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Also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque is a widely renowned historical and architectural wonder in Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the city's most significant historical and religious landmarks and continues to draw tourists from all over the world to this day.
The Blue Mosque was constructed in the early 17th century under Sultan Ahmed I and is a magnificent example of the Ottoman design and architectural influence. It is known as the "Blue Mosque" because of the gorgeous blue tiles that decorate the interior of the structure and leaves a mesmerizing visual impression upon first sight. The mosque was built to rival the Hagia Sophia's splendor, which is only a short distance away.
Interesting Facts about the Blue Mosque
1. The Blue Mosque is open every day of the year, except for the 90 minutes when it is closed for prayer.
2. Sedefhar Mehmet Aa who was a pupil of Mimar Sinan, the Ottoman sultans' preferred architect, finished the building in 1619.
3. There are 260 beautiful stained-glass windows in the mosque.
4. The building's design combines Byzantine and Ottoman design elements.
5. The mosque is most well-known for its six minarets, which are joined by one huge dome and eight small ones.
The Blue Mosque has carried major cultural, historical, and political influence ever since its construction. mosque's location carries political significance. In contrast with other Ottoman imperial mosques, it is tucked in between the Hagia Sophia and the Byzantine Hippodrome both of which are close to the Ottoman royal residence, Topkapi Palace. This decision was taken to promote urban development and to take advantage of Istanbul's hilly topography. The choice of location, in fact, raised some concerns because it called for the destruction of a number of well-established palaces owned by Ottoman officials.
However, upon the order of the Sultan, the construction of the mosque began to take place under the guidance of one of the most famous architects of all time, Sedefhar Mehmet Aa. Large mosque complexes were built for the public's benefit as part of the imperial tradition which signified a pious and kind king. Placing the mosque adjacent to the Hagia Sophia also highlighted the triumph of an Islamic monument over a converted landmark, which was a matter of great concern back then.
The Incredible Architectural Wonder
The mosque is divided into two main areas: a vast courtyard and a big, unified prayer hall that is covered by the mosque's main magnificent dome. Unlike earlier imperial mosques in Istanbul, the uniformity of the outside stone walls is broken up by numerous windows and a blind arcade, a covered passage. Its three sides are joined by enormous elevated and recessed doorways that lead to the sacred center. The domed arcade that forms the inner frame of the courtyard is the same on all sides aside from the entry to the prayer hall, where the arches expand, adding to their uniqueness and beauty.
Four of the mosque's six minarets, which are used for the call to prayer (Āzān), are located on the corners of the prayer hall, and the other two flank the courtyard's exterior corners. These intricate minarets each have balconies decorating their slender shapes. The design and architecture of the Blue Mosque are unlike any other historical culture, which adds to its fame over the world.
An Unmissable Tourist Experience
The Blue Mosque attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world, all seeking different things. Some come to experience the spiritual experience, some visit to appreciate the architecture, while some are there to witness the cultural and historical value of the structure in the flesh. You can explore the courtyard outside the prayer hall, which has an intricate fountain and is enclosed by arched arcades. The courtyard gives a peaceful setting for reflection and an opportunity to see the architectural elements up close.
In addition to being a place of worship, the Blue Mosque is also a significant cultural and historical site. Its significance extends beyond its aesthetic value as a representation of one of Istanbul's most religious and cultural heritage. As one of the city's most famous landmarks, the Blue Mosque provides a unique opportunity to take in the beauty of Ottoman architecture and feel its spiritual energy.
Things to Know Before Visiting
- Suggested Tour Duration: 1-2 hours
- Best Time to Visit: Summer
- There is no entrance fee required to visit the Blue Mosque.
Note: Visitors are required to follow the modicum of visiting a religious landmark by dressing appropriately. Shawls and outerwear are available at the door if needed. They are also required to take off their shoes and enter the mosque without them.
Blue Mosque Guided Tours
The Blue Mosque is regarded as a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is well-known for both its rich history and distinctive architectural style, which adds to its undeniable value as a historical landmark. The gorgeous interior is adorned with blue Iznik tiles and has six minarets, which are all distinguishing features of their own. Tourists can book guided tours to help them navigate the monument so they can thoroughly enjoy sightseeing the historical and architectural components while understanding the rich history and cultural value behind them
Get the full tourist experience by exploring the Blue Mosque by booking iLinkTurkey’s collection of Istanbul Tours now!