Tristan Davis is an NYU pupil, at the moment learning overseas in Israel. He research Politics, Human Rights, and Center Jap/Islamic research. Try his weblog for extra on nightlife and VEG meals world wide!
Istanbul is an historical metropolis, the place many empires have reigned all through the centuries, every leaving their mark. The Romans constructed aqueducts, the Byzantines constructed church buildings, and the Ottomans constructed mosques.
The Sultans of the Ottoman Empire sought to lift the biggest and most spectacular mosques the world had ever seen, they usually completed their mission. At present, the minarets of the Ottoman mosques nonetheless pierce the skies, because the call-to-prayer reverberates by way of town.
The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are among the many Prime three greatest issues to do in Istanbul, on each listing, nevertheless, many vacationers don’t appear to be excited about seeing the insides of them. From the skin, they’re merely buildings, however on the within, they’re magical.
Even these for many who are non-Muslim or non-religious completely, the grand mosques of Istanbul are breathtaking to behold. The talent of Ottoman architects, like the good Sinan, is unbelievable for his or her time. How Byzantines within the sixth century have been capable of create the huge Hagia Sophia, which is nearly fully hole, is a real marvel.
Even for these bored with historical past, the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Suleimaniye Mosque, are value a go to inside– only for the sheer magnificence. Additionally, aside from the Hagia Sophia, entrance to mosques in Istanbul is free, so why not verify them out?
The Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia was initially an Orthodox church beneath the Byzantines however when Constantinople fell, the Ottomans added the minarets and declared it a mosque within the newly-named metropolis of Istanbul. To many, its look is unusual, like a “Frankenstein” of a number of durations and types, which deters many from getting into. Inside nevertheless, the Hagia Sophia is not like some other.
The combo of Christian (Byzantine) and Islamic (Ottoman) types appears weird however match collectively completely.
Christian mosaics depicting Jesus and different biblical scenes are embedded into the partitions. Christian work are on the ceilings amidst Muslim floral designs. Dimly-lit iron chandeliers grasp from the 180-foot (55-meter) ceiling, whereas big golden plaques of Arabic calligraphy (the names of the four Islamic Caliphs) grasp on the meticulously carved marble partitions. This combination is one thing that really can’t be discovered anyplace.
The Blue Mosque
Proper throughout from the Hagia Sophia is the Blue Mosque, constructed by the Ottomans in 1609. The nickname is derived from the mosque’s, blue-tiled partitions, nevertheless, there may be far more inside than merely that!
The within is smaller than the Hagia Sophia, however the work are extra ornate, and the sunshine streams brilliantly by way of the stained-glass home windows within the afternoon. Hundreds of single-bulb lights grasp from the ceiling, which creates an exquisite impact, like stars.
Tip: Hangout within the park in between the 2 mosques for the Azan, or Name to Prayer– listening to the 2 Azan back-and-forth is gorgeous and harmonious. (It occurs 5 instances a day, so likelihood is, you’ll catch one among them if you happen to go to each mosques!)
The Suleimaniye Mosque
The Suleimaniye Mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by the well-known architect Sinan.Architecturally, it is vitally just like the Blue Mosque, because the architect of the Blue Mosque was a pupil of Sinan, and the 2 are each in excessive Ottoman fashion. Nonetheless, visiting the Suleimaniye mosque is a less-touristy expertise, and there’s a perk– there’s a nice view of town from the Mosque’s backyard.
Suleimaniye Mosque could be seen from a distance, as this large mosque is perched on a hilltop close to the Spice Bazaar. Personally, this was my favourite mosque, despite the fact that I didn’t get an opportunity to see the within as a result of it’s present process some restoration.
View of Istanbul’s Beyoglu district from the Suleimaniye Mosque
There are extra grand Mosques in Istanbul, nevertheless, these three are probably the most well-known and most spectacular. There are additionally a number of smaller mosques, and trendy ones value seeing. I’d’ve visited extra, had I had extra time! In a growing neighborhood on the Asian aspect of Istanbul, I stumbled a contemporary mosque nonetheless beneath development That is the ceiling.
Faith was an essential side of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, and these empires’ spiritual buildings are a number of the best in Istanbul. Even for many who should not spiritual, they’re unimaginable sights to see and shouldn’t be missed!
Observe: Mosques are closed throughout prayer instances, besides the Hagia Sophia since it’s now not in use. Costume conservatively if potential, but when not don’t fear; these mosques present scarves and ankle-length clothes for anybody in summer time clothes.