• Ayia Sophia Church, dating from 360 and converted into Sultanahmet Mosque in 1453, is one of the photographs on display at the Wolk Gallery.

    Ayia Sophia Church, dating from 360 and converted into Sultanahmet Mosque in 1453, is one of the photographs on display at the Wolk Gallery.

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Photo exhibit illustrates Istanbul's diversity

Ayia Sophia Church, dating from 360 and converted into Sultanahmet Mosque in 1453, is one of the photographs on display at the Wolk Gallery.


For more than 2,500 years, Istanbul -- once capital of the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic -- has bridged religions and cultures. Istanbul: Crossroads of Religious Architecture, an exhibition of Murat Germen's large and richly colorful photographs of mosques, synagogues and churches built in Istanbul between the 11th and 19th centuries, documents Istanbul's religious pluralism.

The show opens at the Wolk Gallery (Rm 7-338) on Wednesday, March 24 with a 6pm reception. For more information, call x3-1400.

"These images not only portray several historical layers of architecture but also reveal the rich fabric of Istanbul's ethnic and religious plurality, a factor of peaceful co-existence traditionally associated with Ottoman civilization," said Alberto Balestrieri, assistant director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture. "This documentation helps to raise awareness of Istanbul's diverse religious architecture, environmental and conservation issues and the question of the continuity of peaceful religious and ethnic co-existence," he continued.

On Thursday, March 25, Mr. Germen (MArch 1992) will present a lecture on Istanbul's unique religious cosmopolitanism at 6pm in Rm 3-133.

The exhibit, which is open through Wednesday, April 21, is made possible through the support of the Geneva-based Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Secretary General of the Aga Khan Awards for Architecture, and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard and MIT.

A version of this
article appeared in the
March 17, 1999

issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume
43, Number
23).


Topics: Arts

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