Istanbul is a dream, the monumental mosques and minarets are almost like a fairytale. The city’s history and geographic setting is unique.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 356:
“With its strategic location on the Bosphorus peninsula between the Balkans and Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Istanbul has been associated with major political, religious and artistic events for more than 2,000 years. Its masterpieces include the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, the 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the 16th-century Süleymaniye Mosque, all now under threat from population pressure, industrial pollution and uncontrolled urbanization.”
Istanbul is truly a fascinating city, situated in the crossing between west and east. During the era as capital of the East Roman Empire under the name of Constantinople, they built one of the world’s most fascinating buildings. The Hagia Sophia has served as a religious centre for centuries, in the beginning for the Christians and for the last 500 years for Muslims. Today it serves as an architectural and religious beacon for many. It was under restoration during my 1986 visit, when my photograph of Jesus Christ on Deësis mosaic was taken.