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A former church and a major cultural and historical site, it is also known as Ayasofya Mosque.


"Now a museum, it was built in 547and reigned as the greatest church in Christiendom until the fall of Constantinople in 1453, when it was converted into a mosque and it's 4 minarets erected.

When walking around the building I found it hard to believe such an enormous and magnificent building could have been built solong ago.


It was 5 years before I returned to Turkey again in 1968, on an overland trip to India travelling in an old bus with 18 others. We crossed from Bulgaria and reached a campsite on the coast a few miles north of Istanbul, where we camped and were able to take a local commuter train into the city each day.

With the company of a few friends, and a bit more money to spend than on my previous trip, i was able to really enjoy visiting the many places I had missed before. One thing that did surprise me was how much the city had been cleaned up in just those few years. I also called at the strange house I visited on my first trip, in 1963, ( with an old Roman burial chamber in the cellars), but the people had gone and the building restored and turned into an expensive restaurant.

After 4 days in Istanbul we crossed the Bosphorus on the ferry to Üsküdar to start our journey into Asia.

It was 1986 before I was to see the city again. Two American friends I had made while on a trip in South America in 1971, had gone to live there and invited me to come and have a holiday with them. A good excuse if I really needed one, and in October I flew out for a 3 1/2 week visit." - MH  

Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, 1986

  • All items are produced from original paintings by Martyn Hanks.

    Prints:Size is A4 (8.27" x 11.69"/210 x 297mm). Printed onto high quality 245gsm fine art watercolour paper to give the print an authentic look and feel. Supplied in a textured off white mount size 12" x 16" (305 x 406mm), backed and sealed in a clear cellophane wrap and delivered in a protective carton to ensure it reaches you in perfect condition.

    Cards: Size 7" X 5"/178 x 127mm. Packaged in a clear cellophane wrap with a top quality 150gsm self-seal white envelope.

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