Istanbul Sultanahmet Photo Gallery

Ayasofya dates from the 6th century and was converted from church to mosque in the 15th century. Today, it is neither, but a museum only.

Inside, stunning Byzantine mosaics grace the mosque.

Despite being converted into a mosque, its Christian history can still be spotted.

A sloping ramp brings visitors to the upper gallery, where great views of the mosque can be found. This is also the place to admire the intricate and colourful mosaics in close proximity.

The Deesis Mosaic shows the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist with Christ.

The Ottomans plastered over Roman mosaics, which are slowly being rediscovered.

The Basilica Cistern is a huge underground reservoir dating from the 6th century. It was forgotten until a Frenchman rediscovered it in the 16th century after being curious about where the fresh fish sold nearby came from. Designed to store enough water for the Great Palace, the cistern is supported by 336 columns.

This column rests on a head sculpture depicting Medusa.

Blind fish survive in these waters.

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