In the 15th century, the Ottomans came to power and Constantinople became Istanbul. They too created monuments that astonish still, like the incomparable Blue Mosque. They also converted the Hagia Sofia to a mosque adding Islamic embellishments and enhancements.
When Ataturk formed the modern Turkish republic after the first World War, Istanbul began another chapter in its long illustrious history. Hagia Sofia and the grounds surrounding it have become UNESCO World Heritage sites, museums that offer visitors an opportunity to see and experience some of the greatest cultural monuments of western civilization. Like Rome, Jerusalem and Athens, Istanbul is truly one of the world’s eternal cities.