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The great mosques of Turkey, descending in style from and often inhabiting the churches of Byzantium are quite different than the columnar halls found elsewhere. While the vaults are impressive, it is the arabesque tilework that makes these spaces ethereal and makes similar christian examples of earthly paradise seem heavy handed. I entered the Blue Mosque each day we were in Istanbul. In my limited experience, no major space has ever felt as serene. One is lulled not only by the diaphanous geometric heavens above but by the warmth and silence produced by acres of carpeting underfoot. Even the lights, hanging at a human level, were warm and comforting. Paradise might, indeed, be similar.