Monday, October 26, 2009

Blue Mosque

The guide Jere from Nestravel
arrived to the hotel 10am
for a private sightseeing tour by foot
in Sultanahmet
First stop: Blue Mosque
Sultan Ahmet Camii

Entrance from the Hippodrome
Sultan Ahmet 1 commissioned the mosque
during a period of declining Ottoman fortunes,
and it was built between 1609-16
by Mehmet Aga, the imperial architect
The splendour of the plans
provoked great hostility at the time,
especially because a mosque with 6 minarets
was considered a sacrilegious attempt
to rival the architecture of Mecca itself
The courtyard covers the same area as the prayer hall,
balancing the whole buildig
Each minaret has 2 or 3 balconies
The Muslim's ritual ablutions conclude
with the washing of the feet
- the taps outside the mosque are used
by faithful for this purpose
- as a tourist its not necessary to wash your feet,
but everyone must take off the shoes,
put them into a plastic bag which is given
and carry them
- inside the mosque,
you can smell the odour of feet...
The blue mosque takes its name from
the mainly blue Iznik tilework
decorting its interior
Beautiful thicj carpet inside the whole mosque
Mesmeric designs,
employing floiwing arabesques,
are painted onto the interior of
the mosque's domes and semidomes
Over 250 windows allow light to flood into the mosque
A pilgrim dressed in white
Beautiful, impressive building!

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