Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

(a.k.a. Hagia Sophia Mosque): An Istanbul landmark, originally built as a church by the Roman emperor Justinian in the sixth century ad. In From Russia with Love, it becomes the drop-off point for a map of the Russian embassy, which Tatiana “Tania” Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) hides in her compact and leaves for Bond (Sean Connery) at the foot of one of the mosque’s columns.

The plan is nearly foiled when a Bulgarian agent working for the Russians (Hasan Ceylan) intercepts the package, but he in turn is murdered by SPECTRE assassin Donald Grant (Robert Shaw), who is also lurking in the mosque. Bond is thus able to retrieve the stolen plans, crediting the Bulgar’s death not to Grant but to Istanbul’s reputation for being a tough town.


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