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Inside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Source: Fernikon / Adobe Stock.

Stunning 360° Tour Inside Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia (Video)

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, boasts a captivating history. Originally built as a cathedral in 532 AD during the Byzantine Empire , it reigned as the world's largest cathedral for nearly a...
Byzantine-era sandal with inscription unearthed in Istanbul. Source: Hurriyet Daily

Byzantine-Era Sandals with Heartfelt Inscription Unearthed in Istanbul

Archaeologists have stumbled upon a remarkable discovery in Istanbul that has captured the attention of historians and fashion enthusiasts alike. Amidst a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, they...
A tired Muslim woman awakening early during Ramadan. (Odua Images/Adobe Stock)

In Centuries Old Tradition, Drummers Awaken a Sleeping Istanbul to Ramadan

3,400 Muslim drummers dressed in Ottoman period costumes will march through 1000 Istanbul neighborhoods, reciting ancient poems before dawn, preserving “a beauty” from the month of Ramadan. Selami...
Massive Medusa heads under Istanbul lend support to the legend of the Medusa sarcophagus.	Source: Goinyk / Adobe Stock

Did a Sultan Find Medusa’s Sarcophagus in the Basilica Cistern?

Nestled beneath the winding streets of Istanbul, just 490 feet (149 meters) from the Hagia Sophia, lies an ancient cistern that may have been the final resting place of Medusa! The Basilica Cistern,...
Istanbul’s Bosporus Strait, Fragile Hinge Between East And West

Istanbul’s Bosporus Strait, Fragile Hinge Between East And West

The continents of Europe and Asia shake hands across Istanbul’s Bosporus Strait, connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara which in turn connects to the Mediterranean Sea through the Dardanelles...
Night Time over Hagia Sophia or Hagia Sophia Church of the Holy Wisdom in Istanbul, Turkey  (Savvapanf Photo / Adobe Stock)

The Many Incarnations Of Hagia Sophia In Istanbul

Towering over Istanbul atop one of its highest hills, Hagia Sophia has stood for over 1,500 years as an architectural wonder, one of the largest and most remarkable Christian churches ever built. Its...
Night view of Topkapi Palace from across the Bosphorus (Lefteris Papaulakis  / Adobe Stock)

Topkapi Palace, Showcasing Ottoman Splendor And Opulence

Centuries before Versailles, Buckingham Palace and the Kremlin Palace, on the shore where the Western world meets the East, cupped by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus Strait and the Golden Horn,...
The entrance of Mehmed II into Constantinople in 1453 AD, by Benjamin-Constant. Source: Public domain

Did Constantinople Fall Because Someone Forgot to Lock the Gate?

For over 1,000 years, Constantinople held out against a never-ending stream of failed attacks. Capital of the Byzantine Empire, a.k.a. the Eastern Roman Empire , it was famed for its heavily...
One of the four Umayyad inscriptions recently discovered at the ancient city of Knidos in southwestern Turkey.		Source: DHA

Four Umayyad Inscriptions Unearthed in Turkey’s Ancient City of Knidos

Four Umayyad inscriptions inscribed on limestone and marble blocks have been discovered among the ruins of the 2,600-year-old city of Knidos in western Turkey. The four Umayyad inscriptions, from...
The "downtown" Istanbul Bozdoģan Kemeri bridge is one of the most famous sections of the Roman aqueduct of Constantinople.

Genius Maintenance Secrets of Aqueduct of Constantinople Revealed

Aqueducts have been studied by archaeologists, engineers, architects, and urban planners for centuries. But even now, Roman aqueducts still have fascinating secrets to reveal, as scientists from...
Mapping The Lost Subterranean Christian Origins Of Hagia Sophia

Mapping The Lost Subterranean Christian Origins Of Hagia Sophia

At one time a cathedral, later a mosque, and now the chief museum of the Turkish Republic, Hagia Sophia, in the ancient Byzantine imperial capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul), was a world-famous...
Great Chain of The Golden Horn: Constantinople’s Impenetrable Barrier

