I have had the absolute pleasure of visiting many cultural treasures in Istanbul, both modern and historic. One of the most famous and spectacularly outstanding is the The Aya Sofaya (Hagia Sophia).
Basically the pinnacle of Byzantine architecture. The story and the structure are amazing. "From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935." - wiki abridged
"It changed the history of architecture." In fact, "It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520." - wiki abridged
Wait, WHAT?! You read that right. ONE THOUSAND YEARS. In fact, the architects were so forward thinking that they stored additional building materials in the basement so that future architects could repair it. Indeed, it has survived a number of earthquakes and violent takeovers. It is layered in some of the most exquisite religious calligraphy and icons the world has ever seen.
|This image is 120 Film - FYI - because I am a photography boss.|