We recently visited Turkey and had a wonderful time exploring many areas across the country, including Istanbul, the Seven Churches of Revelation, the hot springs of Pamukkale (the Cotton Castle), Cappadocia to see their Fairy Chimneys, the underground city at Kaymakli and so much more. There is way too much to share in one post, so I thought I would start off by sharing a little about the mosques we visited in Istanbul, Turkey.
Hagia Sophi Grand Mosque
Originally, this was a Greek Orthodox Church that was built in the sixth century. When Constantinople fell, it was converted into a Mosque. Interestingly, it was converted into a museum (in 1935) and then recently back into a mosque. It was beautiful.
Much of the original artwork has been saved, but when it is time for prayer, some of it gets covered. Why? "In some forms of Islamic art, aniconism (the avoidance of images of sentient beings) stems in part from the prohibition of idolatry and in part from the belief that the creation of living forms is God's prerogative" Wikipidia. The mosaic below is above the entrance to the mosque and you can see that there is a covering below the artwork.
Another beautiful mosaic is located as you exit the mosque. It is of Constantine holding Constantinople in his hands and Justinian holding the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in his hands. They are presenting each to Christ who is being held by Mary.
The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque is located right next to the Hagia Sophia Mosque (aka the Sultan Ahmed Mosque). It is equally beautiful, but in a much different, more traditional way. It was built between 1609 and 1616. It gets its name from the 20,000 beautiful, hand painted blue tiles that decorate many of its walls. They feature several different types of tulips. Did you know that tulips were native to Turkey and that they exported tulips to Holland?
We also loved the stained glass.
The ceilings are gorgeous, too!
Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent
We loved the stained glass in this mosque as well.
Everywhere we turned, there was something new and beautiful to see.
It was a great start to our trip!
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