Frescoes and Mosaics
This morning I headed to the Kariye Museum, another Byzantine church which was converted to a mosque and later into a museum. It is located in the northwest quarter of the old city, which necessitated purchasing an Akbil (tap-and-go transportation card, similar to London's Oyster Card) so I could ride the Istanbul rail transit system. It is a very heterogenous rail system, and the first step was to get on the T1 light rail at the Gatata bridge and ride it as it wound up busy streets packed with pedestrians and vehicles. I hopped off at Yusufpasha, and it was a short walk to the underground Metro station at Aksaray, where I took a very rapid subway train two stops to Topkapi. When I got aboveground, I was confronted with an unusual justaposition of the old, Theodosian city walls and new housing developments:
The museum is known for its well-preserved frescos and mosaics. The main nave was closed for renovation (sense a pattern here?), but the two narthexes were open for viewing.
Here we have a fresco of the last judgment, complete with river of fire:
Here is the decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world (or at least the portion of it that he ruled) should be taxed: