Continuing on from the small mosque we passed through from the Blue Mosque, we went on to Beyazit Square by foot, as it is quite near. On the way, there are lots of Islamic art and architecture treasures such as tombs and smaller mosques. However we did not stop by any of them – one thing I dislike about travelling with other people is that I could not appreciate fully the art and space I was in. I hate being rushed as my traveling style is to take it slow and steady. This way I can truly appreciate the reason I was traveling there in the first place. And with a city so culturally dense and historically significant like Istanbul, going slow is even more important as there are absolutely lots of things happening around you.
When we arrived to the square there is one building that is very prominent – the Beyazit and Bayezit II Mosque. There were scaffolding all around the mosque. Apparently, the whole building was being renovated and restored. It is an old building, anyway. The mosque was built in the 16th Century by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazit II. Understandably, all Ottoman buildings from these period will be restored often as to preserve them. Recently I learned that the Blue Mosque, one of the main sights in Istanbul, was under restoration, so I was very lucky to be able to visit it before all the scaffolding raised.
The only exposed parts of the mosque are the two minarets and the main door, which is closed but we were still able to appreciate the intricate carvings and majestic muqarnas decorating the grand portal.
Off the side of the mosque, there was a path leading up to the only area of which the mosque was accessible. It is inside the mosque but very very limited – only a few rows or Saf for those who wish to perform their prayers there. Otherwise we could not see or access anything of the mosque. It is a pity, but I take as a reason to return to this great city some day.
After taking a look around the only place we can go to at the mosque, we left and found, again by the side of the mosque but at the square itself, a market of some sort. I later learned that it was a weekly market, in this case, a Wednesday market. A lot of things were sold, but antiques sold caught my eyes. There were lots of very curious items like old typewriters, coins and even seemingly random tiles and tidbits broken from ancient structures. I didn’t dare to ask anythings, particularly because I don’t speak the language and I am quite sure the price would be out of my reach as a traveler.
As quickly as we went to the place is as quickly we left. The light was fast disappearing from between the skeletal branches of winter trees, like a million hands waving to us and asking to come again. The cold early spring winds blew over us as we made our way to another destination.
The main portal of the mosque. You can see the intricate muqarnas above the grand portal. As you can see the door is closed, and scaffolding were in front of it, hence making us to unable to approach it closer.
A closeup of An Islamic Geometric medallion over the grand portal of the mosque
At the entrance of the prayer space available at the mosque. You can see all the scaffolding behind me. I can only admire some of the architectural and artistic beauty the mosque offers
An Islamic Geometric pattern panel above the door to the accessible area of the mosque. This was directly above the portal on the inside. You can see the green leather flap of the mosque door.
At the foot of one of the minarets. Beyond the scaffolding you can see a panel of calligraphy one in the Kufi Murabba’ style. It reads the 112th chapter of the Qur’an, the Al-Ikhlas or Sincerity Chapter.
The same minaret, photographed a bit further away. You can see the geometric design creating a band on the base of the balcony, while rows of delicate muqarnas decorate the underside.