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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

SÜLEYMANIYE MOSQUE

ISTANBUL, TURKEY


Süleyman specified that his mosque should have the full complement of public services: imaret (soup kitchen), medrese, hamam, darüşşifa (hospital) etc. 

Today the imaret, with its charming garden courtyard, houses the Daruzziyafe cafe and is a lovely place to enjoy a çay. 

On its right-hand side (north) is a tabhane (inn for travelling dervishes) that was being restored at the time of writing, and on its left-hand side (south) is Lale Bahcesi, a popular tea garden set in a sunken courtyard.



--Lonely Planet

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SÜLEYMANIYE MOSQUE

ISTANBUL, TURKEY


The Süleymaniye Mosque mihrab (niche in a minaret indicating the direction of Mecca) is covered in fine İznik tiles.

Other interior decoration includes window shutters inlaid with mother-of-pearl, gorgeous stained-glass windows, painted muqarnas (corbels with honeycomb detail), a spectacular persimmon-coloured floor carpet, painted pendentives and medallions featuring fine calligraphy.

--Lonely Planet

Monday, January 29, 2018

SÜLEYMANIYE MOSQUE

ISTANBUL, TURKEY


In the garden behind the Süleymaniye Mosque is a terrace offering lovely views of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus. 

The street underneath once housed the mosque complex's arasta (street of shops), which was built into the retaining wall of the terrace. Close by was a five-level mülazim(preparatory school).


Inside, the building is breathtaking in its size and pleasing in its simplicity. Sinan incorporated the four buttresses into the walls of the building.

The result is wonderfully 'transparent' (ie open and airy) and highly reminiscent of Aya Sofya, especially as the dome is nearly as large as the one that crowns the Byzantine basilica.


--Lonely Planet

Sunday, January 28, 2018

SÜLEYMANIYE MOSQUE

ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The Süleymaniye Mosque was built between 1550 and 1557. 

Its setting and plan are particularly pleasing, featuring gardens and a three-sided forecourt with a central domed ablutions fountain. 

The four minarets with their 10 beautiful şerefes (balconies) are said to represent the fact that Süleyman was the fourth of the Osmanlı sultans to rule the city and the 10th sultan after the establishment of the empire.


--Lonely Planet

Saturday, January 27, 2018

SÜLEYMANIYE MOSQUE

ISTANBUL, TURKEY


The Süleymaniye Mosque crowns one of İstanbul's seven hills and dominates the Golden Horn, providing a landmark for the entire city. 

Though it's not the largest of the Ottoman mosques, it is certainly one of the grandest and most beautiful. 

It's also unusual in that many of its original külliye (mosque complex) buildings have been retained and sympathetically adapted for reuse.


Commissioned by Süleyman I, known as 'the Magnificent', the Süleymaniye was the fourth imperial mosque built in İstanbul and it certainly lives up to its patron's nickname.

The mosque and its surrounding buildings were designed by Mimar Sinan, the most famous and talented of all imperial architects. 

Sinan's türbe (tomb) is just outside the mosque's walled garden, next to a disused medrese (seminary) building.

--Lonely Planet

Friday, January 26, 2018

THE GOLDEN HORN

ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The Byzantine Empire had its naval headquarters there, and walls were built along the shoreline to protect the city of Constantinople from naval attacks. 

At the entrance to the Golden Horn on the northern side, a large chain was pulled across from Constantinople to the old Tower of Galata to prevent unwanted ships from entering. 

Known among the Byzantines as the Megàlos Pyrgos (meaning "Great Tower" in Greek), this tower was largely destroyed by the Latin Crusaders during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

In 1348, the Genoese built a new tower nearby which they called Christea Turris (Tower of Christ), now called Galata Tower.

--Wikipedia

Thursday, January 25, 2018

THE GOLDEN HORN

ISTANBUL, TURKEY



Archaeological records show a significant urban presence on and around the Golden Horn dating back to at least the 7th century BC, with smaller settlements going as far back as 6700 BC as confirmed by recent discoveries of ancient ports, storage facilities, and fleets of trade ships unearthed during the construction works of the Yenikapi subway station and the Marmaray tunnel project.

