Hagia Sophia Mosque at sunrise – The adventure began in Istanbul with a visit to Hagia Sophia Mosque. Constructed in 532 AD, it was one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cathedrals before the Ottomans converted it to a mosque in 1453. Alumni and friends marveled at this historical treasure while receiving a historical and architectural lesson about the structural fortitude of this architectural wonder. The day was topped off with an Ottoman dinner, priming us for the next day’s visit to Topkapi Palace.
Arrive in Istanbul, one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Formerly known as Byzantium and as Constantinople, it has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and is the only city in the world situated on two continents. Here, East meets West.