Aga Sophia

Aya Sofya (St. Sophia) or Haghia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, Istanbul

The main Byzantine Building in Istanbul is a spectacular sight here seen from within an entrance gate of the Tapakapi Palace.

While at times pressures are put on it to become a Mosque as it was during the Ottoman Empire, today it is a Byzantium Museum.

It was an architectural wonder in 536 when it was dedicated as a church during the reign of Justinian. Its elegant domes have withstood fires and earthquakes to remain in use today.

Cappadocia (Kapadokya), Turkey

Sometimes called the Rock People, Cappadocia contains several underground cities that early Christians used as hiding places. There are also Fairy Chimeys and rock churches with fresco art.

Avanos is a local, high-quality pottery produced in the area in underground facilities. Goreme Valley National Park is a must-see.


Monastery of the Whirling Dervishes
Konya, Turkey

The former monastery is now a museum and shrine called Mevlana Turbesi.

It contains the tomb of the Rumi founder of the brotherhood that created the whirling and circling dance known as Sema that is practiced by the Dervishes.

Sultanhani Caravanserai of Aksaray

Located on the old caravan routes from Konya to Kayseri this refuge provided night protection for the travelers and their wares from the predatory nomads.

The marble entrance is 43 feet high and 36 feet wide. Inside it held a mosque as well as special rooms for animals. Its fortress like design was strengthened by 24 marble towers.

The caravanserai were self-contained settlements with guards, craftsmen, shepards, food preparers, shopkeepers, and even doctors.