Indeed, the deep natural harbor provided by the Golden Horn has always been a major economic attraction and strategic military advantage for inhabitants of the area, and the Eastern Roman colonizers that established Nova Roma along its shores, which became, in order, Byzantium, Constantinople, , and ultimately, Istanbul, were no different.

--Wiki

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

THE GOLDEN HORN

ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The Golden Horn’s Greek and English names mean the same, while its Turkish name, Haliç, simply means "estuary", and is derived from the Arabic word khaleej, meaning “gulf". 

Throughout its storied past, the Golden Horn has witnessed many tumultuous historical incidents, and its dramatic vistas have been the subject of countless works of art.

--Wikipedia

Monday, January 22, 2018

THE GOLDEN HORN

ISTANBUL, TURKEY



While the reference to a "horn" is understood to refer to the inlet's general shape, the significance of the designation "golden" is more obscure.

Historians believe it to refer to either the riches brought into the city through the bustling historic harbor located along its shores, or to romantic artistic interpretations of the rich yellow light blazing upon the estuary's waters as the sun sets over the city. 

--Wiki

Sunday, January 21, 2018

THE GOLDEN HORN

ISTANBUL, TURKEY



The Golden Horn geographically separates the historic center of Istanbul from the rest of the city, and forms a natural, sheltered harbor that has historically protected Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other maritime trade ships for thousands of years.

--Wikipedia

Friday, January 19, 2018

THE GOLDEN HORN

ISTANBUL, TURKEY





The Golden Horn also known by its modern Turkish name as Haliç, is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bophorus in Istanbul, Turkey.


This prominent body of water is a horn-shaped estuary that joins Bosphorus Strait at the immediate point where the strait meets the Sea of Marmara,

It forms a narrow, isolated peninsula, the tip of which is "Old Istanbul" (ancient Byzantium and Constantinople), and Seraglio Point. 

--Wiki

Thursday, January 18, 2018

TEMPLO DE SAN FELIPE NERI

OAXACA, MEXICO


The 18th-century baroque Templo de San Felipe Neri is where Benito Juárez and Margarita Maza were married in 1843.

Margarita was the daughter of Antonio Maza, an Italian immigrant merchant who took in the young Benito when he arrived in Oaxaca as a boy. 

The church has a typically lavish gold-encrusted interior.

--Lonely Planet

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

TEMPLO SANTO DOMINGO

OAXACA, MEXICO



Gorgeous Santo Domingo is the most splendid of Oaxaca’s churches, with a finely carved baroque facade and nearly every square centimeter inside decorated in 3D relief with intricate gilt designs swirling around a profusion of painted figures. 

Most elaborate of all is the 18th-century Capilla de la Virgen del Rosario (Rosary Chapel) on the south side.

The whole church takes on a magically warm glow during candlelit evening Masses.


Santo Domingo was built mainly between 1570 and 1608 as part of the city’s Dominican monastery, with the finest artisans from Puebla and elsewhere helping in its construction. 

Like other big buildings in this earthquake-prone region, it has immensely thick stone walls.

--Lonely Planet

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

POLITICAL STREET ART

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


Well-known Oaxacan artist Yescka explains the importance of graffiti and street art. 

“It’s an attempt to reintegrate art into society. I feel that art right now is standing outside society because it belongs to a limited sector of galleries, intellectuals and museums.

I believe art is for everybody and that’s why we’re trying to create a link, so that the people can get in touch with art in their everyday lives again.”

--ROAR

Monday, January 15, 2018

PROTEST GRAFFITI

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO



In the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, a new street art phenomenon has taken root. 

When walking around Oaxaca City, the quality of art that can be found in the streets is striking.

More than just beautifying these spaces, many of the pieces provide pointed sociopolitical commentary. 

They remind passers-by of some of the worst problems Oaxaca, and Mexico more generally, are facing right now — political repression, grinding poverty, the perils of migration, threats to Indigenous people and environmental damage, to name a few. 

They also point to solutions and offer inspiration to take action.

--ROAR

Sunday, January 14, 2018

GRAFFITI

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO



Mexico has a long history of revolutionary art. 

