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  Read Holy Quran in English >>  
     
   
     
  Istanbul : City of Mosques  
     
  In an Islamic Society our lives inevitably intersect at mosques.
It could be the routine Friday and Bayram prayers or funerals.
During the Ottoman era masters of architecture built gracious
buildings and named them after the Sultans or Administrators
of the time.Below you will find the photos of the Istanbul Mosques.
 
     
 
 
     
  In the tranquility of the afternoon, people are reading the
holly Qouran and sharing the feeling of peace
.
 
     
  Blue Mosque  
     
 
 
     
  This mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616 in the square
carrying his name in İstanbul. The architect is Sedefhar Mehmet Ağa. It is
the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. The mosque is 64 x 72 m in
dimensions. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter.
260 windows surround the mosque. Due to its beautiful blue, green and white
tilings it has been named the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans. The inscriptions
were made by Seyyid Kasım Gubari.
 
     
   
     
  SULEYMANIYE MOSQUE  
     
  Numerous earthquakes that have shaken Istanbul over the centuries
have not caused a single crack in the building. The baroque decorations
of the inside of the dome were made in the 19th century. The handmade
carpet with a mihrap design covering the floor was placed here in the
1950's. The most attractive features of the interior are the extremely
colorful, 16th century original stained glass windows with Turkish motifs
in the wall of the mihrap. A very simple balcony for the chanters is
situated next to the minber, and the mihrap niche made of marble is
decorated with tiles. The sultan's loge is to the left of the mihrab.
Verses from the Koran are inscribed on the walls in some of the
supreme examples of the Turkish art of calligraphy. Over the entrance
and on the sides, there are galleries reserved for women. The brass
grill partition to the right of the entrance is a masterpiece of 18th century
Turkish metalwork. In the rear courtyard there are the tombs of Suleyman
and his beloved wife Roxelane, as well as graves of other prominent people.
A small and extremely modest grave is located at one corner of the complex.
This is the tomb of the great architect Sinan, who lived to be ninety-nine
years old and was for 50 years the extremely esteemed and respected
chief architect of the empire. Sinan was a diligent and productive architect
who left over four hundred works behind him. He is the most important
figure in classical Turkish architecture, of which he was the originator.
His apprentices created masterpieces not only in the empire, but also
in other Islamic countries.
 
     
 
 
     
  The largest and most imposing mosque in Istanbul, the city of domes and
minarets, is the Suleymaniye. The aesthetic supremacy of its interior and
exterior and its perfect proportions have been captivating the visitors for
centuries. The Suleymaniye Mosque is an architectural masterpiece.
The complex surrounding the mosque was composed of schools, a library,
baths, public kitchens, caravanserai, a hospital and shops. A huge dome
covers the main chamber of the mosque, which has four minarets. The main
entrance to the mosque is from an inner courtyard that is surrounded by
porticoes and has an ablution fountain in the center.The 53 m high central
dome with a diameter of 26.50 m rests on four pillars called elephant-feet.
All the architectural elements of the interior are in perfect harmony with one
another. The static balance of the structure is faultless too.
 
     
  More on Structure  
     
  From the vast platform of its enclosure, one captures at a single glance
Europe and Asia, the two seas that bathe Istanbul, and the smiling
Princes Isles. Further still, in the vaporous transparency of the horizon,
the giant Bithynian Olympus takes shape against a pure sky, standing
like an ever present witness to the memory of the cradle of ancient
Ottoman power.

The two minarets located at the two sides of the facade have two balconies
each, and the two other two, which are at the other end of the square on
each side öf the porch, have three balconies each. The total number,
for the four minarets, yields ten balconies, all with corbelling in stalactites.
Three beautiful doors whose openings are formed of flattened curues are
each surmounted by an ogee arch and give access through the frontage
and the two other sides of the courtyard. A cloister of twenty four arcades
runs around and is supported by an equal number of columns. The pair
closest to the door in the facade are of porphyry; of the remainder, twelve
columns of pink granite alternate with ten of white marble. All are of the
crystallized order. Their capitals are of white marble, and the edges of
their stalactites heavily gilded.

