The empty shell of Haghia Sophia
is a paradigm of what life is like without its spiritual soul.
Yesterday, a group of around 100 pro-Islamic demonstrators displayed what they said were a million signatures for a petition demanding that the Haghia Sophia
, now a museum in Istanbul, be declared a mosque and opened to worship for Muslims.
The magnificent 17th-century Blue Mosque and the equally impressive Haghia Sophia
museum - the former Church of Divine Wisdom - still had to be brought into sharp focus by a lazy rising sun.
Among the more notable fringe exhibitions was Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza's colonisation of Haghia Eirene, a wonderful sixth-century church that, unusually, was never converted into a mosque like the larger and more famous Haghia Sophia
Unlike many exhibitions of its type, the Istanbul Biennial allows its curators to choose their own venues, and Cameron has settled on four main locations: Antrepo, a large exhibition hall originally built in the 1950s as a customs warehouse; Tophane-i Amire, a fifteenth-century artillery factory-turned-exhibition space; the Yerebatan Cistern, an underground water-storage facility constructed by the emperor Justinian in AD 532; and the imposing Haghia Sophia
Museum, which will house projects including one by South African artist Kendell Geers that involves chaining and suspending in midair bronze statues of Jesus, Muhammad, and the Buddha.
Included are aerials of the Haghia Sophia
, the largest church in the world when completed in 532 A.
For example, Constantinople fell in May, not October 1453, and Haghia Sophia
has not been a mosque since 1935 (p.
Historic monuments such as the Haghia Sophia
, once the seat of Byzantine power, and Topkapi Palace, from which Ottoman sultans ruled, were unscathed by Tuesday's powerful quake.
Its earthly models were the churches of St Vitale at Ravenna and perhaps of SS Sergius and Bacchus, and even the Haghia Sophia
, in Constantinople.
Sultanahmet is Istanbul's main sightseeing area and includes the Topkapi Palace and the former Byzantine church of Haghia Sophia
, now a museum.
The area where the attack took place is often considered the heart of ystanbul, also housing the historical monuments of the Ottoman-era Topkapy Palace and the Byzantine-era Haghia Sophia
Price includes: return flight from Heathrow, Birmingham or Manchester to Izmir via Istanbul, return airport to hotel transfers, six nights in carefully selected four-star hotels, breakfasts and three dinners included, walking tour of Istanbul including the Blue Mosque, the Galata Bridge across the Golden Horn and the Grand Bazaar, tour of the amazing Topkapi Palace, visit to Haghia Sophia
, for 1,000 years the greatest church in Christendom.
Included in the price: Return flights from Birmingham Airport Six nights bed and breakfast accommodation, staying in 4* hotels in twin rooms with private facilities Walking tour of Istanbul including the Blue Mosque, the Galata Bridge across the Golden Horn and the Grand Bazaar Tour of the extraordinary Topkapi Palace Visit to Haghia Sophia
(above), for A city of great diversity, Istanbul is a combination of tree-lined boulevards, cafes and cosmopolitan restaurants set against a backdrop where little has changed for centuries.