Art in Istanbul

Today I treated myself to a day filled with wonderful art and visual delights. I started with a visit to Chora Church which hosts beautiful Byzantium style mosaics and frescos. Naturally, the mosaics and frescos depict themes and recordings from the New Testament. The mosaics have vibrant colors and an amazing amount of gold leaf. Unfortunately, the nave was closed for reconstruction, but the halls of the church provided much to see and enjoy.

I then went to the New City to see what the Pera Museum had on exhibit. The museum has permanent as well as rotating exhibits. To my delight, one of their rotating exhibits was Andy Warhol. The curator did a wonderful job helping viewers see and comprehend Warhol’s vision.

Then it was time for lunch – I enjoyed a delicious Faro salad and manti (small, almost ravioli-like dumplings filled with minced meat and covered in a refreshing yogurt sauce). The restaurant, opened by a well know photographer, offers both classic and fusion cuisine. Copies of the owner’s black and white photography of Istanbul are on display around the restaurant. The great food and striking photographs capture Istanbul’s charm and make this restaurant one of my favorites in the New City.


Next it was time for the Modern Art Museum which offers contemporary as well as modern paintings, photographs, sculptures and films. It also has a research library open to students and contemporary art enthusiasts.

It always amazes me how walking around a museum can really bring on an appetite. We had dinner on the roof of a New City restaurant which offered lovely views of the Bosphorus and Sultanahmet. Watching the sun set while enjoying a plate of fries, onion rings, calamari, borek, and paçanga along with hellim cheese and tomato sauce was spectacular.


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After the sun dropped, delicate apple tea did just the trick to keeping us warm enough to continue viewing the lights illuminating the city. From our more elevated perspective of Istanbul, it was easy to understand why this city has inspired artists for centuries. For me, however, pictures of the food is as artistic as it gets.


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