Pictures & Images of Istanbul, Turkey


Pictures, Images & Photos of Istanbul Turkey.

Pictures, images & photos of Istanbul and the historic buildings of the Roman Byzantine Constantinople. Istanbul is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It literally straddles the East West divide of the Bosphorus with its western bank in Europe and its Eastern bank in Asia.

Originally the Greek city of Byzantium, the strategic importance of its peninsula was recognised by Emperor Constantine who made it into the Imperial City of the Roman Empire in AD 330. The city was founded on the Seraglio Point, a peninsular with the sea of Marmara to the south and the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn to the north. The peninsular overlooks the southern entrance to the Bosphorus, a narrow channel that links the Mediterranean via the sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. The importance of this was not lost on Constantine who saw that the city would not only control trade from the West north into the Black sea but being at the end of the Silk road, which brought precious goods from the far East to the West, Constantinople would be at the hub of East West trade. This gave Constantinople far more power and economic potential than Rome which Constantine never liked.

Constantine built his new city at an incredible pace looting whole buildings and statues from Rome and the other cities of the Empire. This new city was also a Christian city and Constantine built the first great churches of the Roman Empire.

As Constantinople prospered its Emperors took less interest in the Western Roman Empire which slowly weakened and was taken over by Barbarians that swept into the Empire from the north. With what is called the Fall of The Roman Empire in the 5th century history starts calling the Emperors of Constantinople Byzantine after the Greek city of Byzantium. The Emperors of Constantinople would not have understood themselves as Byzantine as they were Emperors of The Roman Empire and remained so until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Even Mohammed refers to them as Romans in his writings but by the time of Mohammed they were Greek speaking Romans not Latin speaking.

Constantinople became fabulously rich and powerful and therefore a target for conquest. The massive land walls that protected the peninsular and its sea walls made it impregnable to many attempts to take it by force. It did though fall in 1204 to the stealth of the Venetian Dodge Enrico Dandolo when he diverted the 4th Crusade to Constantinople to help "protect" it from the Islamic onslaught that had conquered most of Asia Minor. The taking of Constantinople led to a 3 day sack of the city during which time the Venetians loaded all of its treasures onto their ships and sailed off to Venice. The four bronze horses that adorn the from of St Marks Basilica come from Constantinople as do the marble columns and decorations that adorn the palaces of the Grand Canal.

Even though the Byzantine Roman Emperors retook Constantinople it never regained its glory and went into slow decline. In 1453 it finally fell to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II and it became the centre of the Ottoman Empire until its fall at the end of the First World War in 1918.

Little remains of Constantinople but buildings like the Hagia Sophia, built by Emperor Theodosius II and inaugurated it on 10 October 415, give an idea of the heights of sophistication the Roman Empire had reached. It would be a thousand years before a bigger dome was built than that on Hagia Sophia.

The Ottomans have endowed Istanbul with splendid mosques & palaces which fused the mystique of Eastern architecture with that of the west which along with its famous Bazaars make Istanbul one of the most colourful cities in the world.

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"Unreliable Sightings" Selective Colour Photo Series


Selective Colour Photo Gallery "Unreliable Sightings".

Selective colour Photo gallery with 35 creative pictures series called "Unreliable Sightings" to download on line or buy prints of.


 

"Blue Domes" Selective Colour Photo Series


Selective Colour "Blue Domes" Gallery.

Blue Domes selective colour picture gallery with photos of The Blue Domed churches of Santorini to download on line or buy as prints

 

Pictures of Fountains Abbey Yorkshire


Pictures, Images & Photos of Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire.

Pictures & Images of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Park Water Gardens. Founded in 1132, the abbey operated for over 400 years until it was closed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The Abbey is part of It is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England and was the second Cistercian monastery to be built after Rievaulx Abbey just 20 (32km) or so miles away. After its closure like all monasteries in England it was abandoned and became a ruin.

