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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