Jaunting Part 8: Balkans, Istanbul, and Italy

The latest segment of my trip took me through the Balkan peninsula to the city of Istanbul, followed by a flight to Italy. You can hear me talk about it here.

Sarajevo was the highlight of my trip through the Balkans. The first in this set shows the Sarajevo City Hall and it's beautiful stained glass ceiling. This building was largely destroyed during the Serbian shelling and has only recently been restored. The next picture depicts one of the many Muslim cemeteries that dot the city. The following two pictures show the city itself and finally the last picture shows the street corner where archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, triggering the start of WWI.

The Westward segment of my voyage terminated in the city of Istanbul where I was finally able to see something I'd always dreamed of visiting, the Hagia Sophia. First constructed by the Emperor Justinian in 537, changed into a mosque by Mehmet the Conquerer in 1453, and finally turned into a museum by the Republic of Turkey in 1935 this building has been amazing people for one and a half thousand years.

But, upstaging the Hagia Sophia is the wonder situated just across the street. In a city of beautiful works the Blue Mosque is easily the greatest and ranks as the most stunning piece of architecture I've ever seen.

My next stop after a short flight was the Eternal City of Rome. We have here in order of construction: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican, and the Sphere Within a Sphere sculpture inside the Vatican Museum.

The dome of the Florence Cathedral, the largest in the world until 1881. Second and third place went to the Pantheon and the Hagia Sophia respectively. The final shot is the city of Florence.