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Published: April 14th 2012
Istanbul... Blue Mosque.. Need I say more? There are two main mosques that dot the Istanbul skyline; the Blue Mosque and the Suleymaniyen Mosque. The Blue mosque is the crown of Istanbul. The area of Sultanahmet is a wholly pedestrian area with manicured lawns, outdoor park and sculptured hedges that surround the mosque.
As you approach the mosque, the first think you notice is how grand and serene it is. It reminded me of when I saw the Taj Mahal for the first time. It was so impressive it almost didn’t' seem real. The mosque sits up on a bit of a hill, quietly with its blue domes for all to admire.
Families, kids, tourists, locals, everyone milling around, taking, eating; admiring. I was lucky enough to go on a Friday so I could participate in Juma namaz (prayers) which is only reserved for Muslims. It was so passionate and emotional. The women's area consists of three areas. The balcony area allows you to see the Imam and also the main prayer hall below. The other two areas are on the main floor behind woodened lattice partitions. If you are not a Muslim, you can visit the mosque area
during visitation hours, provided you are appropriately dressed, no short sleeves, no shorts/short skirts and for women, a covered head.
My husband and I went back in the evening time where the mosque is lit up. If you are in Istanbul overnight, you should absolutely take a stroll or taxi ride down to that area at night. The main street where the tram runs veers off to the blue mosque so you can see it.
The Haiga Sophia is almost across the street, also beautiful and impressive.
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