 
     
   
     
 

Afterpassing over the legendary porphyry flagstone, we enter the nave,
where we first of all are overcome by our admiration of the lofty and vast
cupola of the dome, painted in a wash of clear tones of blue, white, and
gold. These three colors form the basis of the entire decorative harmony
of the building: its paintings, sculptures, precious marbles, tiles, etc,
both inside and out. Everywhere, the white and blue dominate-the white
especially. A few pink granite and porphyry columns or insets, a few lines
the color of blood, freshen the light without interrupting this harmony; the
gildings of the stalactites are everywhere applied with a solemnity that
does not disturb the tranquility. The colossal vault is supported by four
gigantic upright piers. The first of these galleries is reached by two
staircases that are located conveniently close to the entrance. The two
upper galleries, the highest of which is at the same level as the great
central cupola, is reached by wooden ladders placed on the roof outside
the dome. In this last gallery, there is a curious acoustical effect: sounds
made anywhere in the interior are concentrated here and even softly-spoken
words uttered in the nave or the aisles may be distinctly heard here.
The principal dependencies of the Süleymaniye are a special college for
the study of the oral traditions of the Prophet; four higher schools (medreses);
a preparatory college for the sciences; a school of medicine; a primary school;
a kitchen and hospice for students; a great public bath; and a very famous
asylum for lunatics. 

 
     
  RUSTEM PASA MOSQUE  
     
   
     
 

This is the mosque with a central dome and a single minaret that arises
amidst the rows of shops and store houses near the Spice Bazaar. It
creates a beautiful sight in the busiest commercial center in the city,
together with the Süleymaniye Mosque on the slope behind. The architect
Sinan built the mosque in 1561 for the Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasa.
Spiraling staircases go up to the structure that is set above a row of shops.
The interesting courtyard is actually a small terrace covered by five small
domes.
The central dome rises atop four wall pillars and four columns, two on
each side. Over the corners of the square space are four semidomes
supporting the main dome. There are galleries behind the columns on the
sides. The facade and the small, but attractive interior are decorated with
the finest examples of Iznik tiles. The geometrical and leaf and flower
motifs on the tiles give the interior a colorful flower garden appearance.

 
     
  EYUP SULTAN MOSQUE  
     
   
     
  The Mosque and Mausoleum of Eyüp Sultan, located outside the corner
where the land walls meet the walls along the Golden Horn, is considered
a sacred site for Moslems. The old trees, flocks of pigeons, the praying
believers and the visiting crowds create a mystical and colorful atmosphere
around the mosque and the mausoleum. The walls of the mausoleum in the courtyard are covered with tiles from different periods.
The sultans succeeding Mehmet the Conqueror completed their coronation
and sword-bearing ceremonies with a visit to the Eyup Sultan Mausoleum.
The vicinity of the mosque and the neighboring hills are occupied by
cemeteries. The famous Pierre Loti Cafe is also in this district. The
well-known poet and author Loti was enraptured by Istanbul and he
came here often to watch the beauties of the Golden Horn of those days.
The view from this small cafe and the terrace, particularly during full moon,
leaves long-lasting impressions on the visitors.
 
 
     
  Fatih Mosque  
     
   
     
  The Imperial Fatih Mosque was constructed between 1462 and 1470
by Sultan Fatih Mehmet ("Mehmet the Conqueror"; 1432-81), who took Constantinople in 1453. The architect was Atik Sinan, not to be confused
with the Sinan hired by Suleyman.The mosque complex included a
caravansary, a hospital, several hamams, the kitchens, and a market.
Its school instructed up to 1,000 students at a time.
 
     
  Şehzedebaşı Mosque  
     
 
 
     
 
Photo by Beşir Özmen 11 May 2006
 
     
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