Istanbul ... 'Was Constantinople....'





As the song says.. Istanbul once was Constantinople which is evident when wandering through this fascinating city layered with influences from both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
The most famous example being St Sophia Basilica... Known also as Hagia Sophia [the Wisdom of God] and Ayasofia during the Ottoman period. Originally Eastern Orthodox, then Muslim, the Basilica is now a museum, cleverly retaining both religious influences. Considered the 'epitome of Byzantine architecture' it is open to the public and well worth a visit if you are ever lucky enough to be in Instanbul. There is something quite special about the basilica .. a palatable presence of something mystical accompanies the awe you will feel viewing the splendid architecture and mosaics. Mix this up with Ottaman Chandeliers and what you have is ... Magnificence!!!
As with all my travel stories ... Istanbul provided the usual share of strange occurrences and funny moments. Being chased by a taxi driver.. I still don't know why.. and my visit to the Grand Bazaar.. I had been warned over and over to be careful.. don't go alone.. don't talk to anyone.. Not sure if there was genuine need to worry.. I didn't think it clever when my friend decided to accompany the carpet seller into his attic showroom to see his 'special kilims' .. Worried to leave her alone, I hesitantly joined them... Well in typical travel coincidence.. the carpet seller was a cousin of my neighbour back home. So much for white slave trade and I do believe we received a nice discount on our purchases..
I think though my, overwhelming memory of Turkey was the kindness and friendliness of her people!! I could state without a doubt that Turkey was the friendliest country I have visited.. The kindness and generosity shown me during these few weeks I travelled her lands, stay with me still, along with the visual beauty of her historical artifacts, vast lands and aqua seas.

More beauty and kindness was to find me during the following weeks travelling south to the small towns of Canakkale and Selcuk, but for now.. these photos above were taken in 1993 during those first few memorable days in Instanbul.... [not Constantinople!]...


Giveaway Reminder
Don't forget my giveaway runs till the end of May, so if you are new or haven't had a chance to enter... you can find the giveaway post [here] ... Goodluck ...
.. Welcome to all the newcomers and thanks everyone for your lovely comments ..
.. wishing you all a wonderful weekend ..

Julie b
IMAGE SOURCE: .. ALL photography and artwork by me [being ruby©]


Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

The pictures are beautiful! And the arceticture is beautiful also. It has been there for many many centuries. Thank's for sharing...Julian


Julie, your photos are truly enchanting! And what an exciting, adventurous journey you had! ~ Angela

Tamerie Shriver Halliday said...

As always, lovely images from your time in Turkey. I much prefer the name 'Constantinople' though. It has such a lyrical sound. I've never been to Turkey. My friend and I almost went there in 1990, but went to Corsica instead. Being blonde, I was really afraid of the attention I would get and I sure didn't want to cover my head. I think I would have been just fine, but at the time, Corsica seemed a better choice.


red ticking said...

lovely photos and memories... have a wonderful weekend sweet friend xx pam

julietk said...

I love Byzantine art, You make me want to travel :-) Fab pictures.

Giulia said...

Wonderfully evocative of Istanbul, Julie. I love it, too, though I have a propensity to be the one to admonish people, "Be careful!" With good reason, but I try to control myself.

You know, a Greek taxi driver chased me once, God I made him mad (so I know why)...but it made me laugh to see someone else has been chased by a driver. Let me go lie back, listen to my ocean "tunes" & think of it. Julie the Cat is longing to go to these places...I told her if she will be cooperative about her asthma medication, we shall see.

ciao-meow, J.


oldgreymare said...

Julie my dear you have topped yourself again! There seems to be no end to your talents with the lens and with editing. These are truly book worthy, and I want the first edition signed copy.

My friend, how do I convince you..... make you see them without any critique of your own? These are magnificent- no other way around it. These images are also what makes being Ruby so unique among the throng. You hear your own voice and follow no one.

I am so grateful for your travels, for your vision of these countries. It allows me to experience far away lands with a view unlike any other.

I am grateful for you and our friendship......z

Beach House Living said...

The photo of the lamb is the one that stands out to me in this collection...
Have a great weekend.
How are the your cockatoo friends doing these days?

Jg. for FatScribe said...

i love what you do with your photography ... your travelogues are sui generis without doubt. another great story. have a wonderful weekend!

Stephanie said...

I love your moody, serene, divine and inspirational photos. If I wasn't so under the weather, I am sure I could come up with more adjectives. You are an inspired and inspiring artist. I love the play of the light, the change in perspective and composition, the dynamic way you captured and manipulated the light. Brava!

