istanbul on the inside – sultanahmet cami

shoes-offJust back from my 5th visit to Istanbul, this time Istanbul was very different … VERY quiet, no queues to major tourist attraction, no guests at the restaurants or hotels … it felt at times that I had the magic city on my own, a pleasant and also a very sad feeling. heavy-armed

And very heavy armed policemen and police cars everywhere around the normally busy tourist areas gave a serious frame to the city. But  after living 10 years in Belfast it didn’t bother me and I felt very safe during my stay.

I had decided that this visit I would take a look and enjoy some of the insides of Istanbul because that is nothing I have done except on restaurants.inside-the-mosque

So my first day after breakfast I visit the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii in Turkish) … a day with blue sky and the sunshine, bluer than blue at times. It was nearly empty on  Sultanahmet Meydanı, the square in front the mosque and Hagia Sofia. Only a few people were walking around or sitting on the benches enjoying the fountain.poster

I’m not going to tell the story and the history about the Blue Mosque – there is loads of articles about it and it has it’s own website:  Blue Mosque, where everything is a lot better presented than what I can do.blue-mosque-lamps

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. The architect, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa was inspired by the Hagia Sofia and was completed in 1616.

This is how I spent some fantastic hours .. in one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings in the world.

I took a copy of the Qur’an in English with me home, it was free … it’s now standing on  my bookshelf beside Mao’s “2 little red”. What I have read of it so far (just eyed through it) … quite interesting and a lot of wise words. beside-manors

As I entered the mosque I met this lovely remembering of the summer that has been in the little backyard garden.

blue-mosque-garden-rose

“There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned.”
(Holy Quran: 2/ 256)

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22 thoughts on “istanbul on the inside – sultanahmet cami

  1. I love your familiarity with the world: you’re qualified to say “the most beautiful …” and I also like the way you decided on inside as your focus. You have shared beautiful images of great diversity. It’s sad for atirkish people that things are so unsettled that tourists turn away, but what a gift for tourists who dare!

    • Meg, thank you …. to be honest I haven’t been inside that many famous buildings. Not really a good tourist .. but at times. Seen many beautiful buildings. For me is it the angles that capture my eyes and the small details. Buildings are buildings and there millions of them already … because of Google.
      Yes, it’s truly sad for Turkey in its whole .. the tourism is such a big business for them .. and they are good at hospitality. I hope they will come out of it soon.

  2. Thanks V. I have travelled to Istanbul 5 or 6 times in recent years. The big change for me was the proliferation of numbers of Syrian refugees on the streets and sleeping rough – even in the Sultanahmet area. It’s a credit to the Turkish people that the refugees as relatively well received, albeit the tolerance is becoming more and more frayed, as I was informed by some Turks.

    • Yes, Micheal … I heard about the refugee’s situation, but the people of Istanbul look after cats and dogs .. so they have soft spots for the ones that are suffering. I didn’t see many living rough … but it was very obvious that people in overall are struggling … hotels, restaurants are closing and the traders they are struggling. No money around. 98% of the tourists are Arabs or Asians. I really hope that Turkey will recover soon, but terrorism put the scares into us. On the other hand .. doesn’t matter where we go to today. Thank you so much for your visit and comment!!!

  3. 🙂 Dear Wivi,
    as always, beautiful pictures and an interesting peek into a stunning city that is suffering from a very sad situation.
    Glad you enjoyed your stay and made the most of it.
    Feeling better yet?
    Many hugs xo 🙂

    • Thank you, Dia …. today has been a good day, been in the laundry room this morning. Yesterday was my first day on my feet and I started working on my images.
      I wish you a fantastic weekend … !!!! FridayEveningHug.

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