an array of mosques

A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. Mosques typically contain an ornamental niche (mihrab) set into the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca, ablution facilities (where worshipers wash before prayer) and minarets from which calls to prayer are issued.  Mosques typically have segregated spaces for men and women. They are often decorated with Islamic calligraphy, verses from the Quran, as well as floral patterns or images of fruit and vegetables. These are allusions to paradise after death.  Another symbol is the “cosmic spiral” found in designs and on minarets, a reference to heaven as it has “no beginning and no end.”

In the 15th century, Ottomans introduced central dome mosques, which have a large dome centered over the prayer hall. In addition, smaller domes commonly exist off-center over the prayer hall or throughout the rest of the mosque, where prayer is not performed. This style was heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture.

Here are a collection of mosques from my travels through Spain, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, and UAE.

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Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul

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Nizwa, Oman

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

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Bahla Mosque, Oman

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Bahla Mosque, Oman

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Bahla Mosque, Oman

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Mosque in Sohar, Oman

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Mosque at the corniche in Muscat, Oman

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mosque in Muscat, Oman

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

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mosque in Izki, Oman

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Mosque in Sur, Oman

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Mosque in Wadi Bani Kharous, Oman

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Mosque in Wadi Bani Kharous, Oman

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mosque in Muscat, Oman

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mosque in Muscat, Oman

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mosque in Muscat, Oman

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Torre del Aminar, the Baroque-style bell tower built over the Mezquita’s minaret

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Cordoba’s Mezquita

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Cordoba’s Mezquita

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Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

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“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, patterns, all black & white, whatever!

I am endlessly fascinated by Islamic architecture, so I assembled my favorite mosques from my travels.

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20-25 photos (I have more here!) and to write less than 1,500 words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, January 8 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, January 9, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, every first, second, and third (& 5th, if there is one) Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!