day 66_Istanbul_inner world of mosques

Not only urbanistically mosques act as focal points within the city, but their intricate interiors are separate worlds on their own. They are true urban enclaves with their own atmosphere (I cannot stop thinking about Hagia Sophia's mystical light filtering through the windows), their own unique colors and ornamentation (the harmonious dialogue of the blues, reds, and gold in the Blue mosque was stunning) and many times their own courtyards and other structures serving other needs, such as schools and hospitals (Süleymaniye Mosque, for example).

Blue Mosque (1609-1616):

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Hagia Sophia (547-1475) :

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Süleymaniye Mosque (1550-1558):

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Iftar (the fast-breaking meal during Ramadan). The entire street in front of the mosque turned into a giant dining room. Needless to say, sharing a meal with the locals next to a mosque designed by the most well-known architect of the Ottoman empire - Mimar Sinan - was an experience of a lifetime.

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