JennifHsieh is a space for my rambling thoughts and snaps of my everyday style. I'm based in Astoria, Queens and I share a home with my two derpy cats and my equally derpy fiancé.

The Turkey Diaries: Aya Sofya

Jeremy and I had decided to save all of the touristy destinations for our last day in Istanbul and I knew I wanted my first stop to be the Aya Sofya (or known as the Hagia Sofia in America). It started out in the mid-500's as an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral and then a few hundred years later, under the Latin Empire, it became a Roman Catholic Cathedral. Then boom, it's back to being an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral before becoming secularized in 1453 and converted into a mosque. Still with me? Now the Aya Sofya stands as a museum and it's amazing seeing all of the history behind its many transformations. You can see all of the Islamic features, such as the minarets, that make the Aya Sofya what it is today; but at the same time, some of the plaster faded to reveal the older catholic mosaics.

Ali & Kris Houndstooth Blouse (similar)
Gap Ankle Zip Jeans
Ruffle Loafers c/o Pink & Pepper

I was also blown away by the architecture. Before I arrived, a co-worker at my office had lended me her Istanbul travel guide which raved about the creation of the Aya Sofya's famous, massive dome. There's windows all along the base of the structure and there are even more windows that also line the base of the dome. All the natural sunlight streaming into the mosque is breath-taking and the chandeliers turn into decorations rather than sources of light.

Usually I don't care too much for tourist hot spots, but this is a place you just have to see in person regardless of the lines or the crowds.


  1. The cathedral/mosque looks amazing c:
    I also looove your top! The print is
    my favorite!


  2. love the close up details!!! beautiful shots!!!

    you wear houndstooth so well (i can never pull it off, hahaha!)

    Click me for my NEW BLOG

  3. OMG! These photos are gorgeous! That's definitely a place I'd like to go to one day. Love that houndstooth blouse!

  4. Stunning. You should buy it as your summer home.

  5. What a beautiful trip and a beautiful place! I honestly had never heard of it before, but you captured it beautifully :) You guys also look so amazing! But that's no surprise!

    tiana of l'esthetique

  6. the architecture is rather lovely!!!

  7. I went to istanbul last Oct, and the city just blew me away with the richness of the cultural architecture. Mad gorgeous! I hope you had real fun there :) lovely shots you have here


  8. How gorgeous! I love older architecture. Makes me feel like I'm in a different time.

  9. Oh wow - those domes! How they were constructed is really terribly cool too - I've read about it before, and seriously, all the work that was put in that would now be a lot simpler with mass manufacturing and technologly, well, it's truly amazing - probably even more so to see that kind of handiwork in person. Touristy or not, this place still seems like a great place to visit. Plus - your outfit is adorable, as always. That evergreen colored scarf is just beautiful!

  10. Oh my goodness Jen, these pictures are absolutely stunning (I keep using the word stunning to describe your pictures, but like... that's seriously what they are. Magnificent, maybe?). You just always capture everything so well. The color, the architecture... augh! That's so beautiful. Architecture is definitely my favorite thing about traveling--I love how unique and detailed it can be.

  11. I absolutely love your pictures. It feels like I've been there myself!

    7% Solution​

  12. This place is beautiful! That last photo is so striking.

    Also you two are so cute together.

  13. Wow, I've ALWAYS wanted to do- looks beautiful!!

    xo Carlina

  14. love the photos
    xx LVE
    have a great thursday night!
    share the feeling
    @jimsandkittys (instagram)

  15. That is amazing. I would love to be there. Now, Turkey is in my list to visit someday. Anyway, I really adore that dark green pants. Been looking for that since the first time I saw it. :P


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