Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blue Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultan Ahmet Camii) is a historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.
It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque. From Wikipedia
The mosque is so grand that our best pictures of the mosque as a whole were taking standing outside of the Hagia Sophia!
After our break we took between visiting the Hagia Sophia and the mosque we headed over for what we thought was the end of prayer time which also meant the mosque was open to tourist.
Turns out we got there just in time for prayer time to start.  That meant more waiting for us however, it was neat to see the huge abolition area that was underneath the entrance and all of the mean washing up for prayer!
There is a huge outside courtyard area (The court is about as large as the mosque itself) that we looked around in while waiting for prayer time to be over.  This was once thought to be the largest mosque in the world because it was the only one that had six minarets and the six minarets were a matter of contention and a first, since four minarets were the common maximum. Only after one more minaret was added to the Masjid al-Haram, Grand Mosque, in Mecca was the six minarets issue settled.
Owen and I hung out a lot here checking out all of the architecture and answering lots of questions.
Owen took this picture of me while we waited!
Sisters.  Is prayer time over yet???
We had to wait our 30 minutes for prayer time to be over.  Everyone started to get a little restless so we did what we could to pass the time!!!
Finally, we were able to go in and see the beauty of the Blue Mosque after the ladies covered up our heads!
Looking at the beauty of the blue tiles that surround us, you can see how the mosque got its name!
The interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, made at Iznik (the ancient Nicaea) in more than fifty different tulip designs.
Prayer area.  The official prayer time was over and now the Imam was preaching on religions and the similarities between Christian and Muslim.
The beauty was amazing!!!  So glad we got to visit the Blue Mosque.

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