Places you Mosque Visit Before you Die
Trip Start Dec 22, 2009
76Trip End Jun 22, 2010
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For Laura and I, this mosque was a shining moment in our travels thus far. 5 times a day the Muslims are called to prayer. With 97% of the population praying to Allah and more than 50 mosques throughout the city, the calls can be heard and felt from every corner.
When visiting the Turkish answer to the Hagia Sophia (the Blue Mosque) we were amazed to find one of the most ornate and beautiful interiors of any structure we had ever entered. The carpets were red and lined, the lights low to the floor and abundant and the calligraphy ornately beyond description. After spending 10 minutes inside, the call to prayer was sung aloud and Laura and I found ourselves locked in the Mosque for the evening mass. It was one of those surreal moments you experience when you close your eyes and just listen to the sounds because the beauty is just to much to take in with your eyes. This moment was one of the best I have ever been able to experience.
The Suleiman the Magnificent Debacle
Since we have all of the time in the world, Adam gets this bright idea to go to the furthest Mosque on the map and since the tram didn't travel that way, we ventured to travel the entire distance on foot. Best of all, it was one of those typical January days in Istanbul where it drifts in and out of drizzle and real downpour. We literally walked in this nightmare of weather for 3 hours (hitting a book market, the University and the metal workers district on our way)getting disoriented with every turn only to finally arrive at a mosque that was completely closed for major renovations. Good thing we checked with the front desk before setting on this adventure…All was good once we made it to a doner stand to some street eats...
The Hagia Sophia
In the previous passage I eluded to an evolution of architecture in Turkey. Once Constantine made Roman Catholicism the official religion of Europe and Istanbul the capital, many great buildings were erected. Under the later rule of Emperor Justinian, one of the largest Catholic structures ever imagined was built in Istanbul. The building (the Hagia Sophia) consisted of multiple conjoining cupolas that would later influence the architecture of the Ottoman empire.
The interior was nothing short of majestic with its famous mosaics and grand Turkish influences (from when it was converted into a Mosque).
Could go on for hours, but will leave you to some of the pictures.
Well, we wrote more than any other entry because hell, this place is the 5th largest in the world! Though we jokingly shared some of the negative sides of our trip, we strongly, strongly, strongly recommend this mystical city to everyone (but only for 4 days while the weather is good)
Chao, Adam and Laura.