The Blue Mosque
Istanbul, Turkey
Early in the 17th century, Sultan Ahmet I determined
that the Ottoman Empire needed a grand mosque of its
own, even more glorious than the formerly Christian
Aya Sofya.  His creation was the Blue Mosque, shown
above in a photo taken from a ferry.  You can see my
best Blue Mosque picture by clicking
With six minarets and multiple domes, the Blue Mosque
set the style for Ottoman Empire architecture.   
Photographing the Blue Mosque from ground level is a
challenge.  The trees don't help and I lost two minarets.  
This challenge to Aya Sofya is very obvious, since the Blue
Mosque is only a short distance from the former church.
The Blue Mosque is open to the public, including tourists,
except during prayers, which take place five times a day.  
By now I was looking for the blue tiles which give the
mosque it's name, but they were nearly impossible to find.
Pointing the camera straight up, this is the interior of the
Blue Mosque's massive central dome.  You can see Arabic
script, probably verses from the Koran, which are one of the  
purely decorative touches allowed inside mosques, along with
colorful tiles.  Pictures or paintings of people are forbidden.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of Turkey by clicking
What the Sultan Saw