The architect of Istanbul's Blue
Mosque, Sedefkâr Mehmet
Ağa, paid tribute to his colleagues Anthemius
of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus,
architects of neighboring Ayasofya (Hagia
Sophia), who designed their masterwork
a thousand years before Mehmet Aga
As you proceed deep into Ayasofya,
the domes seem to billow upward
into space, creating their own "heavens." In
Mosque, Mehmet Aga has duplicated
the effect on the exterior of
the building: as you approach from
the front and ascend the stairs toward
the courtyard, the domes billow upward
until, entering the courtyard, the full
grandeur of the exterior is revealed.
two great timeless monuments, side
The images below allow you to see
some of the effect, but there's nothing
like being right there. When you go,
be sure to enter the Blue Mosque's
enclosure from the west (Hippodrome)
side. Walk slowly, looking ahead,
and watch the drama of the domes--and
the architect's genius—being
revealed for you.
If you decide not to visit the interior of the Blue Mosque because it's often closed for prayers, or too long a wait to get in, or too crowded when you do, at least you can experience this magic effect on the exterior.
For a more dramatic description, see
from Bright Sun, Strong Tea, my
Turkey travel memoir.