- Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque):
Arriving at South Europe, Istanbul, when we talk about beautiful and famous mosques, we can’t forget the iconic Blue Jewel of Istanbul. It is rather fascinating, charming and blue – it was only coloured so to match the surrounding sky. Built in 1609, The Sultan Ahmet Mosque has five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. You might be surprised bythe story behind these relatively numerous domes and
minarets. The Sultan Ahmed ordered to have the minarets made from Gold (altin), but the architect in charge misheard the phrase; (alti), which means six in Turkish, so this resulted in six high-altitude minarets. After that, the Sultan realized that the Mosque has the same number of minarets of Al Masjid Al Haram, so he ordered his finest architects and builders to go to Mecca and build extra minarets at Al Masjid Al Haram. Every inch of the mosque was designed to be royal and majestic; all the columns are pure marble even the minbar, the chandliers and the lamps are all made of gold and various gems. Its interior design aimed to allow the Imam’s voice to be heard in the farthest areas of the mosque; beside the door.
- Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca:
The Middle East didn’t forget to participate in this journey, to be more specific; Morocco. Although this mosque might not be as capturing as the exotic mosques that you might see, it has its share in history and location. Hassan II Mosque was built in such a spectacular site on a platform over the Atlantic Ocean. It was dedicated to King Hassan the Second to celebrate his 60th birthday, but it wasn’t an ordinary birthday. This mosque has consumed over 6,000 craftsmen, artists and architects to build such a masterpiece, it also cost a little more than $800 million dollars! Nearly all the materials of the Hassan II Mosque are from Morocco, with the sole exceptions of the imported white granite columns and glass chandeliers (from Murano, near Venice). The marble is from Agandir, the cedar wood is from the Middle Atlas and the granite comes from Tafraoute. It has an automated sliding roof that opens (on special occasions) to the heavens.
At 689 feet, the Great Mosque’s minaret is the tallest structure in Morocco and the tallest minaret in the world. At night, lasers shine a beam from the top of the minaret toward Mecca, “to point the way to God”
- Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz:
Moving to Eurasia and Western Asia, Iran, we have the needless-to-say breath-taking Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque. The pictures speak for themselves truly. Although most of the world mosques may seem very similar to each other generally, this one in particular has the outstanding charisma. It was built in the 19th century to have the mixed scenes of both ancient and modern architecture. There is no doubt that such colorful shapes and views can make your heart pump out of its place, but in fact, the most amazing thing about this
mosque is the sophisticated geometry, where art intertwined with modern science to bring this masterpiece to life after 12 long years of hard work. It was named many names like “Pink Mosque”, “Mosque of colours,” “Rainbow Mosque” and the “Kaleidoscope Mosque”, due to its vibrant colors. This mosque has two halls; eastern and western bedchambers, where the eastern one has a tiled altar accompanied by 12 columns representing the 12 Imams in Shia Belief. It was built by Nasir Al-Mulk in Qajar era (Qajar was an Iranian royalty with Turkish origins that took over the throne in 1794). No further words could be said to describe such beauty, which is why we would like you to enjoy the following photos of such rainbow.
- Ubudia, Kuala Kangsar:
Staying a little bit longer in South Asia, we visited, Perak, Malaysia and came across this fantasy-like architecture. For architectural eye candies, it is hard to beat Ubudiah Mosque, also known as Ubudiyyah Mosque and Masjid Ubudiah, in Golden domes and black-and-white striped minarets rise above a white Indo-Saracenic building, embellished with Moorish (Islamic) arches and decorations.
Sultan Idris Shah commissioned the mosque in thanks for his recovery after an illness. It was established in 1913 but it took much longer than it should be; it was interrupted several times, one of them when two elephants belonging to the sultan’s and Raja Chulan were fighting and ran over and damaged the imported Italian marble tiles. It was designed by a governable architect, and when he finished, the mosque appeared to be iconic he was assigned to design the Ipoh railway station and the Kuala Lumpur railway station as a recognition to his great work of art. After all these years, this mosque is still being studied for its marvelous architectural features interiorly and exteriorly in Malaysian Universities.
- Islamski Centar:
Moving further upwards to Central and Southeast Europe, we found a modern piece of art in Rijeka, Croatia. The Islamic Center of Croatia, it is mainly a mosque but it was named “center” for its purpose, as Muslims don’t get the privilege of having many mosques in Croatia- actually, this is the third mosque in the country over its history. A spiritual rather than a formal Islamic expression was intended, so the traditional decoration was avoided, showing the flexibility and willingness of a traditional Islamic community to establish itself as part of modern society, after all, it was established in 2013. It was constructed as 6 intervening circles (domes and semi-domes) to keep the main construction form of the mosque beside the minaret. The façade consists of metal sub-construction covered with ventilated stainless steel plates. The remaining functions are placed on two levels beneath the plateau, taking advantage of the naturally sloping terrain. Qatar had a great fund in building this mosque, it was one of the pioneers that took the responsibility of building it over its shoulders, paying 5.5 million euros over an area of 2,500 square meters. Besides the traditional praying hall, there are mutli-purpose halls, a restaurant, and an accommodation area.
- Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque:
Famagusta, North Cyprus. Yes, this is a cathedral indeed, it was originally known as the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas and later as the Ayasofya (Saint Sophia). Mosque of By: The Red List Mağusa, is the largest medieval building in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus. The Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque was built between 1298 – 1400. In 1328, it was declared as a Christian Cathedral. However; during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, the Cathedral was converted into a mosque. During Ottoman attacks in 1571 the building was retained, and then it was damaged by earthquakes that followed in 1735. Muslim architects removed all human figures inside, and minarets were added. Altars were covered , and any stained glass containing human depictions was removed.
The building is still used as a mosque today and has not been closed since the day is was re-opened. Many refer to the mosque as a rare example of pure Gothic architecture since few restorations and additions proceeded the changes made during the Ottoman Empire in order to preserve such precious design and re-build the areas damaged by the earthquake. The building was built in Rayonnant Gothic style. The historic tie between France and Cyprus is evidenced by its parallels to French archetypes such as Reims Cathedral. Indeed, so strong is the resemblance that the building has been dubbed ‘The Reims of Cyprus’; it was built with three doors, twin towers over the aisles and a flat roof, typical of Crusader architecture.
The authors don’t hold any copyrights for the pictures, they were downloaded from various websites on the internet