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4 August, Sunday

TURKEY, Edirne – A mosque belonging to the Ottoman Imperials, the Selimiye Mosque is renowned as one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture. The building’s external structure is so sturdy that when hit by Bulgarian artillery fire in 1913, the mosque survived with only minor damage to the dome.

But it is the interiors – with their clean, spare lines – that carry a more powerful narrative. While the impressive exteriors were designed to evoke the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire, the plain, symmetrical interiors reminded sultans of the need to remain humble and faithful in order to connect with the divine.

Further underscoring the point is the multitude of tiny windows, reducing the light within as a reminder of the humble status of humanity in the grand scheme of things.

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