Istanbul Revealed: Hagia Sophia by Approach Guides

Istanbul Revealed: Hagia Sophia

byApproach Guides, David Raezer, Jennifer Raezer

Kobo ebook | September 1, 2015

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Travel guidebooks for the ultra curious, Approach Guides reveal a destination’s essence by exploring a compelling aspect of its cultural heritage: art, architecture, history, food, or wine. 

A wonder of 6th century engineering, Istanbul’s church of Hagia Sophia stood as a symbol of the Byzantine empire for over 900 years. So great is its magnetism that it was adopted by the conquering Ottomans and converted into a mosque to signal their rightful inheritance of the empire’s distinguished legacy. And the magic remains on full display today: a massive dome that appears to float weightlessly above the floor, filtered light that infuses the interior with a glow symbolic of God’s wisdom and gold-filled mosaics that encourage contemplation. It is yours to discover.

What’s in this guidebook:

  • An introduction. We review the church’s history and explain why the emperor-builder Justinian broke from earlier design precedent in favor of an innovative central plan that features a prayer space covered by an enormous dome. 
  • Architectural highlights. Following our tradition of being the most valuable resource for culture-focused travelers, we profile the church’s most important architectural features and offer a discussion that ties it all together. 
  • Tour of the mosaics. The church holds one of the greatest collections of mosaics in the world. To do it justice, we crafted a comprehensive tour that features eleven of the premier works. For each, we review its history, stylistic features and iconography. 
  • A visit to the prototype. Since the nearby church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus likely served as a small-scale prototype for the great church, we offer a tour that focuses on their shared characteristics. 
  • Advice for getting the best cultural experience. To help you plan your visit, this guidebook supplies logistical advice, maps and links to online resources. Plus, we give our personal tips for getting the most from your experience while on location. 
  • Information the way you like it. As with all of our guides, this book is optimized for intuitive, quick navigation; information is organized into bullet points to make absorption easy; and images are marked up with text that explains important features. 


One of the benefits of eBooks is that we can easily update content and release new editions of our guidebooks. These updates are FREE for existing customers. Please visit for a list of recently updated guides and instructions on downloading the new version. 


Compulsive (and compulsively informed) travelers, the Raezers are the masterminds behind the downloadable Approach Guides, which are filled with a university course-worth of history and insights for 62 destinations worldwide. WHY WE LOVE IT: The Raezers share our desire for deep, well-researched information on the wonders of the world. 
- Travel + Leisure 

What started as one couple’s travel notes aimed at filling in the gaps in guidebooks has become — a menu of downloadable travel guides that cover cultural and historical topics of interest to thoughtful travelers. What’s hot: Bite-sized travel guides that specialize in topics ranging from 29 pages on the foods of Italy to one that helps you explore the historical and architectural significance of Angkor’s famous temple structures in Cambodia. 
- LA Times 

Approach Guides encompass the whole cultural experience of a place. Each guide delves into the subject, truly exploring it (and making you want to GO THERE NOW). Perfect for the thinking traveler, Approach Guides are one of the best travel guides I’ve ever found. 
- Wandering Educators 

Title:Istanbul Revealed: Hagia SophiaFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 1, 2015Publisher:Approach GuidesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1936614510

ISBN - 13:9781936614516

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