Reaching each individual mosque is just as enticing to the senses. Light breezes carry the smell of roasted chestnuts. Crimson red pomegranates, piled high, wait to be cracked open and juiced. Offers of apple tea are sung out by every carpet vendor in the city. But only the mosques garner the most attention.
Sultanahmet or the Blue Mosque, as it is most widely known, was built in the early 1600's. It is still a place of worship today and closes to tourists during each call to prayer. Boasting six minarets, Saltanhamet caused quite a stir until another minaret was added to the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Directly across from the Blue Mosque is the Hagia Sofia. Built in 360 AD, the Hagia Sofia was an Orthodox cathedral. It remained such (except for a 60 year period when used as a Roman Catholic cathedral) until 1453 when it was converted into a mosque. Now a museum, since 1935, remnants of both Christian and Islamic design are seen in one spot by tourists of every cultural background.
Upon a large hill, apart from all the others, stands the Fatih Mosque, or Sultan Mehemed. Built in the latter part of the 1400's, the mosque suffered extensive damage from four separate earthquakes throughout the following three centuries. After each earthquake, the building was repaired until the last earthquake left it in disrepair and was reconstructed with an entirely different architectural plan.