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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:15 PM   #1
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The Basilica Cistern is enormous - 70m x 140 - built in the 6th.century A.D. Special waterproof mortar coats the 4m thick walls. 336marble columns support the dome and the street above, with all its heavy traffic. Water was brought in from 19km away.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:19 PM   #2
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Difficult to find a different way to shoot a site so often photographed. This is a conventional view from Sultanahmet Square.
Originally built as a basilica in the 6th. century, was converted to a mosque by the Ottomans and is now a museum.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:20 PM   #3
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A view over the domes of the basilica, with some minarets of the Blue Mosque in the background.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:23 PM   #4
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The Hagia Sophia has been under restoration for many years. This is a view of the enormous and intricate scaffolding used to reach the dome above.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:24 PM   #5
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The dome under restoration ...
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:25 PM   #6
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A view from the gallery ...
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:25 PM   #7
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Column detail ...
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:27 PM   #8
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This is at and odd angle, off-centre - because it faces Mecca - unlike the original church...
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:28 PM   #9
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The library...
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 6:34 PM   #10
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After the Ottoman invasion of Istanbul in 1435, the then Sultan Mehmet II - a great art lover & connaisseur - ordered that all the byzantine buildings were to be carefully preserved. The original artwork was also to be carefully protected for posterity before being covered over to comply with the islamic prohibition of any depiction of the human form.

This mosaic is an example of how well the original work was protected before being uncovered for us to view ...
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