Especially well-known are the revolution-era muralists from the early 20th century, such as Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros.

These artists painted masterpieces in public spaces, aiming to create a “public and accessible visual dialogue with the Mexican people.”

--ROAR

Saturday, January 13, 2018

MOONRISE OVER ZOCALO

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


Fine architectural quality also characterizes the 19th-century buildings in this city that was the birthplace of Benito Juarez and which, in 1872, adopted the name of Oaxaca de Juarez. 

Being located in a highly seismic zone, the architecture of the city of Oaxaca is characterized by thick walls and low buildings. 

The mestizo population keeps alive both traditions and ancestral customs.

--UNESCO

Friday, January 12, 2018

PRESERVED HISTORIC CITY CENTER

OAXACA, MEXICO


The centre of the city remains the centre of economic, political, social, religious and cultural activities that give dynamism to the city.

It retains its iconic architecture and the buildings representative of a cultural tradition of more than four centuries of art and history. 

A total of 1,200 historic monuments has been inventoried and listed. 

The major religious monuments, the superb patrician town houses and whole streets lined with other dwellings combine to create a harmonious cityscape, and reconstitute the image of a former colonial city whose monumental aspect has been kept intact.

UNESCO

Thursday, January 11, 2018

WORLD HERITAGE SITE

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


The city of Oaxaca de Juarez, initially named Antequera, was founded in 1529 in a small valley occupied by a group of Zapotec Indians. 

It is an example of sixteenth XVI century colonial city and of town planning given that it retains its trace in the form of checkerboard with square blocks and portals on all four sides of the square. 

To trace the Villa de Antequera, Alonso García Bravo chose a point midway between the rivers Jalatlaco, Atoyac and the Cerro del Fortin. 

The trace was initiated from a central plaza basis of two axes, east-west and north-south, with a slight tilt to compensate for the lighting and sunlight due to its latitude.

--UNESCO

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


Unesco World Heritage site includes modest building to the rich Plaza de la Constitucion.

 Their Art Nouveau detail, from the Porfiriato era, creates a unique contrast with the simple Renaissance style of the Government Palace, which construction was completed in 1884.

The churches are another great legacy of the colonial period.

The church and former monastery of Santo Domingo de Guzman and the San Felipe Neri (St. Philip Neri) monastery are examples of Baroque Spanish style from sixteenth century and the nineteenth century.


As for vice-regal architecture, the Basilica of Our Lady de la Soledad, erected in the seventeenth century in honor of the patron saint of the city, is a favorite among visitors thanks to its imposing façade and green stone walls.

--Visit Mexico

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

STREETSCAPES

OAXACA, MEXICO


The World Heritage property, located in the in the region known as central valleys of Oaxaca in the depression formed between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre del Sur, is composed of two distinct cultural sites: the historic centre of Oaxaca de Juarez and the archaeological site of Monte Albán.

--UNESCO

Monday, January 8, 2018

STREET FOOD -- TLAYUDA

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


Often compared to a pizza, tlayuda refers to both the base of this street food, a crispy corn tortilla the size of a steering wheel, and everything that goes on top of it to transform it into a behemoth snack. 

While the toppings vary from vendor to vendor, it’s almost always smothered with asiento (unrefined pork lard), refried beans, strings of queso Oaxaca, shredded lettuce, and tomato. 

Then comes the meat, with options like chorizo, tasajo (thinly sliced grilled beef), shredded chicken, chicharron—the list goes on. 

Opt for one with tasajo, which is easily one of the more popular options. 

These are best at markets, like Mercado 20 de Noviembre, but if you want the best, drive 30 minutes outside the city on a Sunday to grab one from the Tlacolula market, which is one of the oldest in the Americas.

--Saveur

Sunday, January 7, 2018

STREET FOOD -- TETELAS

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


For those who like a little more filling/topping to carb ratio, skip memelas and go for the snack with the equally fun name: tetelas.

Here’s the formula: Heat up a large corn tortilla on a comal, fill it with refried black beans and crema and queso fresco and whatever else you may desire, get it hot enough to turn the crema from solid to liquid, and then fold it into a neat little triangle. 

