The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Published 23 August, 2021

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the "Blue Mosque"


Istanbul - is the only city in the world located on two continents that almost everyone has heard of. This city is home to many majestic monuments, fascinating with their beauty. One such site is the famous Blue Mosque, which is one of the last examples of the classical period of Islamic art in Turkey. It is located in the city center, close to famous landmarks such as Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.

Blue Mosque - Historical Sketch

The Blue Mosque is a 17th-century building commissioned by Sultan Ahmed I, from which the full name of the mosque is derived - Sultanahmet Jami, or Sultan Ahmed Mosque. An interesting fact is that the name "Blue Mosque" was created by other peoples who visited this place, thanks to the inside of the mosque, which is lined with more than 21,000 handmade tiles from Iznik (city), which are dominated by blue, intertwined with white and green.

When did the construction start and who was responsible for it?

The construction of the mosque began in 1609 and was completed in 1616 (equal to 7 years). The sultan wanted to build a more impressive structure than the nearby Hagia Sophia. There is a legend that the then 19-year-old Sultan Ahmed I decided to build a mosque in order to receive forgiveness from Allah for his not very good, inappropriate behavior in his youth.

The architect of this magnificent building was Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa, a student of the architect Sinan, the court architect of the sultans. Interestingly, Sultan Ahmed I himself worked as a worker on the construction of this mosque. He gave his best and worked to the end!

How many minarets are there in the Blue Mosque?

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul has 6 minarets! Which is extremely rare. Minarets - these are high towers at the mosque from which call to prayer. As for this number, there is a legend that Sultan Ahmed I, when describing his vision of minarets, was to use the word "altın" - something golden, while the architect Sedefkar accidentally was to understand this word as "altı", meaning six.

It is a truly monumental building

The Blue Mosque was built on an almost square plan (51.65 m x 53.40 m) and five gates lead to it. From the outer square, three gates lead to the inner courtyard, which is surrounded by cloisters (long corridors) supported by 26 columns covered with 30 domed vaults.

There are three entrances to the mosque. Two of them lead from the outer courtyard and one from the inner courtyard. A dome with a diameter of 22.4 m towers over the mosque, and in the middle of the mosque, it rises 43 meters above the floor. The dome is supported by the so-called "elephant legs", that is, columns with a diameter of up to 5 meters. At the top of each of them are quotations from the Koran, each symbolizing the pillars of the Islamic faith.

Inside the Blue Mosque is an impressive prayer hall lined with red Turkish carpets. It is divided into two parts, the smaller - accessible to tourists, and the larger - closed, open only to people praying.

How much does it cost to enter a mosque in Turkey?

Entry to every mosque in Turkey is free, you just need to provide adequate cover. When entering the mosque, please take off your shoes and keep your knees covered. Ladies also have to cover their hair and shoulders with a scarf.

When visiting Istanbul, a must-see is the Blue Mosque! This building is extremely impressive, and by the way, everyone can individually assess whether Sultan Ahmed I's plan to eclipse the neighboring Haga Sophia has been fulfilled.

You can visit this wonderful mosque with us during your trip to Istanbul with an English-speaking guide organized by our AhojAlanya travel agency. We organize a 1-day and 2-day trip:

Istanbul 1 day (by plane)

Istanbul 2 days (by plane)

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