Monday, October 06, 2008

Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is across a small park from the Aya Sofya and was built by Sultan Ahmet I with the intention of surpassing the beauty and grandeur of its neighbor. It is grand and incredibly beautiful.

We tried to enter several times before but didn’t have all the appropriate accessories (I needed a long skirt that covered my ankles and a headscarf, Ron needed long pants). When we entered the noontime prayer was just finishing. I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace when I entered the mosque. Everyone removed their shoes prior to entry, so it was quiet with people walking around. The room was spacious and beautifully adorned. The imam was chanting/praying and the worshippers were in all manner of position – standing, kneeling, prostrate on the ground. They always are in rows shoulder to shoulder to remind them of the equality of all people. (By people I mean men…the women are in an area in the back with a sort of grille that separates them from the bulk of the room). I enjoyed watching a man teaching his son the different responses to certain prayers.

All in all I found it to be a holy feeling place.

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