The mosques of Istanbul contain some of the greatest architecture
in the world and are made of the world's finest and most rare
marbles, and exceptionally ornate tiling.
The greatest of all Ottoman mosques and the masterpiece of
the architect Mimar Sinan. Built for Sultan Selim II,
Selimiye Cammii is considered far superior to any other mosque.
The female part was describe by Corbusier as one of the hundred
greatest buildings in the world. It's large low dome has fantastic
acoustics. 5 times a day, the muezzin would climb the tower
known as the minret to call the faithful to prayer. Nowadays,
the Muezzin has been replacaed by tapes and loudspeakers.
Sultan Ahmet Camii is known as the Blue Mosque
because of its striking colours. As striking from the outside
as within, its pale stone dazzles in the noon day sunlight.
It was built as a rival mosque to Aya Sophia. Many of the
blue tiles have been damaged by earthquakes and repainted.
They were made in the mid 16th century, the great era for
Iznik tiles, after this time the inherited skills were
lost. There are designs of 40 types of tulips on the blue
tiles. Today you can buy copies of Iznik tiles mass-produced
outside the Mosque.
Rustem Pasa is Istanbul's piece de la resistance of Mosque's
and little visited by tourists. It has some of the best ever
made Iznik tiles inside and outside. There is always a place
outside of the mosque for latecomers to pray.