The Blue Mosque: a story best told in Photos

Blue Mosque Istanbul
The glorious beauty of the Blue Mosque
Entrance Blue Mosque Istanbul
Approaching the entrance

Before I visited Istanbul for the first time, I had no idea that the Blue Mosque was across a huge square from Hagia Sophia. It makes for one of the grandest, most impressive, magnificent sights I have ever seen. I don’t think my humble words can do it justice, so here is the Blue Mosque, in photos:

You can see the door where you had to take off your shoes and women had to cover their heads/shoulders
You can see the door where you had to take off your shoes and women had to cover their heads/shoulders
Courtyard of Blue Mosque
In the courtyard
Blue Mosque Interior
The even more glorious interior
Dome and WIndows Blue Mosque
tiles! and windows!
Chandelier, Blue Mosque
The astonishing chandelier
Women's Area, Blue Mosque
Mixed feelings about the Women’s Area…
Dome, Blue Mosque
The dome!

15 thoughts on “The Blue Mosque: a story best told in Photos

  1. I’m so jealous! When I was in Istanbul, I was only there for a single day (Friday) so I didn’t get a chance to enter the Blue Mosque as it was closed. I’ll definitely have to find time to see it when I return to Turkey. I love your pictures!

    1. Thanks! I nearly went overboard with posting photos, to an art historian, every slight angle changed made a new exciting view and demonstrated the grandeur all over again. It’s really, truly beautiful.

  2. Yes, so much amazing to see in such a small area. After racing around like the crazy tourist for two days, I told my Turkish friends ‘I could never see it all in 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years’ and I needed a break just to process it all.

    I however found the Blue Mosque an edifice for all that is wrong with many of the ‘great’ religions of the world, the overwhelming repression of free will and individual thinking, and the subjugation of women.

    It reeked of this, the separation on men and women, the paid wailing of the women in their ‘approved’ location at the back and as second rate citizens… The air was so thick, one could cut it with a knife.

    The grandeur of the architecture didn’t matter, and it was only a veneer to the reality lived by all. Even the outside as you probably saw, was half rate blocks of garbage stones… To be the foundations for this superficial interior.

    The chandelier may be magnificent, but at 3 meters off the ground, hanging 10s of meters below the dome, it just added to the overall feel of repression or as it is coined, submission.

    There are many things wrong in Turkiye, but the Blue Mosque just sits there as a reminder that ‘the wrongs’ are allowable under the false portrayal that Turkiye is a solid uniform majority, Islamic country… Because it’s not, when you talk & get to know the people who live under it. 😦

    Sorry for the soap boxing, my Turkish friends would approve of it as they only took me here and entered the Blue Mosque to let me see it and begin to understand what it’s like to live in a supposedly ‘secular’ republic, church and state separated in presentation to the outside world only. 😦

    1. Hans, thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I don’t claim to be an expert in Turkish politics or history, but you’re absolutely right, for the Blue Mosque and any “sight” in Istanbul and elsewhere, there is a TON of historical/political/social context that travelers are frequently unaware of. And I would tend to agree that travelers ought to try to be thoughtful and consider the issues connected to the places they visit. So many of the amazing “sights” in Rome are part of the Catholic Church, which as an organization, has a huge number of policies and activities that I strongly disagree with. This is one of the complex layers of traveling– how much can you appreciate the beauty of a “sight” without engaging with the historical/political/social context, much of which can be negative? The Colosseum, one of the biggest tourist “sights” in Rome was the location of how many thousands of gladiator (slave) deaths? It’s an interesting issue and I thank you for bringing it up.

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