President Obama kicked off his final day in Turkey with a visit to one of Istanbul’s most recognizable sites, the Hagia Sofia. Built almost 1,500 years ago (it was constructed between the years 532 and 537), the Hagia was initially one of the world’s largest basilicas before being converted into a mosque. It’s now a museum--and a home, your Gaggler must note, to a lot of cute cats. With Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in tow, Obama took a quick walking tour through the building this morning. Click for more pictures after the jump.
Here's Obama looking at the mihrab, marking where the alter used to stand.
This is one of the cats who live in the Hagia Sofia.
This is a shot of the Hagia's exterior. Dreary day, huh?