Blue Mosque
JLL 02 - 04 - 2010

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the most famous and beautiful mosques in the world. Both inside and out, the craftsmanship of the Blue Mosque, is truly stunning (see lower image). Thousands of visitors come to the Blue Mosque every year, for both recreational and religious purposes. Of course, no mosque is perfect. A complaint of the Blue Mosque (from the religious users' perspective) concerns the columns. At 18 foot in diameter, they are possibly the largest columns in the world. While they are beautifully sculpted and truly impressive, the impact the "oneness" of the space. This "oneness" comes from the very core of Islam and much of the Muslim faith focuses on the interactions of the community. The 18 foot columns of the Blue Mosque divide the mosque; creating a large inner sanctuary with a smaller gallery running around it. While the architect tried to avoid using such large columns, he could not. The result is a divided space: a negative result in this case. This "flaw" of the Blue Mosque becomes one of the defining differences between the Muslim way of worship and the Catholic or Christian ways. The floor plan of a Catholic Cathedral (cathedral in Seville, Spain - upper image), is much more complicated. Even in the inner sanctuary, smaller spaces and boundaries are created: dividing the religious community and even dividing the masses that take place inside. Seeing this difference of religion expressed architecturally, was truly a highlight of the trip.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...