unusual and most attractive. I very much like the colours and splits between water, land/buildings and sky. Notes, as always are interesting. TFS. Murray.
g_panakia (4031) 2009-01-07 6:15
hi bulent & happy new year!!!
i wish all the best to you and your family!!!
this view is really gorgeous!!! i like the way the black architectural silhouettes "strikes" the orange sky!
it was, undoubtedly, beautiful scenery to stare while you were sailing out of Istanbul...thank you for the story and thank you for sharing this beautiful image!
have a nice afternoon
stego (24030) 2009-01-07 9:42
Very good title, story and, photo also, of course. The "aura", dreamy, appeal of the city, to which the unique geographic position and the long and important history contribute much, isn't the only cause of the fascination of the city. It is an amazingly beautiful place and I think you succeed in showing part of its magic with this sunset silhouette.
Warm regards, José.
fulvio52 (8314) 2009-01-07 12:01
HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friend! And thanks for recently visiting my latest Monument Valley post, I greatly appreciate.
I apologize for my delay in answering, but I've been working for the past week in the countryside, no computers around... only endless frozen fields and lots of peace.
About your picture : always a fascinating view, it never ceases to amaze me. Excellent shadowplay and striking contrast between dark and golden tones. That's actually all you need to capture the perfect mood. GREAT job, TFS! Have a nice evening, I'll be seing you.
temmel (2496) 2009-01-08 2:53
Merhaba dear Bülent!
What a beautiful light here! Very nice silhouettes of this amazing city. Great composition and point of view.
And of course interesting notes, as always :) :)
Wish you all the best in 2009!
Bluejeans (64249) 2009-01-08 5:42
Ola amigo ,
Beleza de foto de final de dia em tons de laranja , a silhueta do templo ficou magnifica , gostei muito dos reflexos na agua , belo ponto de visão , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
Feliz ano de 2009
chpp (4281) 2009-01-08 6:47
nice skyline and great contrast with the orange sky
good sharpness and framing
sothy81 (9568) 2009-01-09 12:44
Bulent, this is a very nice picture. I like the sunset colors. It is a very fansy way to show off these great architecture. Well seen and composed. Happy New Year!
PS: I am still working on my dissertation now, and a few other manuscripts. I was planning to graduate this May, but I think it is a bad timing during this economic downturn time. So I keep changing my graduation date now. I also keep applying for a postdoc position now...wish me luck.
yedirenk (11244) 2009-01-10 6:01
Merhaba Bülent hocam,
tarihi yarımada kadrajınız ve bakış açınızla daha bir güzel görünüyor.bakı rengi gökyüzü altında siluetler ve deniz gözalıcı.elinize sağlık.selamlar,saygılar
pitzimba (382) 2009-01-10 13:08
Hello Bulent, happy new year late, but I don't stay very well in this days.
How are you?
Compliments for this wonderful shot.
Docarmo (9639) 2009-01-11 19:23
Beautiful light and colour, the choice of the composition with silhouettes is wonderful.
Emile (20350) 2009-01-14 6:42
Maybe I'm wrong but don't remember seen the three most important icons of Istanbul in the same picture. When you mentioned in your wonderful note that two of this famous architectures have been there for 1500 years and Santo Domingo is only about 500 years old, it's when you realized how young we are.
Your sunset photo is very good with nice sky colors and the magnificent silhouette.
Borneev (374) 2009-01-16 1:43
I like this photo. It brings back memories of my visit to Turkey 18 years ago. The Blue Mosque The Aya Sofya, all architectural blessings of indeed the beautiful city of Istanbul.
Thanks for your kind words and comment.
Rob aka Bor
giorgimer (34870) 2009-01-17 16:35
excellent idea to show us these clear silhouettes. Note is perfect as usual.
alibasarir (15580) 2009-02-04 2:17
merhaba bülent bey
tarihi yarımadanın atmosferini mükemmel yansıtmışsınız.gökyüzü rengi ile sultanahmet ve ayasofyanın keskin silüetleri harika görünüyor elinize sağlık.
ManuMay (35091) 2009-02-12 4:06
I love this kind of captures, really well done, nice contrasts over the wonderful monumets...and the amazing Istanbul sky!!!
Have a nice day.
brevbrev14 (140) 2009-02-28 13:19
Hi Bulent, usually i don't like sunset...but here there is a good skyline with a great architecture
good one and interesting note too
Urs (14082) 2010-05-08 7:49
Golden sunset over Istanbul! In this city can stay and come back and feel, that there always something can be seen. It's such a fascinating metropolis. Well done, you made me dream.
Thanks for your critique of my vegetable market shot from Penang. Yes, the atmosphere is steamy and you really can smell a lot of different aromas. It's fun but also is very sweaty.
ikeharel (58275) 2010-11-03 10:31
I always wanted to see Istanbul, and almost gone - but change in area-politics caused me to chang - pitty.
This city is vivid and vibrant .
In picture, a nice silhouete of the towers skyline, taken in fabulous colors on sunset.
elenimavrandoni (14259) 2014-02-10 21:39
Bulent, marvelous moment of sunset in my favorite city!!an unforgettable moment!!
thanks for sharing your beautiful work!!
kind regards and compliments
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (35747)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-08-22
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D200, 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED AF Zoom Nikkor
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): DOMES, SPIRES AND MINARETS [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-12-31 10:52