n>Hagia Sophia has a storied heritage, but at no time has she been living in the past. Her walls embellished with marvelous Abrahamic vestiges of the distant past, Hagia Sophia excites aesthetic envy the world over. Strings of naked lightbulbs line the confectionaries and kebab stands that populate her casual vicinity in warm summer evenings—her odd, mismatched minarets visible across the Bosporus from Üsküdar, where chewed sunflower seeds pepper the sidewalks. Children run around and splash in the fountains that flank her main façade, tourists take an obscene number of pictures, and mosque-goers double take, scoffing at the hookah cafes in the purlieu, before scurrying into her magisterial counterpart, Sultan Ahmed Camii, across the way.
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