Soul of the Garden

Images of Turkey

The Blue Mosque - Istanbul

The Blue Mosque of Istanbul is one of the world's greatest religious monuments. Also called the Sultan Ahmet Mosque after the Sultan who commissioned it, the building was completed in 1616. Its name comes from the beautiful blue tiles all crafted in the nearby city of Iznik. Its site, opposite the Hagia Sophia is right in the heart of historic Istanbul and the building actually rests (in part) on the foundations of the old Byzantine royal palace complex and the ancient hippodrome or stadium of Constantinople. I have heard that is was built by some of the same craftsmen who worked on the Taj Mahal. My favorite aspect of the building its its near-perfect symmetry with concise geometric forms flowing into one another. The first hotel I stayed at was right across the street from the mosque and I woke up and went to bed with the call to prayer echoing in my room.


The north facing gate perfectly frames the building.


The interior with its gigantic "elephant leg" columns and blue tiles.


The dome.

The view from my hotel room. (Hotel Ararat.)


Blue Moon & Blue Mosque.


Early light.


The north gate.


A wider view showing more of the intricate gate.




From in front of the Hagia Sophia.


Moon over the courtyard.


The Blue Mosque as seen from an upper window of the Hagia Sophia.

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