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Magic of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The architect of Istanbul‘s Blue MosqueSedefkâr 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 was born.

As you proceed deep into Ayasofya, the domes seem to billow upward into space, creating their own “heavens.” In the Blue 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.

Sultanahmet‘s two great timeless monuments, side by 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 the excerpt from Bright Sun, Strong Teamy Turkey travel memoir.

Blue Mosque Gate from Hippodrome, Istanbul, Turkey Blue Mosque Gate, Istanbul, Turkey Entering the Blue Mosque Gate, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque Courtyard Entrance, Istanbul, Turkey Blue Mosque Courtyard Door with two domes, Istanbul, Turkey Domes appearing through the Blue Mosque Door, Istanbul, Turkey
Cascade of Domes, Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey     Entering the Blue Mosque Courtyard, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque from Courtyard, Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque Excerpt: Bright Sun, Strong Tea

Istanbul’s Imperial Mosques

Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia)

Hippodrome

Sultanahmet

Istanbul Sights

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