Ottoman imperial mosques

Europe, Turkey

Ottoman imperial mosques

No Comments 9 April 2011

Anyone remotely familiar with the skyline of Istanbul knows that the city is home to some of the world’s most impressive mosques. In these 2002 photos, the Monkey visits a few standout mosques and meets some friendly locals.

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Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace

Europe, Turkey

Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace

No Comments 7 February 2011

No stranger to the corridors of power, the Monkey felt right at home in the lavish surroundings of Topkapi Palace, once the heart of Ottoman imperial power. These shots are from the Monkey’s September 2002 visit to Istanbul.

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Istanbul’s greatest Byzantine remnant: Aya Sofia

Europe, Turkey

Istanbul’s greatest Byzantine remnant: Aya Sofia

No Comments 25 November 2010

In September 2002 the Monkey fulfilled one of his longstanding dreams: visiting the magnificent Aya Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey. Words and even photos fail to depict the sense of wonder at this ancient, incomprehensibly enormous church/mosque/museum. A real treat.

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Some remnants of Constantinople

Europe, Turkey

Some remnants of Constantinople

No Comments 3 October 2010

As the song says, it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople. But some of the city’s main attractions do derive from the days when, under its former moniker, this stunning city succeeded Rome as a center of influence and power. Here the Monkey looks at a few marvels from the age of Constantinople.

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Schlepp travels: Episode 3

Special features, Schlepp travels, United States, Belgium, Serbia, Turkey

Schlepp travels: Episode 3

No Comments 29 August 2010

Whenever possible, the Schlepps like to hit the road with their friend, the Monkey. In these photos from 2002 and 2003, a few of the Schlepps visit unique spots in Belgium, Turkey, the United States, and what was then Yugoslavia (now Serbia).

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Recommended reading

A Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe
Dennis P. Hupchick and Harold E. Cox (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996)
Any traveler knows the importance of a good map. This handy book provides a slew of historical maps that help illuminate the complicated contours of the various Balkan empires and states, providing a foundation for deeper understanding of Eastern European history.

The Balkans: A Short History
Mark Mazower (New York: Modern Library Paperback, 2002)
As the title says, a short history of the Balkan region. A helpful intro to this corner of Europe.

The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804-1999
Misha Glenny (New York: Penguin, 2001)
A rather epic undertaking by a former BBC correspondent for Central Europe, this book traces the tumultuous two centuries of the Balkan states’ struggles for independence from the Ottoman Empire, the emergence of pan-Slavic tendencies and their tribulations, and the reign of various regimes of the right and left during the 20th Century. A worthwhile read—don’t let its dimensions frighten you…

Rough Guide to Turkey
Marc Dubin and Terry Richardson (London: Rough Guides, 2010)
The Rough Guides are among the best of the general travel guides. The Monkey has been known to consult them on occasion….

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