In 1718 John Aislabie the owner of the Studley Estate & Chancellor of the Exchequer decided to build a water Garden in his park. The style of the day was for picturesque landscaping and the ruins of Fountains Abbey were incorporated into the design at the end of a sweeping curved lake that follows a narrow wooded valley. This has created the famous vista of Fountains Abbey making Studley Royal one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden in England. Studley Royal Park including the ruins of Fountains Abbey owes its originality and striking beauty to the fact that a humanised landscape was created around the largest medieval ruins in the United Kingdom. The use of these features, combined with the planning of the water garden itself, is a true masterpiece of human creative genius that influenced the rest of Europe.

Studley Royal & Fountains Abbey are a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Selective Colour Photos of Cappadocia & Hot Air Balloons


Art Prints of Hot Air Balloons of Cappadocia, Turkey.

Art pictures, photos & images of Cappadocia ( Capadocia, Kapadokya, ) hot air balloons, Anatolia, Turkey. Selective colour pictures of Hot air balloons cruising slowly over Cappadocia amongst its spectacular rock formations. The whole of Capadocia has been covered with hundreds of meters of volcanic ash that has compressed into Tufa rock. Water has eroded into the landscape leaving valleys with steep cliffs and towers of rock known as fairy chimneys. Tufa is soft and since prehistoric times people have made cave dwellings which are linked from small doorways via internal stairs that run up inside the fairy chimneys or cliff faces. This created easy to defend rock castles that could house towns of several thousand people like that at Uchisar, where the rock houses run the full height of a towering rock face.

As the sun comes up over Goreme every morning the sky fills with huge hot air balloons. They glide gracefully into the sky above the fairy chimneys and then slowly descend into the valleys and float amongst them. The skill of the hot air balloon pilots is breathtaking as they manoeuvre between the fairy chimneys giving their passengers close up views of the strange rock formations and the rock houses they contain.

Capadocia is a truly unique part of the world. Its rock formations and rock houses create an incredible place to explore which is why it is high on travellers to Turkey's list.

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Pictures of The Library of Clesus, Ephesus, Turkey


Pictures of The Great Library of Celsus at Ephasus.
Ephesus pictures, photos of the library of Celsus & Images of the Roman ruins. See & buy Ephesus stock photos or Ephesus photo art prints & cards. Ephesus ( Ephesos; Turkish Efes) was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, it was for many years the second largest city of the Roman Empire; ranking behind Rome, the empire's capital.
One of the landmark buildings of Ephesus is the library of Celsus. Completed in 135 AD by Celsus, son of Gaius Julius Aquila, the library of Celsus stored over 12,000 scrolls and was one of the great libraries of the ancient world. The library also served as a mausoleum for Celsus whose sarcophagus was buried below the library floor. The library of Celsus has become one of the iconic examples of Roman architecture.
Ephesus is also linked with St Paul who lived in the city fro some time and wrote the Epistle to Ephesians while he was in prison in Rome (around 62 AD). Although St Paul was driven from Ephesus by its population who preferred their Pagan traditions to the new monotheistic Christian religion, Ephesus was probably an early strong hold of Christianity and St John may well have written his Gospel in Ephesus. Ephesus was one of the seven cities addressed in Revelation (Revelation 2:1–7), indicating that the church at Ephesus was strong.
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Pictures of Hot Air Balloons Over Cappadocia, Turkey


Pictures of Hot Air Balloons of Cappadocia, Turkey.

Pictures, photos & images of Cappadocia ( Capadocia, Kapadokya, ) hot air balloons, Anatolia, Turkey. Cruising slowly over Cappadocia amongst its spectacular rock formations is one of the top ten things to do in Turkey. The whole of Capadocia has been covered with hundreds of meters of volcanic ash that has compressed into Tufa rock. Water has eroded into the landscape leaving valleys with steep cliffs and towers of rock known as fairy chimneys. Tufa is soft and since prehistoric times people have made cave dwellings which are linked from small doorways via internal stairs that run up inside the fairy chimneys or cliff faces. This created easy to defend rock castles that could house towns of several thousand people like that at Uchisar, where the rock houses run the full height of a towering rock face.

As the sun comes up over Goreme every morning the sky fills with huge hot air balloons. They glide gracefully into the sky above the fairy chimneys and then slowly descend into the valleys and float amongst them. The skill of the hot air balloon pilots is breathtaking as they manoeuvre between the fairy chimneys giving their passengers close up views of the strange rock formations and the rock houses they contain.

