I’m enjoying the lovely fall weather and getting lots of exercise. This week I logged several miles visiting some sites. The Yıldız Park and Çırağan Palaces are lovely and right on the water. They are located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, home of one of the most important football teams of the city.
I had been to this church in 2008 when I was on a tour of Turkey, but wanted to return for a closer look. Unfortunately, the extensive renovations meant that I really didn’t get to see much of the building, perhaps half. Still, the mosaics alone are incredible and the frescoes better than you would expect for the age. The reconstruction work may take years, so I may never see it complete.
According to Wikipedia: The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora (Turkish: Kariye Müzesi, Kariye Camii, Kariye Kilisesi — the Chora Museum, Mosque, or Church) is a former Byzantine church, later Ottoman mosque, and current museum in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul. The neighborhood is situated in the western part of the municipality (belediye) of the Fatih district. In the 16th century, during the Ottoman era, the church was converted into a mosque, before becoming a museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with the original Byzantine-era mosaics and frescoes unearthed after its secularization.
My guidebook focuses on the mosaics that describe the life of Mary, but I remember our guide (the best tour guide I have ever met) telling us more about the life of Joseph, which I found fascinating at the time. Now, those mosaics are in an area that is off limits.
English Time isn’t keeping me busy during the week, so I’m using the time to get some exercise and enjoy the amazing Fall weather. With my roommate, Monique, I returned for a visit to the Archaeology Museum last week. Just a few quick photos.
My new museum pass means that I can visit many museums for free.
Today, another post about Belgrade, which I visited last month. I met my dear friend, Kathy, there and she arranged for an all day tour of this wonderful city with guide Srdjan Ristic, owner of Explore Belgrade! One of the many sites he took us to was the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Josip Broz, better known as Tito. He was the former head of Yugoslavia and can probably be best described as a benevolent dictator.
Of course Yugoslavia is long gone, now broken into several countries–and the borders are still under dispute.
I’ve been battling illness for almost a week. I had a few drugs, which helped a lot, but ran out yesterday. Today I went to a pharmacy. Supplied with the correct Turkish words I asked for medicine for diarrhea and also something for a headache. I mimed the last part by holding my head, but the pharmacist repeated the words in English for me (I take it that my Turkish pronunciations were pretty bad). Then he whisked behind the counter to get the medications. While I was waiting, a woman who worked there asked, in broken English, to help me. She had seen me mime a headache. “Hair loss?” She says.
Wow. How sick do I look?
Seriously, I’m not in bad shape. It’s all new bugs and viruses when you travel and my immune system occasionally gets overwhelmed. This too shall pass. Pun intended, Michael.
In 1594, Serbs rose up against Ottoman rule in Banat, during the Long War (1591–1606) …….though the uprising was quickly suppressed. The rebels had, in the character of a holy war, carried war flags with the icon of Saint Sava. …. Ottoman Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha ordered that the sarcophagus and relics of Saint Sava located in the Mileševa monastery be brought by military convoy to Belgrade. ….The relics were publicly incinerated by the Ottomans on a pyre on the Vračar plateau, and the ashes scattered, on April 27, 1595.
The Serbs never forgot the humiliation. This amazing church now stands on that same plateau, dominating Belgrade’s cityscape, but it wasn’t an easy rise.
Forty years after the initial idea, construction of the church began on May 10, 1935, 340 years after the burning of Saint Sava’s remains. Construction was interrupted by WWII. The occupying German army used the unfinished church as a parking lot. The Red Army later did the same. The Society for Building of the Cathedral ceased to exist. But the idea did not die and finally in 1984 Branko Pešić was chosen as new architect. He redesigned the church to use new materials and building techniques. Construction of the building began again on August 12, 1985. The walls were erected to full height of 40 meters. The greatest achievement was lifting of the 4,000 ton central dome. It was first built on the ground and lifted onto the walls, which took forty days.