Sultan Ahmed Mosque Istanbul Turkey about 1892

Sultan Ahmed Mosque Istanbul Turkey about 1892

MOSQUE OF SULTAN ACHMET, CONSTANTINOPLE, TURKEY — One of the grandest Mousqes in Constantinople is this, erected about 1615 A. D. by Sultan Achmet. It is the only Mosque in the world which has six minarets, all others having usually two or four. These minarets are of great beauty, being entirely composed of pure white marble, and encircled with several finely sculptured balconies which appear to the fancy at a distance like jeweled rings betrothing earth and heaven. These minarets are not intended merely for ornament. They are continually used. Five times a day, punctual as a figure moved by clock-work, on every such minaret in the city appears the Muezzin, or Mohammedan caller to prayer. He chants out upon the air the sacred formula of Islam: “God is great. There is but one God. Mahomet is the Prophet of God. Come to prayer.” Towards the four points of the compass are these words directed; then all is still, save the echo of some more distant voice. This Mosque is the scene of the grandest ceremonies of Islam, and also of many of the Court processions. The Sultan often comes here on State occasions attended by his entire suite, particularly at the festival of the Prophet’s birth. Then the Sultan and all the members of his Court appear in great splendor. The interior of this Mosque is magnificently decorated with lofty columns, exquisite mosaics and a handsome marble pulpit. On one side of this sacred edifice is a balcony, where all the Sultan’s decrees (“Firmans”) are read aloud. All Mosques in Stamboul have some remarkable attractions, peculiar to themselves, but none is on the whole more interesting than this Imperial gift of Sultan Achmet. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)



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