Cappadocia is on a high plateau in the centre of Anatolia and its remote position and hidden rock towns made it a perfect location for early Christians who had to hide from the persecuting Romans. Many rock churches are spread across Capadocia with religious frescos painted on their walls. Some valleys like Zelve have the remains of huge rock monasteries. At Goreme is a UNESCO World Heritage site with rock churches with spectacular frescoes.

Capadocia is a truly unique part of the world. Its rock formations and rock houses create an incredible place to explore which is why it is high on travellers to Turkey's list.



 

Pictures of Chios Island Greece


Pictures, Images & Photos of Chios Island Greece.

Pictures and images of the Aegean Island of Chios, Greece. Chios is a fascinating and unspoilt Island a few kilometres off the Turkish coast. In the south of the Island Mastic trees grow which produce a resin that is a delicacy used in Lokum or Turkish / Greek Delight and in puddings, skin creams and natural gum sweets. Chios is virtually the only place Mastic is produced and in the past this resin was worth more than its weight in gold. When the Genoese governed the southern mastic growing area they build fortified villages whose medieval narrow streets are still unspoilt and in tact. Mastic is not the only unique feature of southern Chios. The village of Pygri has become famous for its unique Xysta, black and white geometric patterns painted on the buildings. The effect of the Xysta are dramatic creating streets alive with a riot of geometric patterns. Nobody is sure where these patterns come from but the geometric shapes could well be traced to the patterns typical in Islamic designs.

The middle and north of Chios is dominated by high mountains up to 1297m high and steep cliffs dropping into the Aegean Sea. High up in the mountains in the centre of the Island are the ruins and basilica of The Nea Moni Monastery. The Byzantine of Nea Moni built by Constantine IX and Empress Zoe after the miraculous appearance of an Icon of the Virgin Mary at the site and inaugurated in 1049. The main church has Byzantine mosaics and frescos. The chapel at the gatehouse hold a chilling Ossuary of skulls of victims of the Ottoman sack of Chios. In 1821 the Greeks made a bid for freedom from Ottoman rule and started a War of Independence. When Turkish civilians were massacred the Ottomans took their revenge on Chios just a few kilometres offshore. It is estimated some 25,000 Chiots lost their lives in the sack of Chios and only the people from the Mastic area in the south were spared as Mastic was one of the Sultans favourite food. Several hundred priests and hiding civilians were massacred in Nea Moni and the Monastery was looted. Villagers dived off high cliffs to their deaths rather than face a ruthless death or worse at the hand of the Ottoman troops. This tragic period of the history of Chios has left uninhabited villages in the centre of the Island.

Chios is a magic island with deserted beaches even in high season and fascinating villages, caves and a vibrant culture to explore.

Ou thanks to the very friendly New Zelander Don at the Chios Rooms where, if you like a friendly guest house where you can chat to and get advice from Don, you can base yourself to explore the Island. http://www.chiosrooms.com/contact/en/

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Busojaras Carnival in Mohacs Hungary


Pictures of The Busojaras Carnival Hungary.

Photos, pictures & images of Busós (Busos) in their masks and sheep costumes on their annual parade as well as traditional Hungarian dancers. The Busójárás (Hungarian, meaning "Busó-walking"; in Croatian: Pohod bu?ara) is an annual celebration of the ?okci (Croats) living in the town of Mohács, Hungary, held at the end of the Carnival season ("Farsang"), ending the day before Ash Wednesday. The celebration features Busós (people wearing traditional masks) and includes folk music, masquerading, parades and dancing. Busójárás lasts six days, usually during February. It starts on a Thursday, followed by the Kisfarsang (Little Farsang) carnival on Friday, with the biggest celebration, Farsang vasárnap (Farsang Sunday) on the seventh Sunday before Easter Sunday; the celebration then ends with Farsangtemetés (Burial of Farsang) on the following Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras).

Stock photos pictures & images of the spring Busójárás (Busojaras) Carnival in Mohács (Mohacs) Hungary.

 

[ Gallery of Pictures & Prints Mohacs Busojaras, Hungary]