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Sultan Ahmed Mosque   Norwegian flag

Photo: Siw Haugnes and Arild Burud.
Note: Photos may be used if identified. Photos with persons may not be used.

Photo: S Haugnes - Blue Mosque - arcThe mosque commonly known as The Blue Mosque is really the Sultan Ahmed Mosque.

It's reckoned to be the most beautiful mosque on earth and was put almost at top of our want to see list.

Of course we went. Outside and in the courtyard, there was really a lot of people. The line was long.

Photo: S Haugnes - Blue Mosque - courtyard

Photo: S Haugnes - Blue Mosque - windows

A man offered himself as our guide and promised to get us past the line. We could not say no to that. He knew more about the Mosque's history than I had hoped for. Sorry to say I remember too little.

What a do remember is about men and women. In Turkey women are allowed into the mosques and can pray there, as opposed to in the Arabic countries. BUT they have to go to the gallery above, assuming the men can't concentrate on praying, while seeing women!

To me, that states a weird opinion about men.

The mosque was finished in seven years. According to our guide, it was to teams of workers, each counting 3000 men. One shift worked at daytime, the other at nighttime. Wikipedia tells much about the mosque here.

At the right, you can see the carpet. The pattern makes it quite easy to know where to stand (Arild's feet), put your knees at the roses with four yellow leaves. The right place for your elbows, hands and head then gives it self.

Generally mosques are decorated very differenty from churches. For one, there are no persons portrayed. It's quite fascinating, beautiful and with a lot of details I wanted to photograph. We refused to use flash and some photos got all blurry.

Then we walked to Basilica Cistern (like 100 metres away). Below surface, bad  lightning, to much use of flashlight forced me to escape. Without any pictures. Arild got a few, though.

Photo unknown - Our boysTo the left, you can se our boys.
Photo: The photo company at the cistern.

Then we had lunch at Altin Kupi and was pleased and happy about that days experiences.

Photos below get bigger when you click at them.

Photo: A Burud - Blue Mosque - carpet

Photo: A Burud - lookalikenuns Photo: S Haugnes - text Photo: S Haugnes - roofcenter Blue Mosque Photo: S Haugnes - detail from Blue Mosque Photo: S Haugnes - Blue Mosque - detail 2

Added October 23. 2011