Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey

The Sultanahmet Camii or Blue Mosque was built from 1609 to 1616 during the reign of Ahmed I.  It has become known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles that line some of the interior walls.  It has 6 minarets, 8 domes and one large one.  The 6 minarets caused an upset with the Masjid al-Haram, Grand Mosque in Mecca, as up to this point this Mosque had more minarets than any other Mosque in the world, only after Ahmed I agreed to add a minaret to the Grand Mosque was the dispute settled.



In England it is said that 'Every Church has its cat', it would appear to be the same with the Mosques here.

All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr


While we were queuing to go in the Blue Mosque we were entertained by the Green Parrots squawking and flitting around over head, we had seen several of these Parrots at the Gülhanı Parkı.


All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr


Here you can see a portion of the ceiling under the narrow gateway, in comparison with its surroundings, that enters the central courtyard of the Mosque.


Around most of the courtyard runs a vaulted arcade (revak), which has some lovely colouring and detail.

All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr

At intervals along this arcade where large, impressive, wooden and brass window shutters.


After queuing for quite some time and this was only May, as you walked into the Blue Mosque you just do not know where to look first, and be prepared to have a very stiff neck by the end of your visit, as most of the time you are looking straight up.  The colours and patterns of the tiles, and windows are just amazing.


There are over 200 stained glass windows, with beautiful, colourful designs.

All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr

The upper levels are dominated by blue paint.  Here you can see the impressive main dome, all around the bottom edge of the dome are arched stained glass windows, except for 4 which are blank and have no glass?



The lower levels and piers of the interior are said to contain over 20,000 handmade Iznik tiles from the town of Iznik in the region of Bursa.  There are said to be at least 50 different tulip designs.

All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr



Ostrich eggs are said to be found on the chandeliers as it was a common belief that they would prevent cobwebs by repelling spiders.

All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr

The tablets that you can see around the walls are inscribed with the names of the caliphs (spiritual leaders of Islam) and versus from the Quran, originally by the great 17th Century calligrapher, Ametli Kasım Gubarım, but over the years they have frequently been restored.



All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr


Even amongst all of the hustle and bustle of the crowded mosque, believe me it was crowded, but you can still manage to make it look empty, you were reminded that this is still very much a working Mosque.


All Images Copyright 2000-2012 Janice Parr


No comments:

Post a Comment