Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Suleymaniye Mosque.....

On Saturday morning, I checked Google to get a list of the best tourist sites to see in Istanbul, and the Suleymaniye Mosque was on it.   This is the largest mosque in Istanbul and is one of the best-known sights in the city.   It was ordered by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in 1550 and completed in 1558 after only seven years under the famous Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan, a master designer who was responsible for the construction of over 300 major structures.    The center dome rises 175 feet above the main floor and has a diameter of 85 feet.  There are four minarets rising 236 feet.   I got to the mosque about 11:30 in the morning and had about 30 minutes to take pictures before they kicked everyone out for an hour for noonday prayers.  I have been really impressed by the sheer size and intricate physical design of these mosques here in Istanbul.  If you ever visit this city, these are the three buildings that you absolutely MUST visit:  the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sophia), the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the "Blue Mosque") and the Suleymaniye Mosque.  All extremely notable.   Afterwards, I spent an hour wandering again through Grand Bazaar before making my way down to the open area between the Aya Sophia and the Blue Mosque.   I wanted to take some pictures of these two buildings in the twilight and, on one of them, I was able to align the very top of the dome on the Blue Mosque with the planet Venus.  Very cool.

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