(NB: This is my last post from Istanbul. Stay tuned for future wrap-up posts.)
This is Ottoman calligraphy on the fabric covering of a sarcophagus at the Sultan Mahmud II Türbe in Sultanahmet. The mausoleum was built in 1840 and houses several family members. Here are some views of the türbe and attached cemetery. Mahmud II, a political reformer, was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808-39.
This is a view of the Serpentine Column. It is 2500 years old (just like this sarcophagus). The column was constructed by the Greeks from captured weapons melted down after they defeated the invading Persians at the Battle of Plataea (479 BC), and placed at the Apollo Temple at Delphi. This was another thing (like the obelisk) that Emperor Constantine purloined and brought to Constantinople 800 years later, and placed in the Hippodrome. It is found today in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul. Here is a full view of the column.
These faces (only 1600 years old) are on the pedestal of the Obelisk of Theodosius, so named because Roman Emperor Theodosius I (re)moved it from Egypt in the late 4th century, and placed it in the Hippodrome. The obelisk itself originates from the Temple of Karnak, 15th century BCE, and is also referred to as the Obelisk of Thutmose III. The obelisk is in much better condition than the pedestal, in spite of being 3500 years old.
Found at Topkapı Saray.
Sultanahmet, the Old City, the Historic Peninsula, etc., as seen while traveling from the Asian side of Istanbul to the European side on the vapur (ferry). On the left, the Sultanahmet Camii (aka the Blue Mosque); on the right, the Aya Sofya (aka the Hagia Sophia). I went over to Mecidiyeköy this evening. Istanbul makes New York City look like Dubuque, in terms of people and traffic. No offense to Dubuque, I happen to like it, too.