This is another series of shots of one of the truly great mosques in Bursa the Yesil or Green (1424) Mosque. It has a wealth of great tiles and carving, apart from just being good architecture.I visited the mosque once again in December 2006. I used flash to bring out more natural colours on the great tilework. Reflection caused some trouble, overall I think the result is acceptable.
The mihrab, the central prayer niche.
I have a similar picture earlier in this gallery, I think on this one the picture is slightly more realistic.
The mihrab (prayer niche) is 10,65 m in height and embellished with multi-color glazed tiles. Apart from the practical intention of indicating the direction of Mecca (which muslims must face during formal prayer), the mihrab has another (symbolic) meaning: it is the ‘Gate of Paradise’.
These tiles were locally produced, by artisans from Tabriz (Iran), under the supervision of Ali bin İlyas Ali, a ‘nakkaş’ (painter-designer) from Bursa, who had been sent to Samarkand by Timurlenk in 1402. Most tiles were made, using the so-called ‘cuerda seca’ technique, followed by ingenious gilding patterns.
Cuerda seca: A brilliant but short lived episode in the history of Anatolian ceramic production was the appearance of tiles decorated in the ‘cuerda seca’ (="dry cord") technique. In the ‘cuerda seca’ process, thin bands of waxy resist maintain color separation between glazes during firing, but leave behind "dry cords" of unglazed tile. This technique seems to have been introduced to Turkey from Iran as early as the fourteenth century. These tiles are often distinguished by their curving shape. (Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) .
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Türkye Tarihi Yerler Kılavuzu’ – M.Orhan Bayrak, Inkılâp Kitabevi, Istanbul, 1994 - Wikipedia,
& ‘Vakıf Abideler ve eski Eserler’ - Vakıflar Genel Müdürlüğü III, Ankara 1983 .