Blue Mosque, Mosaic Museum, Basilica Cistern

The Blue Mosque is not blue on the outside. The name comes from tile work inside, which I did not get pictures of.

The hotel roof shot

Across the neighboring courtyard

The plaza in front

And the other hotel shot

the Mosaic Museum contains portions of a single mosaic that once covered a large plaza in front of a Byzantine Palace. That palace is long gone and the mosaic was lost and forgotten beneath other structures. It was rediscovered a few decades ago. Much of it remains underneath other historical treasures and is inaccessible. But a very small portion was retrieved, restored, and given their own museum. This dates from the early Byzantine period and is a classic example of Roman mosaic work. Many tens of thousands of individual tiles are used in every square meter, with tens of millions visible in the portions visible in the museum. Smaller sections are on the wall while some larger ones, over ten feet long, are reconstructed on the floor.

Basilica Cistern was an underground water storage facility used in Byzantine times. It is over 100 meters long and has dozens of columns to support it. It's fairly dark down there and pictures are hard to get. It is one of the most popular attractions in Istanbul.

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