The Blue Mosque

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The Blue Mosque is perhaps most recognisable of all the Sultanahmet sights.

Together with  Hagia Sophia it seems to be participating in a competition of two giants. And there’s no winner. So different in their greatness and character, they both equally amaze.

The Blue Mosque takes the prize for the best looks. Its name is fully justified. On a sunny day, the dome glitters with the blue shine and clearly stands out on the Haliç panorama.

Hagia Sophia, older and more profound, impresses with the austere character.

The Mosque’s interior is peaceful. It’s an operating mosque and you need to use the entry for visitors. The mosque “management” is prepared for the crowds, also for those not prepared to enter a mosque. You can lend a headscarf and a long robe to cover your body if dressed inappropriately.

A Mosque is so different from the Catholic church. The first striking difference is lack of saints’ images a separate place for women. Like Westminster Abbey it is also full of tourists which leaves little privacy for those who seek time for prayers.

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The outside is beautiful and it must be even better if there is some sunshine. Of course, my second time to Istanbul’s historic center had to be accompanied by rain. The umbrella sellers didn’t let me down, though, and for 10 liras managed to sell me one of their really poor quality umbrellas.

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The ablution area is not something I remembered from my previous visit.

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Interiors are impressive not only in the looks but also in terms of the numbers. Did you know the interior is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles? No, well, you can find it on the Wikipedia :)

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