Blue Mosque, Turkey: My Top Ten Photos
The 16th century Sultan Ahmet Mosque (or Blue Mosque) is an awe-inspiring culmination of two different centuries, the Ottoman and the Byzantine Empires and is believed to be the last great mosque of the classical period. Despite there being more than three thousand mosques in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque dominates the cities skyline with it’s six spires (or minarets).
Sultan Ahmet I commissioned the mosque to rival the nearby Hagia Sophia. According to legend, the Sultan requested the minarets be constructed of gold (altin), which was misinterpreted as six (alti) minarets, however this caused some controversy as the mosque at Mecca also has six spires. The issue was eventually solved by constructing an additional minaret at the Mecca mosque.
Non-Islamic visitors enter the mosque via the less ornate North entrance and are asked to remove their shoes and cover their knees and shoulders (to your elbows if you’re a female). You may also be asked to cover your hair. Once inside the reason for the mosques name becomes apparent - 20,000 blue Iznik ceramic tiles cover the interior of the mosque. Each tile is hand-painted and features more than fifty different designs including flowers and trees.
Wanna Visit the Blue Mosque?
The mosque is open year round, however during prayer time (five times a day) it’s closed to tourists.
All images and text are copyright NeilandGGoWalkabout 2012.
Photographer: Geri Grobler Camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10