Sketch 18: Ornament from the Sultan Selim tomb in Istanbul

fig_18Construction of the ornament from the minbar in Rüstem Pasha Mosque was quite time consuming. Now we will look into something that is even more time consuming and looks incredibly complicated. However, with the knowledge gathered up to now we will be able to deal with this case also.

Now, let us go to the Sultan Selim Mosque (1552) that is far away from the center of the Istanbul. This mosque, although it is located on the high hill, it is hidden between the houses and is very difficult to find. Continue reading “Sketch 18: Ornament from the Sultan Selim tomb in Istanbul”


Sketch 17: Medallion fom Rüstem Pasha mosque

fig_17The ornament on the window from Konya was quite different than all ornaments we have seen before – the unusual shape of the star as well as the incredible accuracy of the construction make it very special. In the next example we will also deal with stars but the challenge will be different. This time we will go to the Rüstem Pasha Mosque. The Rüstem Pasha Mosque (Rüstem Paşa Camii, 1560) in the Eminönü district over the Golden Horn is among the city’s architectural gems. Continue reading “Sketch 17: Medallion fom Rüstem Pasha mosque”

Sketch 16: Pattern on a window shutter from Konya

fig_016In this web site we have seen a number of different stars already. However, we have never tried to look at them from a wider perspective. Therefore, our next example will be a contemplation of a star pattern. We will examine some ways of how various complex stars were created. Let us look at a very interesting example that I found in the Museum of Turkish and Is-lamic Arts in Istanbul. The star was carved on a wooden shutter of a window. The carving is very old and beautiful. Continue reading “Sketch 16: Pattern on a window shutter from Konya”

Sketch 15: An octagonal beauty from the Beyezid Mosque

fig_015In Istanbul, almost each large mosque is full of interesting geometric ornaments. After visiting a few mosques we will find that some of the ornaments occur more frequently than some other. We will notice also that some geometric ornaments are quite unique and we can see them in one or two places only. There are numerous ornaments hidden in dark places and we do not notice them during a brief visit in a mosque. There are also so insignificant ornaments that we pass near them and we do not pay any attention to them. In this sketch we will look for such forgotten ornaments. We will start with a short visit to the Beyezid Mosque in Istanbul. Continue reading “Sketch 15: An octagonal beauty from the Beyezid Mosque”

Sketch 13: The charming ornament from the Şehzade mosque

fig_013In this sketch we will go to the Şehzade Mosque, also known as the Prince’s Mosque, another special mosque in Istanbul. This mosque, located a bit off the busy tourist tracks, is special in many ways. I have never seen a crowd of tourists in this mosque. Every time I go there, the place is very quiet and it gives me pleasure contemplating its architecture as well as some of the most beautiful ornaments – geometric and arabesque patterns. Continue reading “Sketch 13: The charming ornament from the Şehzade mosque”

Sketch 12: Stars from the great Hagia Sophia

fig_012Hagia Sophia, or Aya Sofya in Turkish, is the largest Byzantine church in the world. Its current name is a shortened form of the full name The church of the Holy Wisdom of God. The current building is almost 1500 years old. It was commissioned in 532AD by the Emperor Justinian I, and designed by a physicist, Isidore of Miletus, and a mathematician, Anthemious of Tralles. The construction was finished in 537AD. Continue reading “Sketch 12: Stars from the great Hagia Sophia”

Sketch 11: Geometric ornaments from the Sultan Ahmed Mosque

fig_011The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the treasures of Istanbul. It is probably the most frequently visited mosque in Turkey. It is also my favorite place. I can spend many hours in this Mosque and every time I am there I discover something new.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 by the Ottoman architect Sedefkar Mehmet Agha, during the rule of Sultan Ahmed I (1590–1617). Its architecture is exceptional in many ways. This is the only mosque in the world with six minarets. Continue reading “Sketch 11: Geometric ornaments from the Sultan Ahmed Mosque”

Sketch 10: Islamic art – in the labyrinth of grids and stars

fig_010This sketch contains another fragment of my book Islamic Geometric Patterns in Istanbul. The second, updated edition of this book will be available in 2015.

In a small book on sacred geometry Miranda Lundy wrote a very short chapter entitled “Islamic designs – stars are born from subgrids.” In this chapter we can find two very meaningful sentences “Many beautiful ornaments are sitting in very simple subgrid, just waiting to be pulled out” and later “The subgrids themselves are rarely shown in traditional art. They are considered part of the underlying structure of reality, with the cosmos (‘cosmos’ means ‘adornment’) overlaid.” Continue reading “Sketch 10: Islamic art – in the labyrinth of grids and stars”

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