15 August 2019

Easter in Istanbul: Aya Sofya Tombs

After visiting the Topkapı Palace, we were strolling down the street, passing behind the Hagia Sophia. It was during that time when we stumbled upon the Aya Sofya Tombs. These tombs are actually part of the Hagia Sophia complex, but it has a different entrance. These tombs are the final resting places of five 16th- and 17th-century sultans, each of them housed in a majestic little building.

The buildings all feature very ornate Ottoman interior design, which of course include superb tile work, calligraphy, and paint work. I actually haven't been in Islamic cemeteries and tombs before, so seeing how the dead are buried was an interesting feature for me. Unfortunately I don't know much about the history of this area, and about the Ottomans. Reading the guidebook's description of the stories of the sultans buried here as well as their children makes me imagine a very chilling dynamic, something that would make me think that it's very fortunate I haven't been around during the 17th century.

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