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Interior of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Interior of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet Mosque interior is almost square and has a huge dome supported by four enormous columns. They are referred to as, “Elephants’ Feet”, and are each 5m in diameter.

The Mosque takes its name from the 20,000, mainly blue and white, Iznik tiles that cover the bottom half of the walls and illustrated with roses, lilies, carnations and tulips. At specific times in the day the 250 stained glass windows cast different shades of blue onto the floor.

There is carpet throughout the mosque for people to kneel on whilst praying and the remainder of the interior is mostly empty as is usual for mosques. The beautifully carved mihrab and mimber are made from the best Proconnesian marble and the delicate wooden doors and window shutters are inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl. There are also huge lamp holders that were originally made for oil lamps that have been refitted for electric bulbs and hang low from the ceiling.

The six minarets have a total of sixteen balconies which possibly symbolised that Sultan Ahmed I (1590-1617) was the 16th sultan. His tomb is next to the mosque along with his wife Kösem and Sultans Osman II and Murat IV.

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