Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Masjid - 2

The following are three of the mosques in Istanbul that was named after three sultans of the Ottoman Empire, and a museum which used to be a church and a mosque. All these four landmarks are located not far from one another.

The above is the famous Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Popularly known as Blue Mosque for the lovely blue tiles adorning the interior walls. It has six minarets. Sultan Ahmet ( 1590-1617) was the fourteenth sultan in the Ottoman Empire. We visited this mosque upon our arrival in Istanbul.

This is Suleiman Mosque, referring to Sultan Suleiman ( 1494-1566 ), the tenth sultan who is the great-grandson of Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh. It has four minarets. We saw this mosque from afar when we took the boat cruise at the Bosphorus Strait.

The above is Fatih Mosque that refers to Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh( 1432-1481), the Conqueror of Constantinople and the seventh sultan. It has only two minarets and it is also the place where the great sultan was laid to rest. It was the one that we sadly missed.

This is Hagia Sophia Museum( or Ayasofya in Turkish). This Byzantine church was converted into a mosque immediately upon the conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh. Known then on as the Ayasofya Mosque, the Hagia Sophia remained the Great Mosque of the Ottoman capital until its secularization under the Turkish Republic In 1934(it was converted into a museum until today). All the minarets were added after it was converted into a mosque.
It could be considered as the most important landmark of Istanbul for it is very dear to Christians and Muslims alike, and also to anyone who has a deep passion for world history.

Istanbul alone has a lot of history to tell, what more Turkey as a country. I am deeply thankful to Allah that I am blessed with the opportunity to visit this great land that had witnessed the ups and downs of human civilization for us to take lesson from.

I certainly hope that anyone who is planning to visit Istanbul would find this entry to be beneficial and helpful in understanding a small but very significant part of Turkey's rich history.

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