While their shape may fool you into thinking these can be easily while walking, pause—remember that hot liquid crema?

You might want to sit (and grab a plate) for these.

The best also come from Itanoní Antojeria y Tortilleria, where you should get one with licorice-y, sarsaparilla-y hoja santa—the fragrant herb perfectly balances the richness of the cheese and crema.

--Saveur

(note, photo is of pancakes. We couldn't find a vendor making Tetelas)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

STREET FOOD -- MEMELAS

OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


Similar to the sopes you may find in other parts of Mexico, memelas are thick, toasted masa cakes that are often eaten earlier in the day (some households will even serve them for breakfast). 

Grilled on a comal just long enough to crisp up the edges but before they become crunchy, the masa cakes are then topped with refried black beans and queso fresco, though you can also find them layered with shredded cabbage, salsa, mole negro, tinga (shredded and stewed chicken), potatoes, etc. 

If you see a comal and it’s earlier in the day, you’ve likely stumbled upon memelas. 

For some of the best in the city, head to Itanoní Antojeria y Tortilleria, a restaurant that resurrects and cooks with heirloom corn varieties in traditional Oaxacan foods.

--Saveur

Friday, January 5, 2018

STREET FOOD -- OAXACAN EMPANADAS

OAXACA, MEXICO


South America’s recognizable empanadas are typically fried or baked doughs stuffed with anything from ground beef to olives to cheese. 

But if you ask for an empanada in Oaxaca you’ll get something that more closely resembles an American quesadilla.

In the southern Mexican state, an empanada refers to a small, oval corn tortilla that’s heated over a comal, layered with your fillings of choice (any variety of mole, quesillo cheese, meats, etc.), and then folded in half. 

Common orders include empanada de amarillo (with super-spicy yellow mole) and empanada con flor de calabaza y quesillo (with squash blossoms and quesillo cheese)—you can’t go wrong with either.

If you see a street vendor with a comal, you’ll likely be able to pick up an empanada or two.

--Saveur

Thursday, January 4, 2018

COLORFUL COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE

OAXACA, MEXICO


Oaxaca architecture is praised internationally, as a fine example of a colonial city, surrounded by beauty, where modernization has not altered its historical monuments.\

Many of the historic buildings in Oaxaca are worthy of mention, but the loveliest and most visited are those in Oaxaca's historic center.

Its colonial charm has led to recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The visit should begin at Oaxaca’s Cathedral, where construction began in 1535, taking just nineteen years to complete. 

The Baroque style of the building changed over later centuries, with additions and new chapels, transforming it into the grand building it is today.

It is also home to invaluable jewels of religious art.

--Visit Mexico

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

PALACIO DE GOBIERNO

NOTABLE BUILDING IN OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


A 19th-century wonder of marble and murals, the State Government Palace occupies the Zócalo's southern flank.

The large, very detailed stairway mural (1980), by Arturo García Bustos, depicts famous Oaxacans and Oaxacan history, including Benito Juárez, his wife Margarita Maza, José María Morelos, Porfirio Díaz, Vicente Guerrero (being shot at Cuilapan), and the 17th-century nun and love poet Juana Inés de la Cruz.

--Lonely Planet

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

TEATRO MACEDONIO ALCALÁ

THEATER IN OAXACA CITY, MEXICO


The city’s main theater is a riot of frescoes and gilded boxes built in Louis XV style in 1909 during a renaissance of Mexican theater known as chico mexicano. 

Performances here range from operas to plays to classical concerts. 

There’s a ticket/info office next to the lobby.

--Lonely Planet

Monday, January 1, 2018

MERCADO LA MERCED

OAXACA, MEXICO


 

La Merced is known for its mouth-watering Mexican food and antojitos – chilaquiles, eggs, the aforementioned tasajo or chorizo, plus freshly squeezed juice and a wealth of food stalls from which to choose.


This place is ideal for a leisurely eating experience in Oaxaca, rather than a hurried, pre-departure souvenir shopping excursion.

--Lauren Cocking



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