Beatnheart said...

ohh wee...Days End is one of my faves along with the Basilica print with the candles..just beautiful Julia.

myletterstoemily said...

what magical shots of such an exotic country.

i think constantinople is way more fun to say!

desde my ventana said...

Hi Julie,
Turquía is one of the countries that I have not visited still, but that I expect to be able to know soon time.
Beautiful photos today they seems like a poem in images,

Ella said...

I enjoyed traveling with you, this afternoon; Thanks for the history lesson, too!

I love the photos and your unique view of the city! You, to have a wonderful weekend!

I agree, these are book worthy~

Jane said...

Constantinople - where east and west meet. I much prefer the old name too. I agree that the Turkish are very friendly. I loved Istanbul so much and it has been a long time since I was there (11 years) and I can still remember the sound of the mezzuin (sp? call to prayer) from the Hagia Sophia in the morning. xoxo

simon said...

very mood evoking shots! I have to confess its not on my "must do" list to visit, but your shots make me think I might be missing something!

Sarah Klassen said...

Julie, I want to be transported into these amazing photos. . .thank you for sharing some stories with us!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend :)


A Refocused Life said...

Wonderful post.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Oh Julie...another absolutely stunning post...makes me want to step right into those pics!!! And how lovely that that special feeling of the kindness and friendliness of Turkey's people remains with you...surely nothing can beat that memory of one's travels!!! Dzintra♥x

C.J. said...

the relationship that you have with your camera is so exotic, so thought provoking and so beautiful. Thanks to you my friend.

Elaine said...

I love all your photos of Turkey but especially the ones of the basilica. They have a beautiful light and mood and a mystery to them.

Love the story of the rug guy. I shall have to post some of my funny travel stories. Something always seems to happen to me and I am guessing you too?

Petit Coterie said...

Julie, Thank you once again for sharing your beautiful photos and taking us along on your adventures. It is always such a joy to visit your blog. Thank you for stopping by my blog today and leaving such kind post during our difficult times along the Gulf of Mexico. I always love hearing from you. This past week has been frantic and I am sorry for the long over due response to your email. I will respond tomorrow.
xxx, Michelle

Susie said...

Beautiful Julie - absolutely gorgeous photos - hope you are feeling better! xxx

LV said...

I visited Istanbul several years ago and found it very interesting. Thank you for taking me along on a more recent trip. Enjoyed the tour and your blog.

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

These are beautiful Julie, especially the lamb and St Sophia with the light coming in through the windows.
How funny the carpet seller story - I love coincidences like this.

Jeanne Henriques said...

Julie..these are all wonderful and I particularly love the one of the man sitting in the clever girl! Nice to hear your comments about Turkey. Mr. H is back there again and has been sending me pics via his phone of the Gallipoli memorial.

Hope you are keeping well, you are obviously having fun with your photography. I like to save your posts for when I have time to really appreciate them, I do not want to miss a thing!

Have a great week !


Jennifer Beaudet said...

Hi Julie! Beautiful memories and photos of course! I love that font you use. What a coincidence about your neighbor's cousin! It is such a small world after all! Jennifer:)

Luiza said...

I´ve been to Turkey, but not in those gorgeous places you have visited.
Your images are truly beautiful , Julie.
There is a mystic atmosphere, and lots of passion in them!
You are a true artist!

Have a wonderful start of your week!
Hugs & Love /

Princesa Nadie said...

Beautiful post again as all what you do...your photographs always have an owm personality.
I haven´t travelled to Turkey but I hope do it some day... it must be a fantastic country.Love

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Julie,
Beautiful images of Istanbul, not Constantinople !! I love them all and find the lamb, or is it a goat, and the old man with the turquoise blue ,such beautiful images of Turkey..... and of couse, St Sophia Basilica is so atmospheric. XXXX

Ange said...

Give me a day's end in Istanbul anyday... I'd even go back and meet your neighbour's best friend's, great, great, great, great, great grandmother in Constantinople for a day's end like that ;-) You do make my trips to blogland sooo exotic. May as well move back to Aussie - I can travel vicariously through you!!

Angela Furlong said...


Such divine images as always and such a beautiful window into the wonders of Turkey... I have never been there but your post has inspired me to put it on the list!

Angela x

Bree Oliver said...

the light in the first image just took my breath away.

Val said...

I'm so happy to travel through your vision!Istanbul seems to be mysterious..I love your artistic point of view,will you edit a book?you're so talented!

Dash said...

Constantinople sounds so much nicer than Istanbul! I adore these photographs and covet those Ottoman chandeliers.

