The Road to Istanbul

Anna Wallace is a UVA student currently studying abroad  through the exchange program in Istanbul. Check out her photos from her first month abroad and learn more about this beautiful and historic city! 



This is a stunning view of the Bosporus, looking closely one can see the ferry sailing over to the Anatolian side of the continent with the huge bridge that connects Europe and Asia together in the background. I took this photo because to me the Bosporus and the bridges that connect these two land masses are really an integral part to Istanbul.



Another photo of the Bosporus, this time with a closer look at the European side of the strait and another ferry waiting at the docks. This body of water is actually called the Golden Horn, which is a small inlet from the Bosporus that cuts into the European side of Istanbul.



The iconic Blue Mosque of Istanbul, complete with towering minarets and a beautiful faded blue façade. To the Turks, this is one of the religious pinnacles of society and just one of the 3000 mosques that make up the city.



A beautiful depiction of the Hagia Sophia mosque, which is actually pronounced Hay aSofya in Turkish. To me, after seeing this fantastic piece of architecture I think it finally hit home that I was actually living in Istanbul.



One of the many animals that you will find around the city. Tags in their ears mean that veterinarians have fully vaccinated them and then re-released them back to their home on the streets. The stray cats and dogs of Istanbul are seen as beloved pets by all, in fact most restaurants will give you food for free if your intention is to feed it to the animals.



Called the Obelisk of Theodosius, this was originally built by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in Istanbul as a copy of an ancient Egyptian obelisk. Unfortunately, it was in this area that a bomb went off about three days before I came. However, this place is seen as one of the most integral and historic areas of Istanbul.



A closer view of the obelisk as well as the rose memorial recently placed in front,dedicated to a Dutch family that sadly passed away in the recent explosion.
Photo 8: Taksim Square, located on the European side and a major tourist district with many clubs, restaurants, and hotels. 




This is the Monument of the Republic, which depicts Turkey’s iconic leader Ataturk. It was also in this square that many protests such as the infamous Taksim Square massacre have occurred.

 A flower market in the corner of Taksim square. Shop and street cart owners always have the best of manners and will good-naturedly haggle with people about fair prices while offering Turkish çay or tea as a sign of friendship.



 In the more touristy part of Taksim, an old-fashioned trolley runs through the streetsand stores, which offer everything from delicious kebabs to beautiful Turkish carpets. I took this picture because I think it really represents how full of life this area was.



The Church of St. Anthony of Padua, located near Taksim in the Beyoğlu district. Pope John XXII actually preached in this church for ten years before becoming the pope and this church has the most followers in Istanbul.



Built in 1348, the Galata Tower rises above Istanbul in the Karaköy district. It actually was the tallest building in the city when it was built, and now it offers a restaurant at the top along with an absolutely incredible view. However, the line was so long when I visited I decided to save that view for another time. At night, the top of the tower lights up in beautiful colors and to me, is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in Istanbul so far.


The front entrance to Istanbul University, located in the heart of the city (Fatih district) and boasting a huge population of 88,500 students. While you need ID to get inside, the view from the outside is just as impressive.


This was taken inside of the Grand Bazaar, a place so impressive it would take oneweeks to fully explore and know its many wonders. Everywhere throughout the place these beautiful, one-of-a-kind lanterns gleamed brightly, taunting me as I know I will have no room for one of them in my suitcase. The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and biggest covered markets in Turkey, with over 3,000 shops and 61 covered streets. Coincidentally, it is also one of the biggest tourist attractions in Istanbul.




The Nuruosmaniye Mosque, located near the Grand Bazaar and Istanbul University.Made in Ottoman Baroque style, I found it to be astonishingly beautiful and yet again another example of the fantastic architecture in Istanbul.  




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