Among the many historical attractions of Istanbul, the Mosaic Museum of the Grand Palace of Constantinople is distinguished not only by its wonderfully preserved relics of the former capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, but also by its surprisingly low popularity among tourists. Situated right next to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, this museum attracts only a few tourists who will find their way through the souvenir stands of Arasta Bazaar.
The large building of the so-called Scholastica Baths, discovered in 1926, was constructed in the late first or the early second century CE. P. Quintilius Valens Varius originally built the baths, and the building is sometimes referred to as the Varius Baths. However, the remains that we can see today are from the 4th century CE when a Christian woman named Scholastica carried out the renovation project. Her seated, headless statue still decorates a niche in the apodyterium.
Much to the astonishment of the travellers who arrive to the city, Edirne has it all - historical mosques, baths, bridges, and museums. There is even Suleymaniye Mosque in the town, but it cannot match the splendour of the mosque bearing the same name erected by Sinan in Istanbul. Actually, the Suleymaniye Mosque in Edirne is a very modest structure, erected not on the orders of the sultan but one of the local governors.
January 2021 brought to light the remains of the Aphrodite Temple in the Urla-Çeşme peninsula while a statuette of Asclepius and a bust of Serapis were unearthed in Kibyra. Moreover, memorial tombs of Seljuk sultans went under restoration in Konya and the sensational discovery was made in Diyarbakır where the graves of the Seljuk Sultan Kılıç Arslan I and his daughter Saide Hatun were uncovered.
The look at the north-eastern side of the Curetes Street offers us a glimpse into the secrets of water supply to Ephesus as in this part of the city numerous monuments dedicated to this function were erected. The first one of them, as one walks down the street, is the Trajan's Nymphaeum. It has the shape of a pool surrounded on three sides by a two-storey structure. Like Rome, also ancient Ephesus was a city of fountains. Nowadays, with the running water readily available in our kitchens and bathrooms, we frequently underestimate the function of public fountains, treating them as a purely decorative element of the cityscape. However, in ancient cities of the Roman era, the majority of households had to draw drinking water from such fountains, and every day citizens, servants, and slaves rushed with vessels and buckets to fill them at the public fountains. These structures varied from simple ones to the elaborate monuments paid for by wealthy sponsors to commemorate their names or pay respects to the rulers of the Empire.