Great Chain of The Golden Horn: Constantinople’s Impenetrable Barrier

For all large capital cities in ancient and modern history, protection was one of the major survival strategies. And what historical capital was bigger than legendary Constantinople ? Known as...
Viking helmets are special and few have been found but the Viking mercenary district warriors of Bathonea would have surely worn them as they fought for and protected the Byzantine emperor.	Source: Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland / CC BY-SA 2.0

Evidence Of Viking Mercenary District Found Near Istanbul

Archaeologists in Turkey have found what they believe to be a Viking mercenary district near Istanbul . The area dates back to the Middle Ages when Istanbul was known as Constantinople, the capital...
Hagia Sophia in February 2020 (A.Savin/ Public Domain)

The Storied Past of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia

On July 12, 2020, Pope Francis stood silently in a pulpit placed in the large window overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome. He had just delivered the weekly Angelus prayer given each...
Istanbul’s world-famous Hagia Sophia museum to become a fulltime mosque in July 2020      Source: romas_ph/Adobe Stock

Hagia Sophia Museum to Become a Mosque Again Says Turkish Government

The government of Turkey has announced that the world-famous Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul will be turned back into a mosque . This former cathedral and mosque is widely considered to be one of the...
Representation of a powerful wife of a Turkish Sultan

Kosem Sultan - The Last Influential Female Ruler of the Ottoman Empire

Kosem Sultan was a woman who refused to be just another widow on the Ottoman court - instead she became a real ruler of the empire. Her decisions made such an impact, that after her death noblemen in...
A section of the excavation site in the region known as the Land of the Blind, Istanbul, Turkey. Source: AA

Riches Unearthed in Turkey’s ‘Land of the Blind’

Excavations around a historic Istanbul train station have exposed a spread of tombs loaded with artifacts, including the remains of 28 human skeletons and 10,000 gold coins. Exploring the Land of the...
Galata Bridge, ca. 1895 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Istanbul: Gateway to History, Memory and Magic

For a moment, if one could conjure up in one’s mind's eye Istanbul, a city of magic, mystery, strategic geographical importance, and historic consequence: Standing on the Galata Bridge, facing north...
Rediscovering the Story of Egeria, a Remarkable 4th Century Female Pilgrim

Rediscovering the Story of Egeria, a Remarkable 4th Century Female Pilgrim

Egeria was a young woman who decided to make the trip of a lifetime and go to the Holy Land. But what inspired her to make that journey and walk half of the world all alone? She was born in beautiful...
Rosa Solymanni uxor. (16th century).

Hurrem Sultan, the Cheerful Rose of Suleiman I and a Powerful Woman of the Ottoman Empire

Hürrem Sultan appeared in Topkapi Palace as a slave, but in a very short time she became one the most influential women of the Ottoman Empire . The name Hürrem was given her by the Sultan Suleiman I...
The team found amphoras of a type that have never been found in shipwrecks before. They also found anchors, pottery used by the crew and cooking pots.

22 Shipwrecks spanning Ancient Era to the Renaissance discovered at Aegean archipelago

Archaeologists doing an underwater survey in the Aegean Sea in Greek territorial waters have found an amazing 22 shipwrecks of merchant vessels that sank between 700 BC and the 16th century AD. The...
Hagia Sophia at dusk

Secrets of the Hagia Sophia - Healing Powers, Mysterious Mosaics and Holy Relics

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has a very long history. It has survived earthquakes, religious power struggles, and has been a church (basilica), a mosque and is now a museum. It is known as the...
Ancient Three-Headed Serpent Column of Delphi

Ancient Three-Headed Serpent Column of Delphi to Rise Again after 2500 Years

An ancient, three-headed snake will return to Delphi, where it originated nearly 2,500 years ago. The Serpent Column is a bronze pillar built in the ancient city of Delphi, Greece, to commemorate...
Part of the Basilica Cistern, near the Hagia Sophia.

The Underground World of the Hagia Sophia

For over a thousand years until its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the city of Constantinople was one of the greatest urban centres in the Christian world. At the heart of this city was the Hagia...

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