Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) (Istanbul, Turkey)

photo courtesy of GO3

Oh my, this must be some sort of record, me posting about our trip so fast! ;)

Before I continue, I must thank our cousin -- GO3 -- for a couple of the photos here. I must be too used to doing macro shots that I've forgotten how to take regular pictures of larger-than-a-plate sized objects! Or, I actually just do not know how to use a camera.

Of course, it didn't help that it was quite dark inside the mosque, not to mention that there was the overwhelming smell of feet. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

View of the Blue Mosque on a sunny day.
Only four minarets showing here. There are six.

Entering the courtyard.

The courtyard.

As you can see, it was raining. We first went to the Blue Mosque the day before, when it was nice and bright. We caught the tail end of a three-day holiday in Turkey and perhaps because of that, there weren't many "Western" tourists. The visitors seemed to be "local" to my untrained eye and ears. Being a working mosque, shoes are not allowed inside.

For the locals, this was nothing unusual. We and the other visitors were shoeless inside the mosque, necks craned up, with me trying to take usable pictures of the interior.

The following rainy day, we officially joined a tour which included a visit to the Blue Mosque. So, we thought we'd just enter the mosque again.

On this day, however, there were more people, and more "Western" tourists. They really seemed to be having a hard time donning off their shoes (and putting them back on at the end of the visit).

Upon entering the mosque this time around, I felt stifled from the heat of all the bodies inside. More disturbingly, the overwhelming smell of feet that I previously mentioned, well, overwhelmed me. I had to get out!

Good thing I already visited the mosque the day before.

Oh, why is the Sultanahmet Mosque nicknamed the Blue Mosque? Blue tiles line (mostly the upper levels of) the interior walls. Still a little puzzling, though, this moniker, as the interior doesn't really scream "blue" at all.

Coincidentally enough, I chanced about Martha Stewart's Istanbul Show videos on her website! There's a short description, as well as a video of her visit.
Martha Stewart: Exploring the Blue Mosque

For more information:
Wikipedia: Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Turkey Travel Planner: Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

photo courtesy of GO3

eatingclub vancouver in Turkey (September 2010)
Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) (Istanbul, Turkey)
Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) (Istanbul, Turkey)
Topkapı Sarayı (Palace) Museum (Istanbul, Turkey)
Turkey Flora
Hierapolis Ruins and Travertines (Pamukkale, Turkey)
Güray Pottery (Avanos, Turkey)

For Turkish dishes:
Turkey (the country, not the fowl)
Turkish Çay (Tea)

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  1. Note to self:
    1. Include perfumed face mask in packing list for trip to Istanbul. *IMPORTANT*
    2. Fresh socks *OPTIONAL*
    3. Train and get used to smell of malt vinegar and/or strong cheese

  2. That's a nice looking mosque! The interior domes remind me of some cathedrals that we've visited. Do you know how old is it?

  3. ET:
    It was built in the early 1600s. The part that was open to visitors was actually small. I don't know why it looks so big/what the other parts of the structure are used for.

  4. It is beautiful! That is too funny about the feet!

  5. Ben & Suanne:
    Haha... Yes...

    Teehee. I was debating whether or not to write about that. But hey, it was definitely part of the "experience" for me! =D

  6. Beautiful mosque. It makes me chuckle about the feet smell.

  7. Quay Po Cooks:
    Teehee. See, this is what they don't tell you about in the guidebooks. ;)


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