Category Archives: Turkey

Blue Mosque – Istanbul

Sultan Ahmed couldn’t resist the temptation to build his own mosque in direct competition with the Hagia Sophia. So the Blue Mosque is fated to stand forever opposite its inspiration.

I didn’t realise that the design for most mosques was inspired by an antique Christian church, but there you have it.






I don’t know what they were thinking with those lights.

The courtyard is quite busy..



And outside on the steps, the common people of Istanbul..


The view from the Hagia Sophia.





Hagia Sophia under snow

Constantine’s Hagia Sophia on the left, Sultan Ahmet’s Blue Mosque on the right and the Hippodrome with Thutmose III’s obelisk as well as the walled obelisk in the foreground.

With so much history its no wonder Constantinopel or Istanbul was the centre of the civilised world for so long.. or is it the other way around?

The Hagia Sophia has been standing since 538 AD, almost one and a half thousand years. It was the biggest church in the world until 1520 when the cathedral of Seville was built. Rather a long time to keep a record.. 1000 years.

Incidentally the minarets were not part of the original design either 😉 It was changed into a mosque after the fall of Constantinopel in 1453 to Mehmet II.