Anonymous said...

I never know where your flying carpet will take us next, Julie, but I know it will be wonderful! :) I am most charmed by hearing about the kind, friendly people of Turkey - they know what matters most in life.

the old boathouse said...

Hello Julie/Ruby, These images are so magical, I love their innocence, it is like being transported over the rainbow into some wonderful other world. You are the 'Romantic traveller' bringing out the heart and soul of the places you visit. I hope you are well and all is good in Julie's world, cheers Katherine PS you know i am singing that song now...hadn't thought of it for so long

Mise said...

I used to be able to do Turkish dancing, Turkish counting, and Turkish cooking, but alas these skills have faded. It's amazing how so much can vanish from my head and yet They Might Be Giants lyrics remain.

Unknown said...

Dear Julie,
Theses images are beautiful!!
Thank you for your comment, but Hidrangea is hand painted by me!!!
Daniela "Dream Shabby Chic" Milano

Unknown said...

Gorgeous photos of a gorgeous place Julie! I laughed at your slave trade story...Isn't it a teeny world sometimes. You can imagine that this Idaho girl from the sticks, doesn't get to travel much, and when I went to DC for some state business, I was told that the people were very unfriendly and not to go anywhere alone. Well, me being me, I smiled at everybody (which made some uncomfortable) and went everywhere alone...and lived to tell the tale. LOL!
You have been blessed to see so many beautiful places and I love that you share your experiences with us all. I can travel through the lens of your camera. Thank you!

Les Cotrions said...

Hello Julie! I'm speechless...your photos are stunning and your stories always a pleasure!!!!
I agree with you...Istambul is so charming...I visited it some years ago with my children....they loved it too!
Happy new week!

La Petite Gallery said...

JUlIE, That was fasinating,, Well MOXIE or Chutzpah, what ever, you have got it. I met two lovely girls from So.America on the ship from Italy to Greece They begged me to go with them to TURKEY.. After seeing the movie MIDNIGHT EXPRESS YOU WILL NEVER GET ME THERE. I have lived too long to even chance that place. You were a lucky girl to arrive alive.

Renée Finberg said...

i have had 'turkey' on the brain
for a few years now ....
now i REALLY want to go!!

Pooch Purple Reign said...

mmm i love turkish delight! your photos are magic and your travel stories entertaining.... strange and fun things happen when i travel too.

Lise said...

WOW, your images just take my breath away.. Truly beautiful..

Angie Muresan said...

I had the best turkish-delight-filled sweet bread in Istanbul. And my dad was offered 200,000 camels in exchange for me. Of course, I don't know how true this is, as the translator had a way of embellishing things. Perhaps all they offered was 2,000. Happy week to you, sweet Julie!

Anonymous said...

"Being chased by a taxi driver.. I still don't know why". This has to be the funniest line you have ever written.
Gorgeous work, as usual.
X David

e said...

Oopsies, i missed this post! I've never been to Turkey, but friends who have say the same thing as yourself...the people are so friendly there. Reminds me of Eire. I love the way the light falls from the windows in the the first photo, that's my favourite one. Reminds me of other basilicas and cathedrals i've visited. Something about churches...explains why i'm into incense, bells, and candles. ;)

Jennifer Beaudet said...

Thank you Julie! You are so sweet! Jennifer:)

rjerdee said...

Oh, Julie!!!! This post is absolutely GLORIOUS...exactly my kind of objects of desire...the look of the church, the abbey, the quiet spaces that rise to heaven! Splendid, too, is the script you use...wish I had something this wonderful to use...
Your images take my breath away. Awesome!!!!!

the old boathouse said...

Hey Julie, just popped back in to say...still singing that song....hahaha xx Katherine

Shellbelle said...

You never cease to amaze me, my dear friend. And is that a little lamb looking for a snack?

Turkey has always fascinated me, I had a friend in California who was born and raised there and would bring me the most unique gifts when she would go home for a visit. Lovely to hear the people are so friendly, wish it were that way everywhere.

nevin said...

My beautiful Julie,

this is so beautiful. I miss Istanbul (or Constantinople) You made me cry. But it is ok :)) These photos were taken in 1993 from you and the same year I came to Australia from Turkey..

Fantastic!! you are a winner !! your images just take my breath away.. love XXXX

Shaz said...

My memories of Istanbul are 6 injections a day to stop me being so sick. I think I would prefer to remember these gorgeous images. Much nicer than my memories of Istanbul.

Sahildeki Ev said...

You have such a wonderful photographic language Ruby, even the very familiar sights are telling me a totally different story when you tell them..