Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The most prominent landmarks of Istanbul

Blue Mosque - Sultanahmet Camii

Founded by Sultan Ahmet I, the Blue Mosque was design by Mehmed Aga. The constuction begin in 1609 and was completed in 1616.

Beautiful windows of the Blue Mosque.

Everybody should turn their face to the south when praying, because Mecca( Saudi Arabia), is located in South.

The pulpit and nave are made of marble. The Imam (priest), goes on the pulpit every Friday on the sacred day of the Muslims but he never climbs to the very top as a respect to Prophet Muhammed.

Praying have place five times a day. First one early in morning, second at noon time, third in afternon, fourth in evening and last one before going to bed.

Overview of the chandeliers and windows inside the Blue Mosque.

The mosque has 260 windows which let the sunlight diffuse into the building quite nicely. They were filled with stained-glass in early 17C but they were restored later.

It is all carpeted with prayer rugs because people must put their forehead on the floor and therefore the floor should be soft and clean.

Overview of the inside of the Blue Mosque.

The mosque is all surrounded by beautiful 17C Iznik tiles which give its name to the Blue Mosque.

There is a fountain in the middle of the main courtyard, which is used as decorative purposes.

The marble courtyard is priceless. Its marble comes from the Island of Marmara (the turkish word for marble).

Before praying, one should wash his/her face, arms, neck and feet as well as mouth and nose at the ablution fountains, situated at the big courtyard.

Detail of the Blue Mosque.

Overview of the Blue Mosque by sunset.

Photography by Nuno Goncalves. Istanbul, Turkey 2006.