Going through a long history, Turkey has been a favorite destination to those who have a love for the old days. On coming here, you will be surprised by lots of old amazing buildings built a long time ago. Ancient as they are, they still remain something specific from the past for the young generation to find out. If you are scheduling a trip to this home of tulips but get stuck on the where-to-go list, do not hesitate to read for more details about one of our suggestions, Blue Mosque, introduced in the following lines!
A quick preview
Turkish architecture is strongly influenced by local beliefs and religions. Especially, under the age of the Ottoman empire, most of those buildings are constructed and designed following specific features of this country. Therefore, they all contain the national identity as well as lots of cultural values that visitors from around the world can recognize.
In the past, people focused on building churches and tombs. Hence, it is not surprising that there are a number of famous cathedrals and mausoleums in this nation. When having a close look at them, you can see that they were built on a firm base and sophisticated patterns carved on the walls are the most special characteristic.
If you notice these structures carefully, you will find out that there is one thing in common between them. Each building is designed with a big vault on the top to cover the whole construction. However, the images sculpted on them are various and different from each other depending on the topics, which gives a unique feature for each one.
Being built between 1609 – 1616 in the time of king Mehmet I, this cathedral has been listed as one of the most beautiful structures in Bursa. About the purpose of establishing Blue Mosque, there is one story behind it related to political reasons.
According to it, after signing a peace treaty known as Zsitvatorok, Turkey got a bad result caused by the war against Persia. Then, the king believed that the consequence was a punishment that God gave to this beautiful land. Therefore, in order to help the country reach its peak again, he decided to construct this church as an apology to Allah. That is why this impressive cathedral was built.
After a long period of 40 years, Blue Mosque was finally completed and became the biggest church in Istanbul at that time. However, it cost a lot of money from the national fund. Based on some documents, previous kings usually used spoils from the battles to set up their constructions, which is a way to save money to spend it on other purposes. However, emperor Mehmet I could not do that as he was the loser and had nothing from the war.
A tour around the campus
The style of Blue Mosque is a combination of Ottoman and Byzantine with massive architecture. Unique as it is, it also has some elements similar to normal churches such as chapel, mausoleums, workhouses and so on. Spreading a vast area, this site is considered the last large cathedral of the classical period.
There are six towers in total lying around the yard of this site. In particular, four of them are at the four corners coming in the shape of a pencil which is up-side-down. Each one consists of three balconies built with rare materials like stalactites. This kind of stuff is difficult to find because it needs a long time to be formed.
The other two are located in the final region of the yard. Quite different from those at the corners, every one of them has only two levels with a simpler design.
An impressive decoration inside
Only by entering this amazing building can you find out how enormous it is. Every detail is done with special stones and marbles collected from numerous quarries. The number of rocks used in this cathedral was so big that there were not enough for other important structures at the same time. Along with the outstanding size, it was the greatest place for praying in ancient time.
As you can see from the outside, Blue Mosque comprises many domes at different heights. The highest one is 23,5 meters in diameter and its peak is up to 43 meters. Each vault is held by four big pillars with nice patterns carved carefully on them.
Walking around, you will see that the ground is decorated with more than two thousand pottery bricks. While building this church, people skillfully used diverse images of tulips to beautify the inner space. Hence, when you are standing in it, you will immediately recognize the cultural value of this country.
As for the others, they also have plenty of attractive patterns with many items such as flowers and fruit. In addition, there are approximately 260 glass windows for natural lights from the sun. Besides, it is equipped with modern accessories like chandeliers to make the chapel more gorgeous.
A place for commemoration
Besides specific features that you can see while taking a tour, there is also one thing special about Blue Mosque that attracts history lovers to come. Here lies the tomb of the church’s founder who passed away only one year after this great architecture finished. The grave is put inside the temple of Saint Sepulchre. Although the main material of it is terracotta, it still has something unique and solemn that people can feel when coming inside.
Little notes before entering
As Turkey is a nation whose the main religion is Islam, you have to follow some rules regulated by the cathedral. For instance, if you are a female, you must cover your head with a headscarf available at the entrance. Also, you should not make too much noise as this place is reverent.
You do not have to pay any fee to get inside. However, you are not allowed to take photos of the church with a flashlight. Hence, please check if you have turned it off to avoid getting a reminder.
By having a trip to Turkey, you will earn a lot of knowledge about its famous historical sites. Additionally, you will have a chance to touch and look closely at the sophisticated details made by skillful architects. For those reasons, Turkey would be a nice choice to spend your vacation in.