One of the most majestic Ottoman imperial mosques with distinctive six minarets, and blue interior wall tiles, is also one of the best-known attraction in Istanbul.
The iconic Sultan Ahmed Mosque also known as ‘The Blue Mosque’ is a historic Muslim temple in Istanbul, Turkey. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a functioning mosque where men still kneel in prayer on the mosque’s red carpet. It is a popular tourist attraction.
The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 – 1616, by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga upon the order of Sultan Ahmet I, the 14th Sultan of Ottomans. Külliye (large complexes around mosques) contains Ahmed’s tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. The mosque’s design represents the merging of two cultures: Ottoman mosque and Byzantine (Roman Empire). It also incorporates some Byzantine elements of Hagia Sophia along with traditional Islāmic architecture.
Dubbed the Blue Mosque, because over 20,000 ceramic Iznik blue tiles decorating the interior, feature different tulip, rose, carnation, and lily designs, well lit by 260 stained glass windows. At night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight smaller domes. The forecourt with a central hexagonal fountain has a special ablution area.
The Mosque is open every day but closed at prayer times for 90 minutes. There is a dress code, so visitors are asked to be respectful, and avoid flash photography.